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Electric Airplane Developments

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Electric Airplane Developments

Old 5th May 2022, 08:53
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Sadly aircraft fires are not new both on the ground and in flight. I'm not sure that we will ever eradicate this risk. Thankfully: training, modern fire suppression equipment and evacuation procedures continue to save lives.
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Old 6th May 2022, 04:12
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Algal fuels look promising. Currently high cost, but that should come down as investment scales up. Much more productive on a land-use basis than plant-based biofuels. Carbon neutral over its production / consumption cycle. Can reuse existing hydrocarbon infrastructure - distribution, engines - and all the R&D.
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Old 6th May 2022, 13:14
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Fossil fuels are not dead. The post globalisation world will see to that. By the time legacy fossil fuels are getting difficult to extract there will be a range of synthetic liquid fuels on the market. Crude oil can be made from algae, or from thin air.
Yes, true. And at what prices? I ought to have stated "Fossil fuels are dead for use like today. They will be around where they are irreplaceable but at prices forbidding recreational use as it is today."

training, modern fire suppression equipment and evacuation procedures continue to save lives.
And all those still need to be developed/approved/documented/instructed for electric power.
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Old 10th May 2022, 22:23
  #44 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Pilot DAR View Post
Excellent. I believe that the pilot contributes here from time to time, I hope he'll tell us a little about this project when the time is correct for that...
First flight press release with video


G

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 10th May 2022 at 22:43.
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Old 17th May 2022, 16:58
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What would peoples choice of powerplant/fuel be if building a new SEP right now in the 180HP area? Ive just started building an RV8 with an estimated completion date in 5 years. The availibity (and price) of Avgas for the next 30 years to enjoy the thing really worries me, I'm seriously considering looking at electric but the infrastucture isnt here to support it and the extra weight will make it rubbish for aeros...Not to mention the work to get an electric system approved by the LAA...

Is there a Jet A1 option or will that have the same issues as Avgas (espcially at the dwindling number of smaller airports in the UK...)
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Old 17th May 2022, 17:19
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No crystal ball is thick or big enough for making a reliable forecast five years ahead. Some general tendencies I seem to discern - without claiming to be Jeremiah :
* diesel, or something like it, will need to be available for the sake of road transport; the first fossil fuel to disappear will be AvGas, other variants of gasoline to follow rapidly;
* five years from here, electric may have found solutions to safety issues, so that it can be applied with an acceptable degree of safety for circuit flying/training;
* for cross-country flying, all depends on infrastructure, indeed; and that will depend on state subsidies, and those will not go primarily to private aviation.

My reply to your query would be diesel - and plant a few acres of rapeseed. Except if you foresee to be happy with circling your local church spire, batteries might well develop fast enough for that.
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Old 17th May 2022, 18:43
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Jet A-1 or Diesel would be my fuel to go because it's available everywhere and you need range. So maybe a RED engine or similar? Too powerful for your requirement.
https://red-aircraft.com/engines/
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Old 17th May 2022, 19:35
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The RED A03 is indeed a giant overkill for this requirement with its 500 HP - didn't we recently read here about its being certified or STD'd to a DHC Beaver? Even its A05 derivative would be too big with its 300 HP, and it seems to be only in the project phase as yet, in fact the company website doesn't even mention it any more.
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Old 17th May 2022, 20:24
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The big A03 is FAA and EASA certified.
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Old 17th May 2022, 23:24
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didn't we recently read here about its being certified or STD'd to a DHC Beaver?
I expect to be test flying the RED03 on the Beaver in the next month or two, but it'll be a year before it's approved, lots of testing in different environments required for Canadian certification.

What would peoples choice of powerplant/fuel be if building a new SEP right now in the 180HP area?
I think that for a new engine, your only choices will be a Lycoming 360/390, or the Austro E4 (if they're even available for such application). There is no turboprop that size, and if there were, the cost and fuel consumption would be high. Electric is the way of the future for some aviation applications, but flying will be different while we get used to not going very far with a heavy airplane.
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Old 18th May 2022, 05:46
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There is a new 130 hp turbine for microlights (and drones?), the Turbotech TP-R90. It's currently being tested on the VL3 microlight replacing the Rotax engine.
pictures: https://www.aerokurier.de/motorflug/...l-mit-turbine/
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Old 18th May 2022, 19:50
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Oh, one of those. Reminds me of the Zoche diesels, been announced for several decades now, still nothing really available. How many promising engines haven't been announced, without ever becoming effective, and practical? Visit Aero 2022 for this year's load.

Even in the experimental/ultralight environment - where formal certification isn't an absolute requirement - the venerable Rotax 912 is unbeatable.
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Old 17th Oct 2022, 20:10
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This looks interesting.
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Old 17th Oct 2022, 21:14
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Looks great but with limited ability. I know Little Snoring quite well having had an aircraft maintained there for several years in the 90ís but these stringbags have little or no ability outside the local flying area. My neighbour has a top of the range battery Mercedes SUV but the published endurance falls dramatically in winter night driving with wipers,lights and heating drainage.The recharge time is abysmal compared to petrol or diesel. The other point is of course what happens to batteries end of life. In cars the vehicle is worthless by the time it needs replacement.
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Old 18th Oct 2022, 02:18
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Originally Posted by nomorecatering View Post
Fossil fuels are not dead. The post globalisation world will see to that. By the time legacy fossil fuels are getting difficult to extract there will be a range of synthetic liquid fuels on the market. Crude oil can be made from algae, or from thin air. Liquid hydrocarbon fuels and internal combustion engines will be around for a very long time.
Yep.

About 10,000 years of methane hydrate available. Easy to make petrol and diesel outa that..
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Old 18th Oct 2022, 17:56
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Let’s see how Europe copes this winter compared to the days when they exploited fossil fuels.

Sadly this is not a level playing field and Russia and China don’t worry too much about global warming as they march forward with their own agenda. A point worth making is the origin of the rare earths used in this save the planet technology comes from slave labour in places like Africa.

Wind and solar are fine until a massive blocking high pressure area switches of the energy in the middle of winter when it is needed most in Europe.Battery powered technology still relies on charging and very often that is from fossil fuels.

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Old 19th Oct 2022, 12:14
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Having been relatively quiet for a few months Joby hosted an event last week to showcase their eVtol.

This video is a recap posted by an attendee

Fast forward to minute 4.00 for a fascinating comparison flyby.
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Old 20th Oct 2022, 00:37
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Originally Posted by Mike Flynn View Post
Letís see how Europe copes this winter compared to the days when they exploited fossil fuels.

Sadly this is not a level playing field and Russia and China donít worry too much about global warming as they march forward with their own agenda. A point worth making is the origin of the rare earths used in this save the planet technology comes from slave labour in places like Africa.

Wind and solar are fine until a massive blocking high pressure area switches of the energy in the middle of winter when it is needed most in Europe.Battery powered technology still relies on charging and very often that is from fossil fuels.
Yep.

Manufacturing will have some issues as well:

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Old 20th Oct 2022, 02:28
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I am not knowledgeable enough about extraction and production to be able to compare between producing and storing power as fossil fuel origin, vs electric and batteries. I have done certification work on electric airplane projects, and from that, I know that they are not terribly practical by the standard of fuel from fossil sources. But, we pilots are not a shining example of "green transport". For myself, I estimated a few years back, that I have probably, personally burned about 330,000 liters of aviation fuel during my career as a pilot and owner. Generally, members of society who are not involved in aviation (most people) are at best interested in airplanes, but unlikely to rise to defend we pilot's hobby aviation. Commercial transport, some, rich kid's hobby, not much.

So, despite the present impracticality of electric airplanes for most applications, we pilot's should be seen to support the initiatives. Anything we can support which advances electric puts us on the better side of public opinion. None of any of this is pointed toward awesome, at best it's pointed toward "we'll tolerate you burning some fuel while electric aviation becomes practical". Pointing out what are possible negative realities about production and storage of electricity, as factual as it might be, still puts we pilot on the wrong side of society's trend. It'll be best if we look like we're encouraging electric aviation wherever we can...
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Old 22nd Oct 2022, 04:43
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MIT researchers have a look-see:

This story is told in This is What’s Keeping Electric Planes from Taking Off (MIT Technology Review (August 17, 2022). Casey Crownhart provides a reality check on electric airplanes. Excerpts follow: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2022/10/...nology-review/
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