According to experts, business and leisure flights could be climate-neutral in just a few years. "Electric aviation is where we were ten years ago with e-cars," said futurologist Morell Westermann, who organized the flight of an all-electric small aircraft across Germany, at Hanover Airport. The microlight "Elektra Trainer" was the first electric plane to land at Lower Saxony's largest airport on Wednesday evening.
The development of the e-plane is still in its infancy, said Westermann, who is a pilot himself. The technology has recently made a big leap. For a flight from Hesse to the North Sea island of Norderney, for example, the "Elektra Trainer" only needed one stopover on Tuesday. By the end of the 2020s, shorter business and private flights with electric propulsion will be possible.
Björn Nagel from the German Aerospace Center (DLR) explained that the "Elektra Trainer" shows how the performance of electric aircraft has been increased in recent years. "Many of the typical routes of such sports aircraft can be flown in a climate-neutral manner if the batteries are charged with electricity generated from renewable sources," said Nagel. Aircraft with electric or hybrid drives are also particularly quiet. "However, this propulsion system cannot be transferred to large transport aircraft that cover long distances at high speed." The required batteries are foreseeably too heavy.