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light aircraft engines

Old 29th Nov 2021, 08:56
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Originally Posted by PDR1 View Post
I think Rolls Royce, Napier, Bristol and DeHavilland, Hispana, BMW, Junkers and quite a few others might be coughing & spluttering a bit at that.

PDR
Yes indeed! Or, not coughing and spluttering but running smoothly producing lots of horse power.
The first aircraft to cross the Atlantic was powered by Rolls Royce engines. Not a Wright engine.
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Old 29th Nov 2021, 10:52
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Originally Posted by megan View Post
I've read that all the do dad electronics on todays average car has more to do with meeting pollution requirements than improving economy
Not actually true, I'm afraid. Most modern automotive engines use "stratified charge" combustion to get the efficiency - a concept which generates layers of lean and rich mixture inside the combustion chamber to get the lower consumption of the lean-burn with the higher speed of combustion in the rich mixture. It requires very precise metering of injection settings (duration and timing), ignition timing and (in turbocharged engines) cylinder pressures. Parameters like cylinder and intake air temperatures are part of the equation along with throttle demand and demand rate, rpm etc. This is even more true for diesels than for petrol engines (other than the ignition timing, obvs!). Without the "electronic do dads" the fuel consumption would be typically 20-40% higher, especially on short trips. The reduced fuel consumption improves most of the emissions but the more aggressive combustion (higher pressures and temps) does tend to increase the production of nitrates - these are addressed by other means.

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Old 29th Nov 2021, 11:04
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
Nice try but the vast majority of piston engined airliners had American radial engines. European protectionism allowed more expensive and less reliable engines to see service but the production numbers tell the tale. Particularly post WW2 the vast majority of airliners in service were powered by American engines including those used by every major European.

In any case it doesnít matter, the point remains that the reliability and efficiency of the big radials allowed practical passenger air travel for the first time.
I'm not qualified to comment on the relative technical merits of air cooled radials vs water cooled inline engines. But post-war, the dominance of the US engine manufacturers was much more to do with the size of their domestic market than anything else. Continental north America is vast and there were relatively few railways - ideal for air transport.
Sort of the same point that used about VHS and Betamax.
And by then RR at least was focused on jet propulsion.
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Old 29th Nov 2021, 11:06
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Originally Posted by GWYN View Post
Actually, Heston, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stringfellow

In 1848 Stringfellow achieved the first powered flight using an unmanned 10 ft wingspan steam-powered monoplane built in a disused lace factory in Chard, Somerset.
I'd forgotten about Stringfellow (born in Yorkshire, naturally) - thanks for the reminder. Awesome chap.
The museum in Chard is well worth a visit by the way.
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Old 29th Nov 2021, 21:39
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I'm sure you're right about the museum. To my shame even though I actually remember it being established, rather a long time ago, and lived very close for a long time, I have never visited it.

(born in Yorkshire, naturally), yebbbuuutt......it all happened in Chard!
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Old 29th Nov 2021, 22:04
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Actually the first aircraft to fly with people aboard 3 crew was steam powered burned avture and had 2 axis gyro controlled auto pilot for yaw and pitch.
Date was 30 of July 1896 in London and flight was longer than the Wright flyer that needed a catapult launch system. It was called the Maximum Flyer
designed by Sir Hiram Maxim designer of the first fully automatic machine gun made by Vickers and silencers for IC engines and guns. There are pictures on the web to back this up. So the Wright flyer was not the first.
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Old 29th Nov 2021, 23:40
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Shureley must be shome mistake with the date and it's really April 1st.
Originally Posted by horizon flyer View Post
Actually the first aircraft to fly with people aboard 3 crew was steam powered burned avture and had 2 axis gyro controlled auto pilot for yaw and pitch.
Date was 30 of July 1896 in London and flight was longer than the Wright flyer that needed a catapult launch system. It was called the Maximum Flyer
designed by Sir Hiram Maxim designer of the first fully automatic machine gun made by Vickers and silencers for IC engines and guns. There are pictures on the web to back this up. So the Wright flyer was not the first.
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Old 30th Nov 2021, 09:42
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I assumed this was a tongue-in-cheek post as it's a fairly well established myth. Maxim (and Ader, and many others) built things in the latter years of the 19th century which became airborne (usually just briefly) but were not practicable air craft in that they had not developed effective means of control so they could not sustain flight and could not choose to fly to/from specific places. One can certainly argue that the usually stated date of Dec17th 1903 is a bit dubious because that flight was really just an extended glide, but in the subsequent weeks they achieved flights that climbed above the launch point and flew around for reasonable periods before landing in a specific place chosen by the pilot. The Wright Brothers may not have made the first "flight", but they did fly the world's first practicable air craft and their real contribution was in establishing the basics of CONTROLLED flight.

Maxim's vehicle was huge and uncontrollable - it crashed. Ader's vehicle was only capable of flying in ground effect for a few dozen yards, and it crashed. Most of the others didn't even achieve that. Maxim's aeroplane is claimed to have had two 180bhp steam engines. Even with today's technology we'd struggle to get the boilers, combustion chambers (fireboxes), water tanks etc down to a weight that might have been aviationable - I would regard a claim that this was done on victorian times with some scepticism. As for the "2 axis gyro controlled autopilot" I would find it surprising that (had it existed) such an invention never found its way into ships and airships. But then I'm just a cynic.

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Old 1st Dec 2021, 19:31
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The Maxim flyer was being tested down a 1800 ft rail track with a hold down system over the undercarriage wheels, due to the high lift of the design the right hand wheel axle failed and the machine became airborne but out of control, as the righthand prop had been damaged by debris, it yawed right and crashed. It did have steam powered gyro stabilised yaw by differential throttling of the props and pitch controls. The are pictures of it at the crash site with the then prince of Wales in the photo.
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Old 2nd Dec 2021, 01:13
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An alternative?
New GT50 turbine shaft engine designed from the ground up as part of a new helicopter design.
35 gallons per hour, 400HP continuous 440HPH takeoff.
Comparatively low maintenance costs.
5000 hours or 20,000 cycles.

https://www.hillhelicopters.com/gt50-engine
mjb
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 17:59
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Originally Posted by TheOddOne View Post
Yes, the future is electric. I've owned an e-Golf for 2 years now, beautiful car, charge it at home from a domestic wall socket in the garage. Only servicing is new tyres.

I'm waiting for the Mk3 electric aircraft, that can do more than just circuits. I need to be able to carry 200kg load over 2 seats and 2.5 hours endurance. Lots of my students are over 100kg...

TOO
"Only servicing is new tyres."
I didn't realise that electric cars contained no components requiring lubrication. Or non-maintenance brake systems. Remarkable...
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Old 30th Dec 2021, 22:15
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Originally Posted by skridlov View Post
"Only servicing is new tyres."
I didn't realise that electric cars contained no components requiring lubrication. Or non-maintenance brake systems. Remarkable...
Just put two new tyres on my electric car after two years and 29000 miles. There is no lubrication or any servicing specified or required to maintain the warranty. A brake check soon seems like a good idea but since virtually all braking is regenerative Iíd be looking for seized pistons rather than worn pads. The legacy manufacturers make a lot of money from servicing and donít want to lose it.
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Old 31st Dec 2021, 12:11
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Paul Bertorelli's take on electric airplanes (sic).
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Old 31st Dec 2021, 22:14
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I quite agree with Paul Bertorelli's video. Generally, when he speaks, I listen. He touched on the highpoints, which was great, though many of the points deserve a deeper dive, as people embrace the concept.

Electric planes are someone's future. Not us old guys, though probably some of the young pilots who are just getting started. It's going to be very different. But there'll be a lot more trip planning, with shorter trips, as needed to charge the plane to get back home will certainly be a planning factor. I've worked one electric conversion project (C 172) which did not come to be, as the business model is terrible for a training plane which has to charge for many hours between half hours flights. I have involvement in another electric conversion approval project next year, it has more future.

But these aircraft with many propellers are going to require new certification basis thinking. It was 2006, when I attended a presentation on the certification special conditions required to approve a civil tilt rotor aircraft. Though a very viable concept, there are some things that tilt rotor/multi motor aircraft will do very poorly. Top of mind is power off landings. Every presently certified airplane and helicopter is required to demonstrate landing with no power. It's ugly for some, but they can all do it. I think it's a stretch that these new concept aircraft will be able to. Perhaps the public will accept this reduction in the most basic flying capability, but after the first few "falls" (at best under a parachute), there'll be more discussion.

I'm sure that there's an electric car in my future, I'm less sure about the new concept aircraft, but, my mind is open.....
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Old 1st Jan 2022, 22:27
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Paul Bertorelli's analysis is interesting but surely history has taught us that predictions into the future is always way off. To use the drawbacks of current battery technology is pointless. I remember visiting a major companies computer room extensively rigged with air conditioning and purification ducts . Rows of 7ft high cabinets with spinning reel to reel tape. The power was boasted as being 64k. Well', we now own mobile phones in gigabytes which we can hold in the palm of one hand. Our first 1950s TV had a tiny black and white screen with a magnifying glass bolted onto the front. We now expect to make video calls to anywhere in the world on our phones. We can store numerous full feature films to watch in our hotel rooms.

I think it fair to say that no one foresaw any of our present nor how we have come to both evolve and use these technologies. We shouldn't think of using the future aircraft battery power as we do with tanks of petrol. The research into battery size, capacity and output is being developed in earnest for all kinds of purposes. Think then of a battery which is the size of the palm of your hand and that will run your aeroplane for days and enable many other things, so far not thought of, than do our aircraft petroleum tanks.
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 01:14
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I agree that there will be battery advancements we can't imagine right now, which will get batteries to petroleum like energy density. And, with that advancement in energy density will come an even greater aversion to that density from a safety perspective. 787 batteries, Teslas which self ignited a few days after an accident in the impound lot, people's phones getting really hot and smoking. With new solutions also come new things to consider fro safety. Before electric aircraft carry people for hire, they'll have to be certified. At present, there is no standard for such certification, so it'll have to be developed and agreed regulator and industry. When I have trouble getting the regulator to allow me to approve the installation of an instrument with an internal battery, because I cannot demonstrate the inherent safety of that battery, we're a way's away from the regulator being comfortable certifying a primary power battery bank. We'll get there for sure, but it's not just around the corner....
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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 08:55
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Fossil-fuel free domestic flights in Denmark and Sweden by 2030 apparently.....
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-59849898

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Old 2nd Jan 2022, 09:53
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When I have trouble getting the regulator to allow me to approve the installation of an instrument with an internal battery, because I cannot demonstrate the inherent safety of that battery, we're a way's away from the regulator being comfortable certifying a primary power battery bank. We'll get there for sure, but it's not just around the corner....
We need new redesigned regulators for the future too. Why is it OK to have filthy and noisy petroleum engines that catch fire and blow up on a regular basis. Fuel starvation is an enormous contributor to fatal accidents. We train our pilots to treat the fuel gauges with extreme caution. Most gauges rely on a sender that is exactly the same as those fitted in my toilet cisterns. We live with all these dangers though because of the benefits they bring. Everything has its price.

I'm reminded of a PPL who told me that he had owned aeroplanes for over 40 years both new and second hand but he'd never owned one that had all things working. I remind my students, all the time, that reliability is rarely underwritten by regulation. The regulator requires predictability. In the modern world technology advances so rapidly that by the time predictability is established we're onto something new and the cycle begins again. The regulators forever playing catch up do not deserve disdain but they struggle to overcome their inbuilt prejudices. They are to put it simply not very keen on change.

Last edited by Fl1ingfrog; 3rd Jan 2022 at 10:08.
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