Electric Airplanes and Drones

A History


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SKU: 9781476669618 Categories: ,

About the Book

Attempts at electric powered flight date to well before the 19th century. Battery weight and low energy output made it impractical until the 1990s, when the advent of lightweight materials, more efficient solar power, improved engines and the Li-Po (lithium polymer) battery opened the skies to a wide variety of electric aircraft.
The author describes the diverse designs of modern electric flying machines—from tiny insect-styled drones to stratospheric airships—and explores developing trends, including flying cars and passenger airliners.

About the Author(s)

Kevin Desmond, a technology historian and biographer, lives near Bordeaux in southern France. Since 1976, he has published 33 books and 300-plus articles on the men and women innovators, often forgotten, behind the progress of transport and related subjects.

Bibliographic Details

Kevin Desmond
Foreword by Ivo Boscarol
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 314
Bibliographic Info: 88 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2018
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6961-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-3341-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Foreword by Ivo Boscarol 1
Preface 3
One Origins 5
Two If It Flies, It Must Be Electric! 35
Three Electricity Goes to War 48
Four The Aeromodelers 64
Five “Here Comes the Sun” 74
Six The Lithium Advantage 105
Seven “H” Is for Hybrid, Hydrogen, Helium 129
Eight Towards Commercialization 140
Nine UAVs (Generation Gas) 171
Ten UAVs (aka Drones) Go Electric 182
Eleven Dronomania! 211
Twelve Flying Cars 231
Thirteen Into the Future 243
Appendix A. The Birth of Drone Racing 267
Appendix B. The Adventure of Solar Impulse 270
Appendix C. Speed and Altitude Records 282
Appendix D. Timeline of Notable Electric Aircraft Flights 291
Chapter Notes 293
Bibliography 299
Index 301

Book Reviews & Awards

“Desmond has written what is certainly one of the most comprehensive histories of electric aviation and drones to date. …[He] takes readers through an engaging time line of the development, use, and technological changes affecting electric airplanes and drones throughout the world. …a highly readable scholarly history…highly recommended”—Choice