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Electric plane prototype caught fire

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Electric plane prototype caught fire

Old 28th Jan 2020, 10:17
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 13,764
I suspect that anybody who genuinely knows detail about the cause of the accident isn't putting that knowledge in the public domain this quickly.

But, generically the major issue with Lithium battery fire risk is thermal runaway, cause by some problem of battery thermal management. That can be poor storage, physical damage, incorrect charging cycles - there are plenty of opportunities. The phone industry are reasonably mature in their understanding of that, but with the best will in the world, you can't instantly map knowledge applicable to a $10 phone battery to a $200k aeroplane battery array. There will be more accidents like this, hopefully with similar limitations to only property damage and not loss of life, as our communities develop this knowledge.

Onboard lithium fires in carry on devices, incidentally, are recommended (on the back of quite a lot of research by FAA in particular) to be handled with lots of water - so the use of large quantities of water and foam in this case, would seem entirely consistent. Other firefighting compounds are less likely to cool effectively, and the combustion process does not require external oxygen, so simply excluding air doesn't get you very far.

Most expert commentators have considered the various media releases by Eviation about progress on the Alice to be basically exaggeration and hyperbole. It will be interesting to see how those modify in the light of this.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2020, 11:05
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Genghis the Engineer View Post
Most expert commentators have considered the various media releases by Eviation about progress on the Alice to be basically exaggeration and hyperbole. It will be interesting to see how those modify in the light of this.
Was the fire in a hangar?
DaveReidUK is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2020, 15:55
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Only occasionally above FL50
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I reckon the 16l of petrol carried in my self sustaining (turbo) glider would give me a total of about 20,000 feet of climb. From what I hear, electric self launchers would do about 4000 at best. In practice they usually use another form of launching to preserve their battery for getting home when the lift runs out. At low power they will fly a fair distance - certainly enough to get to a landable field, and usually enough to get home. Electric passenger transport is a very different matter!
Andrewgr2 is offline  
Old 28th Jan 2020, 22:36
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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Originally Posted by DaveReidUK View Post
Was the fire in a hangar?
There are photographs and video online which appear to show the fire to be consuming the aeroplane, which is in the middle of an open hard area.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 30th Jan 2020, 18:53
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Warwick
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The 25% efficiency of a 2 stroke self launcher or sustainer is very optimistic, the current crop of jet sustainers are outrageously thirsty.
Agree about electric aviation in general, maybe small recreational or training types, not passenger carrying.
Deltasierra010 is offline  

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