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Electric Airplane Developments

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Electric Airplane Developments

Old 22nd Oct 2022, 12:27
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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/
A school boy essay of what the the current situation is. No analysis AND NO attempt to envisage a future.

For an electric aeroplane storage of power is even more difficult than for cars when the mass is much less limiting? There and only there is the problem to be solved. Drones are less limited and expanding rapidly in range, size and purpose. The demand for them in various roles are there to be seen: Arial photography, courier delivery etc plus the lethal military examples also controlled remotely from thousands of miles away. The Wright brothers, with little education but with vision, worked in isolation and the aircraft they produced were extremely limited, but look again a 100 years later. The basic principles have hardly changed: three-axis control and ever more powerful and efficient engines with aircraft carrying hundreds of tonnes of freight and people halfway around the world in hours. I doubt this was ever envisaged in 1903;
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Old 22nd Oct 2022, 18:34
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There are niche applications that are already viable for electric airplanes. Harbour Air should have their electric Beaver floatplane conversion in commercial service this summer and several Canadian flight schools are in the process of introducing electric trainer aircraft for PPL training. There is huge money being plowed into battery development so it is reasonable IMO, that we will see viable small short haul electric commuter aircraft in the next decade.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gartner_hype_cycle

We are in the very early stages of electric development and I expect it will follow the trajectory of most emergent technologies
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 02:40
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Originally Posted by Big Pistons Forever View Post
There are niche applications that are already viable for electric airplanes. Harbour Air should have their electric Beaver floatplane conversion in commercial service this summer and several Canadian flight schools are in the process of introducing electric trainer aircraft for PPL training. There is huge money being plowed into battery development so it is reasonable IMO, that we will see viable small short haul electric commuter aircraft in the next decade.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gartner_hype_cycle

We are in the very early stages of electric development and I expect it will follow the trajectory of most emergent technologies
I’m looking forward to the potential of them pax carrying electric-battery powered aircraft. Being able to ‘fuel’ an aircraft off me farms solar panels will be handy..

In the meantime I have concerns with battery development. Wouldn’t making more powerful battery’s smaller make them more explosive ? There’s always a trade-off with condensing energy.
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Old 24th Oct 2022, 22:55
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Originally Posted by Flying Binghi View Post
... Wouldn’t making more powerful battery’s smaller make them more explosive ? There’s always a trade-off with condensing energy.
Your comment suggests existing batteries are already 'explosive'?

While you could probably get some batteries to 'explode' (plenty of hydrogen around Lead-acid batteries for example) I doubt many, if any, of the current aircraft offerings would use such for their energy storage.

For example; a LifePO4 battery is fairly stable, relatively energy dense, and as far as I'm aware would be very unlikely to explode. Depending upon the scenario such a battery might well be much less likely to explode or even catch on fire than a few litres of avgas in a tank. Whether that would change as batteries come closer to the energy density of fossil fuel is another question, but I don't think it's a foregone conclusion.
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Old 25th Oct 2022, 04:05
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Originally Posted by First_Principal View Post
Your comment suggests existing batteries are already 'explosive'?

While you could probably get some batteries to 'explode' (plenty of hydrogen around Lead-acid batteries for example) I doubt many, if any, of the current aircraft offerings would use such for their energy storage.

For example; a LifePO4 battery is fairly stable, relatively energy dense, and as far as I'm aware would be very unlikely to explode. Depending upon the scenario such a battery might well be much less likely to explode or even catch on fire than a few litres of avgas in a tank. Whether that would change as batteries come closer to the energy density of fossil fuel is another question, but I don't think it's a foregone conclusion.
Lets hope not..
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Old 29th Oct 2022, 17:04
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It's easy to say that electric aircraft are not practical. They aren't yet apart from a few niches. BUT do not ignore the power of capitalism, there is a LOT of money to be made by anyone who solves even part of the battery problem. Whatever happens we have to make it work as soon as we can or there is a high likelihood that our toys will be taken away as the climate problem gets more obvious.

I have now had an electric car for 4 years. My first one was an adventure, much planning and hope required on long trips. I now have a Tesla, the best car I have ever owned, smooth quiet power, enough range to get from Dorset to London and back without charging. Costs very little to run due having solar panels on my house, nearly zero maintenance. Flying behind a nasty, dirty, unreliable piston engine seems a step backward.

Last edited by Romeo Tango; 30th Oct 2022 at 10:29.
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Old 29th Oct 2022, 23:24
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Originally Posted by Romeo Tango View Post
It's easy to say that electric aircraft are not practical. They aren't yet apart from a few niches. BUT do not ignore the power of capitalism, there is a LOT of money to be made by anyone who solves even part of the battery problem. Whatever happens we have to make it work as soon as we can or there is a high likelihood that our toys will be taken away as the climate problem gets more obvious.

I have now had an electric car for 4 years. My first one was an adventure, much planning and hope required on long trips. I now have a Tesla, the best car I have ever owned, smooth quiet power, enough range to get from Dorset to London and back without charging. Costs very little to run due having solar panels on my house. Flying behind a nasty, dirty, unreliable piston engine seems a step backward.
I’m a bit mystified just what this ‘climate problem’ is ? You ask people what exactly is the climate problem issue and you get a hand wave to some media article telling of some weather that is supposed to be the most extreme we’ve ever had… except for that worse weather we had 50 years ago or so. I’m yet to see any reference to an actual real ‘climate problem’ issue…

Romeo Tango, you deserve to have your ‘toys’ taken away from you if you can’t be bothered to put some time into researching the so-called ‘climate problem’. Because in the end its not your toys that you need worry about if those suffering from climate hysterics and the climate profiteers get their way.

Start your research with the basics. Why do those pushing climate hysteria always want to shut down debate on the issue ?

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Old 30th Oct 2022, 10:22
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If you do not think there is a climate problem then I agree, in that case, there is no particular hurry. We can just wait until better batteries come along.

Unfortunately there is no doubt that there is a climate problem, the global temperature is rising. There is an outside chance that this is a natural variation that humans have little effect on. I (and the vast majority of the scientific community) think we do have a major effect and aircraft are a part of that.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 10:35
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Originally Posted by Romeo Tango View Post
If you do not think there is a climate problem then I agree, in that case, there is no particular hurry. We can just wait until better batteries come along.

Unfortunately there is no doubt that there is a climate problem, the global temperature is rising. There is an outside chance that this is a natural variation that humans have little effect on. I (and the vast majority of the scientific community) think we do have a major effect and aircraft are a part of that.
Thank-you for the dorothy dixor Romeo Tango..

Wheres this global temperature rising ‘proof’..?





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Old 30th Oct 2022, 10:45
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Originally Posted by Flying Binghi View Post
Wheres this global temperature rising ‘proof’..?
"Proof" is always difficult!

Top of google for evidence is this: https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
I'm not sure much more needs to be said
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 11:20
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Originally Posted by Romeo Tango View Post
"Proof" is always difficult!

Top of google for evidence is this: https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/
I'm not sure much more needs to be said
? You present what looks to be a flashy sales screed and claim nothing more needs to be said…


Romeo Tango, you made the claim: “…the global temperature is rising…” Well, show me the proof of it.




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Old 30th Oct 2022, 13:09
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Convincing evidence is given on that site. There is lots more. Are you saying that there is no global warning?
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 13:35
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No use to argue with the willingly blind. As they say in Dutch: "Wat baten kaars en bril, als den uil niet zien en wil".
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 18:36
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Originally Posted by Jan Olieslagers View Post
No use to argue with the willingly blind. As they say in Dutch: "Wat baten kaars en bril, als den uil niet zien en wil".
Not quite sure of the logic in that Jan. It translates as “what use are [the] candle and [the pair of] glasses if the owl doesn't want to see”

Owls have the ability to fly at night.

A lot of the so called green energy is just smoke and mirrors while shifting the problem elsewhere.If you choose to live in a cold latitudes then provision has to be made for the winter. Urban areas don’t have the ability to run wood stoves so they rely on electricity generation from stations like Drax in the UK. This was a coal fired power station using local coal but now runs on so called green wood pellets cut down in Canada by diesel power and then shipped thousands of miles in vessels burning heavy oil. How green is that!

Most of the materials used for battery powered vehicles come from China and third world locations where people are exploited and the rich get richer on so called carbon credits.

Battery powered aircraft are toys and I see no reason to not use current technology and fossil fuels. Just look at the advances in turbine fans and explain how you can improve on it.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 18:55
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Originally Posted by Flying Binghi View Post
I’m a bit mystified just what this ‘climate problem’ is ? You ask people what exactly is the climate problem issue and you get a hand wave to some media article telling of some weather that is supposed to be the most extreme we’ve ever had… except for that worse weather we had 50 years ago or so. I’m yet to see any reference to an actual real ‘climate problem’ issue…

Romeo Tango, you deserve to have your ‘toys’ taken away from you if you can’t be bothered to put some time into researching the so-called ‘climate problem’. Because in the end its not your toys that you need worry about if those suffering from climate hysterics and the climate profiteers get their way.

Start your research with the basics. Why do those pushing climate hysteria always want to shut down debate on the issue ?

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Australia has one of the most diverse climates on the planet and is rich in minerals. A lots of the greenies would like to stop mining but having lived there for a few years I admire the exploitation of what evolution has given us. Light aircraft provide the ability to live in a hostile environment and farm.

If there is any exploitation of what the planet gives us it is mass populations in large cities that do not produce the basics of life. If you cut the power to these places millions would die within a month.Transport,sewage and power would result in anarchy. Cut the power to rural Asia Africa or latin America and life would go on as normal.

Last edited by Mike Flynn; 30th Oct 2022 at 19:06.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 19:26
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That's all very interesting .... but if there is a climate problem it needs to be addressed.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 19:45
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Originally Posted by Romeo Tango View Post
That's all very interesting .... but if there is a climate problem it needs to be addressed.
King Canute tried it and failed.

Most of the consumers of energy live in big cities. They need power for elevators, air con, cooking and sustaining what is an artificial life.

We don’t need the mass consumption that is required for restaurants, high end shops and consumerism.

There is nothing wrong with fossil fuels it’s just the way we use them.
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 19:58
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Wat baten kaars en bril, als den uil niet zien en wil
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Old 30th Oct 2022, 20:22
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Originally Posted by Romeo Tango View Post
Convincing evidence is given on that site. There is lots more. Are you saying that there is no global warning?
Hmmm… OK, yer referenced a flashy web site. So what do they say is the proof of the global warming claims ?




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Old 31st Oct 2022, 00:32
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“…the global temperature is rising…” Well, show me the proof of it.
... Is sort of thread drift. But, in the context of discussion of electric airplanes, and the hope that they will have a small effect in reducing climate change, a little discussion on the drift....

I have, since 2007, been the person who issues the STC approvals the science installations on "Polar 5 & 6"

https://www.awi.de/en/expedition/air...polar-5-6.html

These airplanes are used, in part, to conduct exactly the polar research which provides the evidence of global temperature rising. What's the "proof"? Well, as you can read (paragraph 4) the towed survey bird (a part of the approvals I have issued) measures sea ice thickness. As the earth warms, the oceans warm. As the oceans warm, there is less sea ice. I have had to do additional approvals since 2007, to enable the crews to fly farther and farther to simply get to the ice, to measure its thickness, 'cause it's receding (melting) due to global warming. Glaciers I know are receding, the climate is changing. Whether mankind is the prime cause of global warming is open for discussion, but we certainly don't seem to be helping the situation much! So, electric airplanes, as developed over a long period, will play a small, very small, role in reducing emissions. And, electric airplanes will demonstrate to a skeptical public that aviation is in the game to do our part, as opposed to thumbing our nose at the problem.

Sure, electric planes have limited utility now, but it's not no utility, and what's there is needed. I have a personal interest in this, as I'm also a participant in the certification of Harbour Air's electric DHC-2 Beaver. As electric planes evolve, so will the improvements in batteries. So how about we keep the focus of this thread on being enthusiastic about electric airplane accomplishments....

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