Electric aviation? (23 Nov, 2021)

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Electric aviation? (23 Nov, 2021)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Nov 23, 2021 7:19 am

This column is archived at: https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2021/1123.shtml

Rolls Royce may have just set a new aviation speed record with their electric plane but although EVs are filling our roads it will be a long time before electric aircraft fill our skies.

Oh yes, it will happen... but in the meantime it's the model aircraft hobbyists that continue to lead the way with their electrification efforts.

So sad that this is a hobby which is seeing significant decline due to over-regulation, age-restriction and other hurdles. I would not be surprised if the aviation industry discovers pretty soon that without this hobby to instil a passion for flying in the hearts of new generations, there will be a dearth of engineers, pilots and clever people to further the technologies of full-sized flying.
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Re: Electric aviation? (23 Nov, 2021)

Postby phord » Tue Nov 23, 2021 10:38 am

The much needed energy density of Lithium-Sulfur Batteries seems like a long way off:

How Far Away Are Lithium-Sulfur Batteries From Commercialization?
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Re: Electric aviation? (23 Nov, 2021)

Postby hagfish » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:26 pm

Perhaps if electro/chemistry is running out of ideas, it could become a problem for materials science. If we could develop a tough, cheap, extremely strong pressure vessel, we could run vehicles on compressed air. It can already be very energy dense. There's heating/cooling to deal with, but I'm sure our magical graphene-weave cylinders will be able to handle it.
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Re: Electric aviation? (23 Nov, 2021)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:35 pm

If you're going to compress a gas, why not hydrogen. You can then extract not only the potential energy produced by the pressure but also the extra chemical energy that comes from then using the gas in a fuel-cell or by way of its combustion?

Compressed air is not as good an energy storage solution as its proponents might suggest :-)
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Re: Electric aviation? (23 Nov, 2021)

Postby paulw » Tue Nov 23, 2021 2:40 pm

Something from the past may be a temporary answer to the large intercontinental aircraft. An Airship with solar panels on top charging up a set of batteries driving say 4 or 6 electric props.
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Re: Electric aviation? (23 Nov, 2021)

Postby phill » Tue Nov 23, 2021 3:10 pm

cant see the must now gen accepting <100 knots as an acceptable air travel speed
for me it would be preferable to the air bus but then a ship .. motor or sail .. would be even higher on my preferable list as well
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )

i might live and eat in a sewer .. but hey look how many of these shiny things i have got
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Re: Electric aviation? (23 Nov, 2021)

Postby Kiwiiano » Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:26 pm

Things are moving fast…try https://www.ottoaviation.com/ Apparently its fuel consumption is roughly equivalent to a large SUV, which is waaay less than the typical corporate jet. It’s not competing with the cattle-class jets but, hey! We have to get used to radical changes in life style expectations.
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Re: Electric aviation? (23 Nov, 2021)

Postby aardvark_admin » Tue Nov 23, 2021 6:49 pm

Laminar flow is a *tricky* thing... just ask Bert Rutan and the issues it caused with the early canards that he built. There are good reasons that it's not often used as a way of reducing drag in most aircraft.
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