UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Aerospace engineering researchers will soon be part of the development of a commercial electric aircraft. Right now, the electric planes that exist can only seat about two people.
Thanks to a grant from NASA, the University of Illinois will be the head of this research. It’s a $6 million program that will last about three years.
Around $1.7 milion of that will go to the university. This research is important because electric planes would make flights cheaper. They would also lower the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Notably one of the key benefits that you get is significant reductions in emissions. We’ve done research both in my groups as well as other groups that have been able to be utilized to forecast what quantitative gain speed can be achieved, and we’re talking about the emission reductions upwards of 25 to 50 percent when it comes to CO2,” said Aerospace Engineering Assistant Professor Phillip Ansel.
Experts say air travel is expected to nearly double over the next two decades. There are eight other institutions that are part of this research program. It will start at the beginning of August.