Battery-Powered Plane Completes First Test Flight in Australia

DooKey

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Electro.Aero is working to develop an electric plane that can be used to fly short hops to act as air-taxis in Australia. They recently completed their first test flight and it went off without a hitch. The plane features supercharging tech that allows it to charge quickly and because there's no internal combustion engine it's super quiet. We'll probably see lots of these in the future once they scale the size up a bit. It's perfect for small airports and could cut down on traffic congestion around major airports. Check out the news video below.

Watch the video here.

This plane runs on two lithium-ion batteries, like those in Tesla’s EVs, that can keep it in the air for an hour, with some 30 minutes of extra power in reserve. The batteries can supposedly give the plane 1,000 flying hours in total over their lifetimes. A supercharger based in Jandakot Airport can supply the Alpha Electro with a full charge within about one hour.
 

cageymaru

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I know nothing of flying so please be easy on me. If this plane can have a ballistic parachute as a safety measure in the event of a catastrophe, why don't the planes flying to day use the same technology? Is it because conventional engines are so heavy? Maybe some do; I just don't remember hearing of a small plane crash on the news where they said that a ballistic parachute saved lives.

Thanks for the article Montu . That was a good read and video! I can't wait to see the Redbull stunt version with multiple props and motors. :)
 

sirmonkey1985

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1 hour of flight time for 1 hour of charging.. yeah they have a long ways to go.


I know nothing of flying so please be easy on me. If this plane can have a ballistic parachute as a safety measure in the event of a catastrophe, why don't the planes flying to day use the same technology? Is it because conventional engines are so heavy? Maybe some do; I just don't remember hearing of a small plane crash on the news where they said that a ballistic parachute saved lives.
most personal aircraft were built between 1960-1985 which are full aluminum and not designed to have have an object with as much drag as a parachute pulling from the top of the plane. you're starting to see it being added to newer full carbon fiber planes though which are designed specifically to work with the chute.

but the honest truth is that the vast majority of plane crashes/accidents the chute was never going to save the plane or passengers.
 
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MrDeaf

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If this plane can have a ballistic parachute as a safety measure in the event of a catastrophe, why don't the planes flying to day use the same technology?
The parachute system has been on sale for a long time now, but it's only for smaller aircraft, like Cessnas and Cirrus.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cirrus_Airframe_Parachute_System

I'm not entirely sure if we will ever see such a system for larger commercial jets, due to a multitude of things, like parachute deployment speed vs. min. aircraft stall speed, cords that can withstand the weight of such a heavy aircraft, fuselage integrity strength, etc.
 

Verge

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I know nothing of flying so please be easy on me. If this plane can have a ballistic parachute as a safety measure in the event of a catastrophe, why don't the planes flying to day use the same technology? Is it because conventional engines are so heavy? Maybe some do; I just don't remember hearing of a small plane crash on the news where they said that a ballistic parachute saved lives.

Thanks for the article Montu . That was a good read and video! I can't wait to see the Redbull stunt version with multiple props and motors. :)
Small planes do. It's an accessory you can buy, and it's not cheap. Former walmart CEO crashed one here locally:

http://5newsonline.com/2015/11/03/f...emergency-parachute-landing-on-mlk-boulevard/
 

nysmo

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most personal aircraft were built between 1960-1985 which are full aluminum and not designed to have have an object with as much drag as a parachute pulling from the top of the plane. you're starting to see it being added to newer full carbon fiber planes though which are designed specifically to work with the chute.
Not true, you can add a chute to almost any home built experimental which are most certainly not made of carbon fiber (since who can fab carbon fiber in their garage?). There are load bearing points on any plane to attach to.

The real reason you dont see it is because it's relatively new technology, and any manufacturer is going to want to install it in a precise manner that would require millions of dollars in testing to get "just right", making sure the chute deployment doesnt make the situation worse (like setting the plane on fire or something). They dont necessarily want a chute that blows off the tail cone of a plane and lands nose first in the dirt, whereas a home built plane doesnt really care since the chute is just meant to save your life.

They are starting to crop up on more professionally built planes though.
 

Mohonri

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I know nothing of flying so please be easy on me. If this plane can have a ballistic parachute as a safety measure in the event of a catastrophe, why don't the planes flying to day use the same technology? Is it because conventional engines are so heavy? Maybe some do; I just don't remember hearing of a small plane crash on the news where they said that a ballistic parachute saved lives.
Are you talking about commercial airliners, small private planes, or both? For airliners, safety records are already very good (no loss of life in 2017, woohoo!), and those aircraft are built with lots of redundancy and failovers and such. For an aircraft that size, a parachute system would have to be pretty darn big as well.

For small planes, one major issue is cost. Even a small BRS costs several thousand dollars. They also weigh a bunch, which affects aircraft performance. Also, a large percentage of general aviation accidents happen because of things that happen at low altitude, where a parachute won't have enough time to deploy. Things like engine failure on takeoff, stall near landing, that sort of thing.
 

Flatrock19

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A one hour flight time with a 30 minute reserve seems horribly short. Would that leave enough options to redirect if an airport has to be closed or allow enough time for air traffic control to place them in a holding pattern while they deal with an emergency? It seems too limited for this to be used at a major airport.
 

cageymaru

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Thanks for the answers! I did mean small planes as I could imagine that the chute for a commercial airliner would be huge. I think that the 1 hour flight time is fine for now as they only used two batteries to achieve that milestone. For a larger plane I'd imagine that they could stuff a lot more batteries into the body of the vehicle to add more flight time.

Again thanks for the comments!
 
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The main reason you don't see BRS (chute) systems on FAA Type Certificated production aircraft is the manufacturers don't want to deal with the FAA on having it added to already type certified aircraft. The testing and engineering involved would cost millions. Especially considering the demand for BRS is not great; Cessna, Piper, Beech, etc would not make the investment back on old designs. BRS is not a new technology.

Cirrus has it due to the fact Cirrus started with the BRS in mind from day one. So the engineering and cost to implement the BRS was already built into the development of the aircraft. Same with other newly designed aircraft like the Evolution, Cirrus Vision, and others.

BRS has a few Supplemental Type Certs for Cessna but the cost to get STC's is huge. They have been trying to get more STC's since 2008 but dealing with the FAA is not easy. THe weight and speed of the aircraft isnt a factor since BRS has designs all the way up to Very Light Jet designs (Eclipse, Cessna Mustang).

Back to the battery powered aircraft. Its great for light sports but curious how the battery degrades over time and what it does to flight time. A 1000 hours could take years given how much light sports fly. Would that hour eventually drop to 45 minutes and less and less. Then you are faced with pilots, just like fuel, not actually checking how much range they have when they depart. If you sell the aircraft as having 1.5 hours (1 hour with required 30 minute reserve) it better stay at 1.5 hours for the entire 1000 hour life.
 

Taldren

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So, few things ...
1. The electricity to charge this aircraft still has environmental impact. It just moves that impact somewhere else.
2. Li Ion batteries are NOT green to make.
3. It may be cheaper to fly now due to electric costs, but if demand for electricity increases, so will price.

I will agree that this will have lower maintenance costs and likely be simpler to fly, but a lot of the claims being made are just naive ... or at least a PR stunt.
 

travisty

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So, few things ...
1. The electricity to charge this aircraft still has environmental impact. It just moves that impact somewhere else.
2. Li Ion batteries are NOT green to make.
3. It may be cheaper to fly now due to electric costs, but if demand for electricity increases, so will price.

I will agree that this will have lower maintenance costs and likely be simpler to fly, but a lot of the claims being made are just naive ... or at least a PR stunt.
electricity is an exponential technology. Prices will only go down in the future.

As for moving the pollution elsewhere and other faulty assertions, stop watching faux news.

Edit Adding a video i link later in this thread

 
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Zarathustra[H]

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This is cool and all, but it also brings range anxiety to a whole new level! It's bad enough to be stranded at the side of the road. Running out of power a mile up in the sky has to be a troubling potential.

Sure, plan your route accordingly, but what if you have to go around a storm, or something else...
 

Zarathustra[H]

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So, few things ...
1. The electricity to charge this aircraft still has environmental impact. It just moves that impact somewhere else.
2. Li Ion batteries are NOT green to make.
3. It may be cheaper to fly now due to electric costs, but if demand for electricity increases, so will price.

I will agree that this will have lower maintenance costs and likely be simpler to fly, but a lot of the claims being made are just naive ... or at least a PR stunt.


1.) Even if 100% of the power that is used to charge the batteries is Coal based, it will still be greener than an internal combusion engine. Large scale gas turbine power plants can reach thermal efficiencies well over 70%. Typical ICE thermal efficiencies are not much above 10% on average. That, and very rarely is the power mix 100% coal. Australia has about 17% renewables in their mix.

2.) Manufacturing ANYTHING has an environmental impact, but Lithium Ion batteries aren't terrible in the grand scheme of things. The materials in them are also very recyclable.

3.) Very true. The biggest problem when it comes to electric vehicles (be they on land or in the sky) is going to be electric supply and infrastructure.
 

Taldren

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electricity is an exponential technology. Prices will only go down in the future.

As for moving the pollution elsewhere and other faulty assertions, stop watching faux news.
Where did you come up with that nonsense? You can't just pop up powerplants anywhere and you certainly are limited by infrastructure for transmission and distribution. If the demand for electricity increases the price is going to skyrocket before and sort of correction on the supply side can be made and it will likely never be cheaper when you dismiss something as energy dense as fossil fuels as an option.
 

Taldren

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1.) Even if 100% of the power that is used to charge the batteries is Coal based, it will still be greener than an internal combusion engine. Large scale gas turbine power plants can reach thermal efficiencies well over 70%. Typical ICE thermal efficiencies are not much above 10% on average. That, and very rarely is the power mix 100% coal. Australia has about 17% renewables in their mix.

2.) Manufacturing ANYTHING has an environmental impact, but Lithium Ion batteries aren't terrible in the grand scheme of things. The materials in them are also very recyclable.

3.) Very true. The biggest problem when it comes to electric vehicles (be they on land or in the sky) is going to be electric supply and infrastructure.
1) They make the claim of 0 environmental impact in the video. That is absolutely false. I don't need to compare the impact of each to disprove no impact at all. However, it has been proven over and over again that current fossil fuel vehicles are more "green" than current electric ones due to the toxicity of battery creation/recycling in addition to the energy production emissions over the expected lifespan of the vehicle.

2) In a recent report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program concluded that batteries using nickel and cobalt, like lithium-ion batteries, have the “highest potential for environmental impacts”. It cited negative consequences like mining, global warming, environmental pollution and human health impacts. It is FAAAR from green.

I am not saying that future developments won't change this, but as things currently stand it is hard to take the claims in the video very seriously.
 

Zarathustra[H]

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1) They make the claim of 0 environmental impact in the video. That is absolutely false. I don't need to compare the impact of each to disprove no impact at all. However, it has been proven over and over again that current fossil fuel vehicles are more "green" than current electric ones due to the toxicity of battery creation/recycling in addition to the energy production emissions over the expected lifespan of the vehicle.

2) In a recent report, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for the Environment program concluded that batteries using nickel and cobalt, like lithium-ion batteries, have the “highest potential for environmental impacts”. It cited negative consequences like mining, global warming, environmental pollution and human health impacts. It is FAAAR from green.

I am not saying that future developments won't change this, but as things currently stand it is hard to take the claims in the video very seriously.

I didn't watch the video (can't at work) didn't realize they made the 0 impact claim. Yes, I agree. That claim is patently false.

As far as your other statements, I have only ever seen them in ill researched blogs and conspiracy theory sites in the past. There was that one report years ago stating that a Hummer was more environmentally friendly than a Prius, based largely on the Prius NiCad batteries, which was ripped to tal shreds as complete bunk. The pictures they used in the article showing a moon-like landscape of a supposed Cadmium mine were wildly misleading taking of a historical area from decades ago in Canada, where there had been substantial damage from mining, but had little if anything at all to do with modern mining of the mineral.

Electric vehicles, with today's technology, manufacturing and mining and electrical generation practices improve substantially on the environmental impact of an ICE vehicle. There is no such thing as a zero carbon footprint, but any improvement is a step in the right direction.
 

griffinhart

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I know nothing of flying so please be easy on me. If this plane can have a ballistic parachute as a safety measure in the event of a catastrophe, why don't the planes flying to day use the same technology? Is it because conventional engines are so heavy? Maybe some do; I just don't remember hearing of a small plane crash on the news where they said that a ballistic parachute saved lives.

Thanks for the article Montu . That was a good read and video! I can't wait to see the Redbull stunt version with multiple props and motors. :)
There really just aren't enough fatalities to justify the cost. There are a couple dozen small aircraft fatalities a year in the US and parachutes probably wouldn't help in most cases. Take off and landings are the most dangerous time in flights and are often below 1000 feet. That's not enough altitude for a parachute to deploy.
 

Tsumi

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1 hour of flight time for 1 hour of charging.. yeah they have a long ways to go.
It's not that bad considering the typical turnaround time of these short range flights is in the 30-45 minute range. What is far more concerning to me is the life expectancy of the batteries. Assuming it makes 4 1 hour flights a day (most short range haulers do far more than that), you would only get 250 days of usage before you need to change the battery. That is a huge expense, and I'm not sure that would outweigh the maintenance costs of typical jet engines. Not to mention the environmental impact of going through so many batteries, and whether or not production can keep up.
 
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travisty

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Where did you come up with that nonsense? You can't just pop up powerplants anywhere and you certainly are limited by infrastructure for transmission and distribution. If the demand for electricity increases the price is going to skyrocket before and sort of correction on the supply side can be made and it will likely never be cheaper when you dismiss something as energy dense as fossil fuels as an option.
Can start around 2:20

 

griffinhart

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A one hour flight time with a 30 minute reserve seems horribly short. Would that leave enough options to redirect if an airport has to be closed or allow enough time for air traffic control to place them in a holding pattern while they deal with an emergency? It seems too limited for this to be used at a major airport.
I agree, one hour + 30 isn't enough. Heck, that wouldn't be enough to cover my solo long cross country flight when I was learning to fly. I'm also fairly certain that the 1 hour estimate is not taking into consideration cold weather locations where heaters and super cold air is adding to battery drain.
 

Tsumi

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I agree, one hour + 30 isn't enough. Heck, that wouldn't be enough to cover my solo long cross country flight when I was learning to fly. I'm also fairly certain that the 1 hour estimate is not taking into consideration cold weather locations where heaters and super cold air is adding to battery drain.
Pretty much. Comparing it to the popular Cessna 172, this plane has two less seats, likely a lower cruise speed (not going to dig through the video to find out, Cessna is 140 mph) and much lower range (likely around 100 miles, Cessna is 800 miles). A really long way to go.
 

Mohonri

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1.) Even if 100% of the power that is used to charge the batteries is Coal based, it will still be greener than an internal combusion engine. Large scale gas turbine power plants can reach thermal efficiencies well over 70%. Typical ICE thermal efficiencies are not much above 10% on average. That, and very rarely is the power mix 100% coal. Australia has about 17% renewables in their mix.
I feel I must make a bit of a correction here. Gas turbine power plants and coal-fired power plants are two different things. Gas turbines are (on a basic level) just the core of a jet engine, connected to a generator. A Combined Cycle Gas Turbine plant increases efficiency by taking the hot exhaust from the turbine, and using that exhaust to boil water, which runs through a steam turbine to generate more power. IIRC, a gas turbine by itself can get to 50% efficiency, and the waste heat recovery can push that up to something north of 70%, as you stated. Coal-fired plants are kinda like just the second half of that--they burn coal to boil water into steam, and send that steam through a steam turbine.

It's also worth noting that a coal-fired plant produces more CO2 per kWh than a natural gas-fired plant, simply due to the difference in fuels.
 

Taldren

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I didn't watch the video (can't at work) didn't realize they made the 0 impact claim. Yes, I agree. That claim is patently false.

As far as your other statements, I have only ever seen them in ill researched blogs and conspiracy theory sites in the past. There was that one report years ago stating that a Hummer was more environmentally friendly than a Prius, based largely on the Prius NiCad batteries, which was ripped to tal shreds as complete bunk. The pictures they used in the article showing a moon-like landscape of a supposed Cadmium mine were wildly misleading taking of a historical area from decades ago in Canada, where there had been substantial damage from mining, but had little if anything at all to do with modern mining of the mineral.

Electric vehicles, with today's technology, manufacturing and mining and electrical generation practices improve substantially on the environmental impact of an ICE vehicle. There is no such thing as a zero carbon footprint, but any improvement is a step in the right direction.
I don't consider the recent EPA report a conspiracy theorist day dream :p They actually conducted the report when Tesla wanted to build his new plant and came to some alarming conclusions.
 

Inu

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Solar is only getting more efficient to harvest energy.
Tons of research is going into other form of solar harvesting.

Batteries are getting cheaper and more efficient.

It's just a matter of time before electric just takes over completely.
 

SLee

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Hilarious that they picked Australia, home to some of the most expensive electricity in the world, to test this.

 

travisty

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That's a day dream akin to Solar Powered Roadways, man. The maintenance costs of wind power alone has nearly bankrupt'd Spain and is causing major issues now.
You're stuck in linear thought. Exponential technologies replace linear ones as their cost will become so low that any other previous alternative is basically a joke.


More information on Spanish energy crisis: --- tldr: Spain borrowed too much due to rise in oil prices and is now burdened by debt & incompetent governance

Electricity is produced in power plants, before being channeled into the national grid, from where it is distributed to homes, offices and factories. Each stage in the process increases the cost to the consumer, adding more in the way of taxes, debts, speculation, business interests, and premiums imposed on renewables or cleaner energy sources such as combined cycle plants.

The government says the main problem is the enormous electricity deficit - the difference between the sum paid by electricity companies to power generators and the amount they recoup from their customers. This has occurred as a consequence of subsidies to promote renewables, including high feed-in tariffs to power generators.

Another contributing factor to the deficit problem was a poorly designed policy that kept consumer rates low even as supply costs climbed, so the true costs were never passed on to customers. The electricity companies are now trying to recoup their debt, which makes up around eight percent of Spaniards' electricity bills.

When the current conservative Popular Party government came into office two years ago, it introduced a raft of changes aimed at reforming the electricity sector that included controversial measures such as taxing consumers on fixed costs, as well as encouraging them to be more careful. The reforms were dead in the water. Plans to wipe out the deficit by this year were scuppered when the Economy Ministry withdrew the 3.6 billion euros it had agreed to pay as its part of the debt.

...

The deficit was bearable until 2005 when production costs suddenly soared in the wake of the invasion of Iraq. Matters worsened in 2008 with new premiums on renewables. Various approaches are being tried to repay the debt. The latest has been to issue debt packages on the stock markets. The electricity companies have already been paid, and now it is up to Spaniards to pay the international investment banks who own the debt.

...

Some electricity is produced by wind, some from a dam that was built 70 years ago, and around a third by a power plant using imported gas whose price depends on a wide range of external factors.
https://elpais.com/elpais/2014/01/01/inenglish/1388590410_230748.html
 

HoffY

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electricity is an exponential technology. Prices will only go down in the future.
What fantasy world are you living in? My electricity bill and the reality of privately owned "government utilities" begs to differ.

I think you've got what the exponential part is referring to around the wrong way. Its the consumption that is exponential not the price and certainly not the price to a consumer benefit (i.e. economics of scale don't apply... it goes opposite of getting cheaper the more you use it because the latter reason above).

Now if things were done properly and electricity supply was run by engineers and via a system that allowed true competition... then we'd have lowering prices. But this is rarely the case and most certainly isn't in the real (upside down) world of AUS.

And for another fine abomination of an example... The internet (especially in AUS but you guy sin teh US have a bad situation as well, and one that could be near utopian levels of awesome if it was done by engineers doing what's good for the countries citizens). It should be cheap as chips and faster then your local virgin. But alas bureaucrats (and politicians) will fsk it up to make bank whilst everyone else lets them do it because Useful Idiots.
 
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Garrick

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OK so many are worried about range etc etc etc. This version of the plane is going to be specifically used to fly from "Perth" in WA to Rottenest Island. A 25 minute ferry ride. A distance of around 34km (21 miles) . In the Video it shows the plane traveling at around 145 kph and a range of 280 kms. Think it has more than enough range. A 1 hour flight time should be definitely more than enough safety margin for this situation. Obviously this is all about proving the concept and only actually using it will allow them to move on to bigger things.
 

kju1

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I am a pilot and CFI so I know a little about planes. That being said this is a nice idea but it is no where near ready.


Electro.Aero is working to develop an electric plane that can be used to fly short hops to act as air-taxis in Australia. They recently completed their first test flight and it went off without a hitch. The plane features supercharging tech that allows it to charge quickly and because there's no internal combustion engine it's super quiet. We'll probably see lots of these in the future once they scale the size up a bit. It's perfect for small airports and could cut down on traffic congestion around major airports. Check out the news video below.

Watch the video here.

This plane runs on two lithium-ion batteries, like those in Tesla’s EVs, that can keep it in the air for an hour, with some 30 minutes of extra power in reserve. The batteries can supposedly give the plane 1,000 flying hours in total over their lifetimes. A supercharger based in Jandakot Airport can supply the Alpha Electro with a full charge within about one hour.
This wont do anything to cut down on congestion to major airports. You presume the smaller airports are underutilized because regular planes use avgas or jeta? Thats a false assumption. Many GA pilots fly into smaller airports to avoid the traffic at larger. Many businesses do the same with their jets. Even some of the regionals fly out of the smaller airports on purpose (albeit less today than in the past).

According to the Australian civil aviation authority they need to have 30 minutes of fixed reserve and 15% of variable reserve left to operate it as a charter. Also the thing is only two seats so its not going to do a lot to decrease traffic...in fact its probably gonna make it even worse. Be expensive as hell to ferry someone over also.

And 1,000 hours of flying time? Thats HALF what a typical piston engine lasts from lycoming. Then its about 30k to get the engine replaced...I dont think the batteries will be that "cheap". They would have to be half the cost installed to be worth it because you'll be replacing them every 2 years if this thing flys that much.

I know nothing of flying so please be easy on me. If this plane can have a ballistic parachute as a safety measure in the event of a catastrophe, why don't the planes flying to day use the same technology? Is it because conventional engines are so heavy? Maybe some do; I just don't remember hearing of a small plane crash on the news where they said that a ballistic parachute saved lives.

Thanks for the article Montu . That was a good read and video! I can't wait to see the Redbull stunt version with multiple props and motors. :)
Type certifications, cost, and weight. Oh and the fact that some pilots *really* dont want a BRS systems. They have not just saved lives they have also cost them as well. Its basically a rocket in the back of your plane waiting to fire off and get that chute out. They are only useful in a few circumstances and if they go off at the wrong time it can break the airframe up.

1 hour of flight time for 1 hour of charging.. yeah they have a long ways to go.

most personal aircraft were built between 1960-1985 which are full aluminum and not designed to have have an object with as much drag as a parachute pulling from the top of the plane. you're starting to see it being added to newer full carbon fiber planes though which are designed specifically to work with the chute.

but the honest truth is that the vast majority of plane crashes/accidents the chute was never going to save the plane or passengers.
On your aluminum comment: Nope, thats just plain wrong. They just havent been certified for that until recently. Most C-172 and C-182 from mid 1960s onwards may now have them installed: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media...nounces-cessna-parachute-installation-network

Onto accidents/crashes: This is a common misconception. In Part 121 accidents (think airlines) since 1983 more than 95% of the passengers have survived. The "big" ones that kill everyone on board receive out sized media coverage. In GA accidents the rates are comparable but I couldnt find their report on it this morning so heres the FAA release on accident rate which includes fatalities.

2001-05 Baseline: 184 accidents, 29 fatal accidents, 55 fatalities
2013: 146 accidents, 30 fatal accidents, 62 fatalities
2014: 138 accidents, 21 fatal accidents, 37 fatalities
2015: 121 accidents, 17 fatal accidents, 28 fatalities
2016: 108 accidents, 17 fatal accidents, 29 fatalities
(41% decrease in accidents)

U.S. Accident Rate (per 100,000 flight hours)
2001-05 Baseline: 7.97 accident rate, 1.27 fatal accident rate, 2.36 fatality rate
2013: 4.95 accident rate, 1.02 fatal accident rate, 2.10 fatality rate
2014: 4.26 accident rate, 0.65 fatal accident rate, 1.14 fatality rate
2015: 3.67 accident rate, 0.52 fatal accident rate, 0.85 fatality rate
2016: 3.45 accident rate, 0.54 fatal accident rate, 0.93 fatality rate
(57% decrease in accident rate)

For small planes, one major issue is cost. Even a small BRS costs several thousand dollars. They also weigh a bunch, which affects aircraft performance. Also, a large percentage of general aviation accidents happen because of things that happen at low altitude, where a parachute won't have enough time to deploy. Things like engine failure on takeoff, stall near landing, that sort of thing.
Agree with your point on cost, weight etc. Now onto the safety issue: Not true. BRS was designed to actually do exactly that - in fact you only need 260 feet for the system to save you. Here are two accidents where a BRS system saved someone at low altitude.

https://www.flyingmag.com/news/another-brs-save-time-cessna
https://app.ntsb.gov/pdfgenerator/R...tID=20141023X01333&AKey=1&RType=HTML&IType=FA

An engine failure on take off, even in a single, doesnt result in a crash unless the pilot errors. Yes the plane comes down, usually right back onto the runway or into the trees/field at the end of the runway. Easily survivable more than 80% of the time. Take a look at this guy here who lost his engine on take off at Tipton airport. https://patch.com/maryland/odenton/engine-problem-led-fort-meade-plane-crash-investigators And this one here at Annapolis...he landed on a road. https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...f60b5a6c4a0_story.html?utm_term=.8f469c0daf8f
 
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J-Will

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Joined
Jan 10, 2009
Messages
1,724
This does not excite me: the charging time and flight times make it inconvenient. I would have liked to see solar panels on the wings, so long as they are efficient enough to extend flight time.
I do not see this replacing cars to ease traffic congestion because you still need an airport to takeoff/ land.

I think the real thing in aviation that could change the way we commute will be VTOL- basically drones for humans. VTOL would eliminate the need for airports in the case of daily commutes and have been working on increased battery range using current technology.
 

travisty

Gawd
Joined
Feb 3, 2016
Messages
815
What fantasy world are you living in? My electricity bill and the reality of privately owned "government utilities" begs to differ.

I think you've got what the exponential part is referring to around the wrong way. Its the consumption that is exponential not the price and certainly not the price to a consumer benefit (i.e. economics of scale don't apply... it goes opposite of getting cheaper the more you use it because the latter reason above).

Now if things were done properly and electricity supply was run by engineers and via a system that allowed true competition... then we'd have lowering prices. But this is rarely the case and most certainly isn't in the real (upside down) world of AUS.

And for another fine abomination of an example... The internet (especially in AUS but you guy sin teh US have a bad situation as well, and one that could be near utopian levels of awesome if it was done by engineers doing what's good for the countries citizens). It should be cheap as chips and faster then your local virgin. But alas bureaucrats (and politicians) will fsk it up to make bank whilst everyone else lets them do it because Useful Idiots.
please watch the video to better understand how exponential technologies work - quick answer, yes the price drops exponentially

if this is not happening for you (on the production side) then choose a better place to live that's not corrupt. I live in an area where the government owns the power and internet (via a nonprofit local company) which is called a home rule municipality - https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Municipal_home_rule

My electric bill is half the average US rate (7 cents pet kW) and $50 per month for 1 gig up/down fiber internet w/ no caps.
https://www.longmontcolorado.gov/home

If your electricity prices are going up in the future hold your leaders accountable
 
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westrock2000

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
9,169
I think we are very close to the revolution. Electric motors are at a good place. Battery tech is acceptable.

But we really need is a small generator to bring this all together.

If we had a small form factor generator that could produce a lot of energy in a small, safe package, then we would be set. Something like a personal nuclear reactor. It could toggle off an on, charging up the battery which acts as a capacitor to offer smooth discharge to the motor. Then you would not have the ridiculous range anxiety of the battery.

I think that the goal of creating batteries with massive storage may not be the right goal right now. We need to come up with something that CREATES power in a small package. Taking an energy source that starts very small and expanding it, and using the battery to contain that expansion.

Think of it right now. We store energy in gasoline. And internal combustion motor expands that energy and it gets applied to the wheels in real time. 1 gallon of gas can give 30-40 miles of distance. But we can't save any of that energy (KERS is not a consumer product yet). With an electric system we could store energy in a small nuclear plant (or something functionally similar). expand it with a reactor and then save nearly all of it to a battery. Then use the energy as needed. I see this as the solution to the problem. Having wires embedded in the roads, I don't think is practical enough a solution.
 

Mohonri

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
5,748
I think we are very close to the revolution. Electric motors are at a good place. Battery tech is acceptable.

But we really need is a small generator to bring this all together.

If we had a small form factor generator that could produce a lot of energy in a small, safe package, then we would be set. Something like a personal nuclear reactor. It could toggle off an on, charging up the battery which acts as a capacitor to offer smooth discharge to the motor. Then you would not have the ridiculous range anxiety of the battery.

I think that the goal of creating batteries with massive storage may not be the right goal right now. We need to come up with something that CREATES power in a small package. Taking an energy source that starts very small and expanding it, and using the battery to contain that expansion.

Think of it right now. We store energy in gasoline. And internal combustion motor expands that energy and it gets applied to the wheels in real time. 1 gallon of gas can give 30-40 miles of distance. But we can't save any of that energy (KERS is not a consumer product yet). With an electric system we could store energy in a small nuclear plant (or something functionally similar). expand it with a reactor and then save nearly all of it to a battery. Then use the energy as needed. I see this as the solution to the problem. Having wires embedded in the roads, I don't think is practical enough a solution.
I'm not sure where to start with this one. Let's assume you're talking about a "series hybrid," where a gasoline generator charges batteries, which then power a motor and a propeller. The problem is that now instead of just having an engine and a propeller, you now have added a hefty generator, a battery bank, and a hefty electric motor. In aviation, weight is an enemy to be minimized. There's also a strong preference for simplicity, which is why air-cooled, horizontally-opposed, carbureted engines with magnetos are still so popular, even with decades of reliable water-cooled, fuel-injected, electronically-controlled-ignition engines on the market. In addition, after takeoff, airplanes generally operate a relatively constant power levels, at which point any sort of hybrid system becomes completely useless. I suppose you *could* design an aircraft engine with an electric motor and battery bank, so you could have a smaller/lighter/more efficient engine for cruise and use the electrics for takeoff/climb. But the weight of the motor and battery would likely offset the weight you might shave off the gasoline engine.
 

westrock2000

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 3, 2005
Messages
9,169
I'm not sure where to start with this one. Let's assume you're talking about a "series hybrid," where a gasoline generator charges batteries, which then power a motor and a propeller. The problem is that now instead of just having an engine and a propeller, you now have added a hefty generator, a battery bank, and a hefty electric motor. In aviation, weight is an enemy to be minimized. There's also a strong preference for simplicity, which is why air-cooled, horizontally-opposed, carbureted engines with magnetos are still so popular, even with decades of reliable water-cooled, fuel-injected, electronically-controlled-ignition engines on the market. In addition, after takeoff, airplanes generally operate a relatively constant power levels, at which point any sort of hybrid system becomes completely useless. I suppose you *could* design an aircraft engine with an electric motor and battery bank, so you could have a smaller/lighter/more efficient engine for cruise and use the electrics for takeoff/climb. But the weight of the motor and battery would likely offset the weight you might shave off the gasoline engine.
My post was not specifically about aircraft, just about propulsion in general. I did not mention the gasoline generator, but I understand your perspective.
 

kju1

2[H]4U
Joined
Mar 27, 2002
Messages
3,058
I'm not sure where to start with this one. Let's assume you're talking about a "series hybrid," where a gasoline generator charges batteries, which then power a motor and a propeller. The problem is that now instead of just having an engine and a propeller, you now have added a hefty generator, a battery bank, and a hefty electric motor. In aviation, weight is an enemy to be minimized. There's also a strong preference for simplicity, which is why air-cooled, horizontally-opposed, carbureted engines with magnetos are still so popular, even with decades of reliable water-cooled, fuel-injected, electronically-controlled-ignition engines on the market. In addition, after takeoff, airplanes generally operate a relatively constant power levels, at which point any sort of hybrid system becomes completely useless. I suppose you *could* design an aircraft engine with an electric motor and battery bank, so you could have a smaller/lighter/more efficient engine for cruise and use the electrics for takeoff/climb. But the weight of the motor and battery would likely offset the weight you might shave off the gasoline engine.

Dont forget the gas - avgas weighs 6lbs per gallon. Some aircraft can take off heavier than they are structurally capable of landing because they know they will burn fuel during taxi and cruise. With electric engines thats not possible.

Also a lot of times we fly with less than full fuel so we can use the weight savings to carry more people. For example 95% of the time I fly a Piper Arrow I fly with 50% fuel - hard to do that with a battery.

Weight and balance is calculated every flight...
 
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