Electric Atmosphere – Plane & Pilot Magazine | Aviation

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A new era of aviation is upon us.

With innovations in sustainable fuels, airframe design, and safety, we may not recognize the machines that take us into the skies 20 years from now. Incredible resources are being poured into development of new technology at a rate not seen in 80 years—at least in the private sector. What’s surprising and inspiring is that much of the innovation shaping aviation across the board comes from the ground up—from general aviation—rather than trickling down from the airlines and military.

Pipistrel, one of these key ground-up innovators, experienced humble beginnings as a tiny hang glider manufacturer a few decades ago. It grew gradually and strategically from its original home in a garage serving hobbyists to winning consecutive competitions for flight design at NASA—and eventually scoring a $1.3 million grant from the agency 11 years ago.

Now, it’s part of Textron eAviation, and two years in, the company marked significant expansion in Africa, Canada, and the United States—including a deal with the U.S. Air Force—and a historic first piloted flight of liquid hydrogen powered electric aircraft. All of this innovation is impressive, and talking about it in sweeping terms rather overstates the obvious at this point.

But what does it mean for pilots—particularly those of us who inhabit the GA sphere? How will the…

Source www.planeandpilotmag.com

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