The Electroship is an autonomous electric aircraft concept that would fly over and collect energy from high voltage power lines.
Origin of the idea
The idea for the Electroship came from Yuri Fattah who works with me at the ICAO on the Future of Aviation. Yuri was thinking about all the power high voltage transmission lines installed in North America… He asked himself : what if we could slightly modify this type of infrastructure and use them to energize flying cargo robot drones? What if electrified rail lines in Europe could also power these aircraft?
How it Works
The Electroship looks like a modified version of the Antares regional aircraft concept equipped with electric motors. The Electroship would only fly cargo and it would have enough batteries to fly without connection to power lines for 20 minutes.
Because it uses power lines or rail lines, it would already be flying in protected space. Because it flies, it means there can be several one of them could overlap each other. Even in cities, smaller versions could use tramway infrastructure to fly packages with drones.
I would like to thank Martin Rico for creating the images of the Electroship concept. Martin studied design at the University of Buenos Aires and now works as an Industrial Designer for the ICAO. If you would like to submit and idea about the future of aviation we invite you to visit ICAO’s website by clicking here.