Like the Wright brothers before them, the pioneers of electric aviation find themselves having to develop both the airframe and its propulsion system. A finely honed and tiered supply chain does not yet exist for all the elements of an aerospace-grade electric drivetrain, so for now companies are doing it themselves. Among the major airframers, Airbus has been the most aggressive in embracing the new form of propulsion, flying the E-Fan 1.0 all-electric technology demonstrator in 2014. This ...

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