Make no mistake. If electric technology were ready for prime time—and it most decidedly is not—but if it were, the revolution would be underway. The gas piston engine would be, if not a historical footnote, then at least a niche player in general aviation. Forget about carbon footprints and hugging polar bears. It’s the economics of it. Who’s going to want to continue to gas up and maintain these complicated, expensive to buy and maintain, and remarkably inefficient museum pieces? Not me. But we are not there yet, nor are we all that close.
And maybe that’s a good thing because there’s a lot we haven’t really thought about, and if history teaches us anything it’s that it’s better to foresee issues and create policies to address them before they do damage than to react blindly after trouble hits.