Powering the future of flight with electricity
We're working on moving people faster, faster and further than they've ever gone before. To do that we have to make flight dramatically faster, high mach, and less expensive which means it has to be much more efficient. Which also means it makes a much smaller footprint on the environment.
Robert MillmanCEO of Electric Sky
My Thoughts on the Conversation
During out conversation, Robert described how the technology they are pioneering goes beyond the traditional idea of Gaussian beams, like lasers, and is in fact, the opposite - a non-gaussian beam.
This means that instead of beaming one super-powerful beam into the sky, many smaller, less powerful beams are sent up to converge upon a specific object, such as a space vehicle or plane. This approach means you don’t have to deal with the nasty complications of pesky things like birds, other flying objects such as balloons or planes, clouds and weather.
Using this technology, Robert says, you can free yourself from the shackles of the combustion engine, allowing you to consider flight at altitudes traditional jets would find impossible or inefficient.
Flying at altitudes outside of the combustion engine comfort zone has many benefits.
For instance, as highlighted in this article small changes in altitude can reduce the creation of contrails significantly. Contrails have significant impact on the environment, so any reduction is beneficial. However, the study above says that even though the small altitude changes generate increases in emitted CO2, the overall impact is beneficial to the environment.
Now, imagine you could fly in these contrail-free altitudes without expending extra fuel.
Beyond that, flying higher means you can fly faster, and Robert hopes technologies like his could see travel between London and Los Angeles could as quick as one hour.
In terms of space flight, Robert commented that 80% of a rockets weight is fuel. If you could power the rocket from the ground, you could reduce that significantly, which would lower costs to a point that could be achievable for many.
Find out more about Electric Sky here. http://el-sky.com
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