Implementation of Electric Aircraft: Aviation Operators’ Perspectives - Li Dongyang

Implementation of Electric Aircraft: Aviation Operators’ Perspectives

The aviation industry is set to see another significant leap in new technology, namely electric aircraft. As of the time of this research, both 9-seat and 19-seat aircraft would be ready to be launched by air service providers under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program. While electric aircraft manufacturers are hoping to incorporate electric aircraft into the national airspace system, challenges are salient. This study explored existing research and literature by using Qualitative Narrative Analysis in conjunction with the application of VOSviewer to visualize research themes and interconnected clusters followed by interviewing practitioners to reflect on theoretical basis and collect the first-hand data. VOSviewer showed regulations (U.S.A. and Canada), engine design, continued airworthiness, military standards, and maximum transient were primarily discussed and studied. Second-level analysis discovered that Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has focused on aircraft specification, service and maintenance, and project management perspectives. Regardless of the ongoing technical and regulatory challenges, selected aviation practitioners were recruited and interviewed. Practitioners indicated that although airports and airlines possessed different means of benchmarking success, there was a market niche and tangible benefits that smaller electric aircraft would bring to the needed communities.