  # Electric Aircraft Range Calculator

 Lift/drag ratio - Total aircraft mass $$kg$$ Battery mass $$kg$$ Battery energy density $$Whr/kg$$ Propulsion efficiencypropulsive energy / energy cosumed - Range 162.1 $$km$$ Range 100.7 $$miles$$ Energy efficiency 1.55 $$kWh / mile$$

## Description

This calculator estimates the range of a battery-powered electric aircraft. The range is the largest distance the aircraft can fly in the absence of wind.

Below are some values for reference.

• Jet liners have L/D around 15.
• Helicopters have L/D around 5.
• The energy density of current lithium-ion batteries is 100-265 Whr/kg.
• The energy density of gas is over 12,000 Whr/kg.
• The Joby S4 eVTOL has a mass of about 2200 kg.
• A kilogram weighs about 2.2 lbs (on earth).
• Electric cars have a propulsive efficiency of about 0.9 from battery to wheel. Presumably an aircraft rotor would get a similar efficiency, but then have further losses converting rotor power to thrust.

As these calculations will show, it's very difficult to obtain a decent range with current lithium-ion batteries.

## Equations

The following equations are used to estimate the range $$d$$ from the lift/drag ratio $$L/D$$, total aircraft mass (including passengers, batteries, cargo) $$m_t$$, battery mass $$m_B$$, propulsive efficiency $$\eta$$ and battery energy density (specific energy) $$\gamma$$. These equations assume a constant speed flight and exclude energy required in the cabin for avionics, air conditioning, etc. In reality, takeoff and climb may consume substantially more energy and reduce the range significantly.

$E = Dd / \eta$ $D = m_t*9.8\frac{m}{s^2}/(L/D)$ $E = \gamma m_B$

We are working on a new article regarding the feasibility of electric aircraft and flying cars. Please check back later.

Back to home