Research in the Past, Present and Future Solar Electric Aircraft

Document Type : Original Article


Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, University of Windsor, ON N9B 1K3, Canada


Due to the increased use in vehicles that are operated by internal combustion (IC) engines, several challenges associated with climate change and global warming have appeared. The best alternative to face with those challenges is to use the vehicles which do not require fuels and IC engines. Electric vehicles are being well-designed, developed and produced to be more effective every day. In the field of aviation, new aircraft which run on full-electric-energy are being developed which is expected to change the conventional travel way. Those aircraft use batteries, ultra-capacitors, fuel-cells to drive motors which are connected to propellers. With the proper development in the field of electric aviation, the aforementioned issues can be reduced, and eventually mitigated. In this paper, the past developments in this field of electric aviation, present electric aircraft flying in the sky, and the future projects that are intended and/or projected to change the aviation industry are discussed. Also, the different designs associated with electric aircraft are discussed along with their advantages and disadvantages. This paper demonstrates the promising movements of the aviation industry toward the more reliable and efficient solar electric aircraft and reducing emissions.