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armagnac2010
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First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:08 pm

The EASA certified yesterday the Pipistrel Velis Electro. This is the first fully electrical aircraft in the world to get a full Type Certificate. Of course, not yet fit for commercial operations, but a huge step forward.

Congratulations to Pipistrel and to EASA!

Image

https://www.suasnews.com/2020/06/pipistrel-obtains-first-ever-type-certificate-in-the-world-for-an-electric-aeroplane-from-easa/
 
DoctorVenkman
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:44 pm

Nothing in the article mentions flight time, range and/or speed. How long can this bird fly?
 
arcticcruiser
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:00 pm

DoctorVenkman wrote:
Nothing in the article mentions flight time, range and/or speed. How long can this bird fly?


About a 120 feet...
 
concordeforever
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:17 pm

arcticcruiser wrote:
DoctorVenkman wrote:
Nothing in the article mentions flight time, range and/or speed. How long can this bird fly?


About a 120 feet...

[list=][/list]

Well, if the accompanying photo is anything to go by, then a little higher or further than that....
 
Jalap
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:18 pm

DoctorVenkman wrote:
Nothing in the article mentions flight time, range and/or speed. How long can this bird fly?

60 minutes...

More specs:
https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/airc ... /#tab-id-2
 
PlymSpotter
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:20 pm

DoctorVenkman wrote:
Nothing in the article mentions flight time, range and/or speed. How long can this bird fly?


Around 50 minutes, plus standard reserves.

For a first production model, that's not bad.
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Draken21fx
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:38 pm

It will be a hit with all the flying schools out there and it will drop the costs I guess.

I know it is far fetched but do we know the minimum charging times from 0% to 100%.

Edit: To reply my question on the max charger of 20 kW a bit more than 1h to fully charge them.
Last edited by Draken21fx on Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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armagnac2010
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 4:39 pm

What is also interesting is the projects listed in the manufacturer correspondig press release:

"Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, the company’s R&D division, holds an EASA Design Organisation Approval and has the capability of bringing a new aircraft design concept from a basic idea into a certified design, ready for production. The division is also developing electric and hybrid-electric eVTOL air taxi and unmanned cargo delivery UAVs, as well as a hydrogen fuel-cell powered 19-seat miniliner/microfeeder, aimed at revolutionising the intra-European transport market."

It clearly shows hydrogen, electric and hybrid electric solutions are complementary. Beyond that, it is likely the regional feeder market might significantly evolve, with smaller aircraft, increasing both frequencies and destinations. This will also be enabled by the potential of electrical propulsion to allow vertical or at least STOL operations.
 
jetmatt777
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:04 pm

My main concern is true battery life. Anyone who has any kind of battery powered electronic device can tell you that sometimes 20% battery left doesn't quite always mean that. Certainly, this battery is more advanced than my iPhone, but my phone has died at 20% before.
arcticcruiser wrote:

About a 120 feet...


Not bad considering the first internal combustion engine airplane flew about 120 feet.
 
DoctorVenkman
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:32 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
My main concern is true battery life. Anyone who has any kind of battery powered electronic device can tell you that sometimes 20% battery left doesn't quite always mean that. Certainly, this battery is more advanced than my iPhone, but my phone has died at 20% before.


Lithium ion battery tech has come a long way. I own an electric car and the batteries are very stable - I would trust it down to the last percent. I'd imagine this aircraft uses similar tech to BEV's and should have nothing to worry about in terms of suddenly dying. Even battery degradation has been improved significantly - my vehicle has only lost about 3% capacity after 2 years and 30,000 miles of driving.

The major downside is of course energy density which will never be as good as petroleum based fuels, but that is improving at a steady clip and is partially offset by a much higher efficiency of getting energy to the motor. I'm not sure what the figures are for propellers, but in cars an electric vehicle is about 80% efficient in getting energy from the battery to the wheels, while an internal combustion engine is only about 20% efficient in getting energy from gasoline to the wheels. I'd imagine for propellers electric motors have a similar advantage.
 
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 6:39 pm

DoctorVenkman wrote:
Lithium ion battery tech has come a long way. I own an electric car and the batteries are very stable - I would trust it down to the last percent. I'd imagine this aircraft uses similar tech to BEV's and should have nothing to worry about in terms of suddenly dying. Even battery degradation has been improved significantly - my vehicle has only lost about 3% capacity after 2 years and 30,000 miles of driving.


That is superb performance.
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jetmatt777
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:06 pm

PlymSpotter wrote:
DoctorVenkman wrote:
Lithium ion battery tech has come a long way. I own an electric car and the batteries are very stable - I would trust it down to the last percent. I'd imagine this aircraft uses similar tech to BEV's and should have nothing to worry about in terms of suddenly dying. Even battery degradation has been improved significantly - my vehicle has only lost about 3% capacity after 2 years and 30,000 miles of driving.


That is superb performance.


Indeed. This is a new era for aviation, there will no doubt be some failures and unfortunately casualties as the technology develops. But aviation is built on learning from mistakes. Unfortunately electric will come under greater scrutiny for political reasons, but it's important to keep it in perspective of all of the other technologies aviation has pioneered and the failures that came with.
 
peterinlisbon
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:24 pm

I've seen some videos about this aircraft on Youtube. It has swappable batteries, so whilst the plane is flying the other batteries are charging. For a plane that is used to practice takeoffs and landings etc. 1 hour is acceptable, although 2-3 hours would be a lot better. When they get to that point I think it would be possible for commercial aircraft to fly with passengers on some shorter routes.

Apart from the cost advantage, it also has the benefit of making almost no noise at all.
 
rampbro
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:20 pm

"People will never fly in the air"
"Large groups of people will never fly from point to point"
"Electric cars will never go mainstream"

...and on it goes....
 
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:28 pm

Draken21fx wrote:
It will be a hit with all the flying schools out there and it will drop the costs I guess.

I know it is far fetched but do we know the minimum charging times from 0% to 100%.

Edit: To reply my question on the max charger of 20 kW a bit more than 1h to fully charge them.

I suspect the 2nd model will have an easy change battery pack. Land, swap batteries, and fly.

For larger flying schools, having one or two batteries charging while one is flying would be an incredible cost savings.

Lightsaber

Ps late edit, I missed it already has swappable batteries. More range! It needs 500nm+ range for US commercial service.
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 8:58 pm

Yeah 60dBa is impressive, I always thought the propeller did a lot of the noise, but I guess not.

Starting with a trainer makes a lot of sense, now I'm waiting to see what they can do with the Panthera.

For each amount of battery you add you need more airplane to carry it, more engine power, etc., so it's a fine balance.
New Technology is the name we give to stuff that doesn't work yet. Douglas Adams
 
Dominion301
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Thu Jun 11, 2020 11:34 pm

Aesma wrote:
Yeah 60dBa is impressive, I always thought the propeller did a lot of the noise, but I guess not.

Starting with a trainer makes a lot of sense, now I'm waiting to see what they can do with the Panthera.

For each amount of battery you add you need more airplane to carry it, more engine power, etc., so it's a fine balance.


This is awesome. I remember reading that on electric aircraft, most of the noise is the propeller.

So we now have this, an electric Cessna (Grand?) Caravan and Harbour Air getting ready to be the world’s first electric airline. Progress! Think of where we’ll be in 30 years.
 
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:43 am

It has two batteries, coupled in parallel, each one with capacity 11 kWh, total 22 kWh. One battery in front, and one behind the cabin, for balance reasons. Each battery will be roughly 120 - 150 lb.

22 kWh, assuming 100% engine efficiency, means roughly 30 HP power for one hour. So when they claim one hour endurance, then it will have to be a very slow flight.

The same amount of energy - 22 kWh - could be produced by two US gallons of gasoline in a good gasoline engine. So you will have to fly a lot to save a meaningful amount of gasoline.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
bkmbr
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:00 am

This engine on a motor glider would be a very interesting plane.
 
ABpositive
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:36 am

lightsaber wrote:
Draken21fx wrote:
Ps late edit, I missed it already has swappable batteries. More range! It needs 500nm+ range for US commercial service.


A whole new dimension to inflight refueling...
Image
 
Stickpusher
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:06 am

arcticcruiser wrote:
DoctorVenkman wrote:
Nothing in the article mentions flight time, range and/or speed. How long can this bird fly?


About a 120 feet...


They doubled the range by getting a longer electrical cord from a DIY place. Mind you, once that had been certified for aviation use it was 5000x the price.

But seriously, we only make progress by taking steps. This is much more significant than it might look.
 
ethernal
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 11:53 am

DoctorVenkman wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
My main concern is true battery life. Anyone who has any kind of battery powered electronic device can tell you that sometimes 20% battery left doesn't quite always mean that. Certainly, this battery is more advanced than my iPhone, but my phone has died at 20% before.


Lithium ion battery tech has come a long way. I own an electric car and the batteries are very stable - I would trust it down to the last percent. I'd imagine this aircraft uses similar tech to BEV's and should have nothing to worry about in terms of suddenly dying. Even battery degradation has been improved significantly - my vehicle has only lost about 3% capacity after 2 years and 30,000 miles of driving.

The major downside is of course energy density which will never be as good as petroleum based fuels, but that is improving at a steady clip and is partially offset by a much higher efficiency of getting energy to the motor. I'm not sure what the figures are for propellers, but in cars an electric vehicle is about 80% efficient in getting energy from the battery to the wheels, while an internal combustion engine is only about 20% efficient in getting energy from gasoline to the wheels. I'd imagine for propellers electric motors have a similar advantage.


Lithium-ion tech has come a long way for sure, but the underlying challenges with cell degradation from thermal and electric (voltage) stress remain and haven't changed that much. There are chemistry differences that make things better but the real difference between the battery in someone's iPhone and the battery in a Tesla (or pick your electric car manufacturing) is managed thermals and limited depth of charge. Li-on batteries are very durable when (a) they don't get too hot and (b) they are kept in their optimal voltage range.

Smartphone manufacturers don't have much of an incentive to drive durability: cell phone reviews never test durability, and everyone wants a slim, long-lasting phone when they first buy it... So they treat the batteries like dirt - they allow it to reach low voltages (not great and causes some cell damage) and high voltages (very bad and damages cells a LOT). Some modern phones have started to do a bit more with thermal protection, but broadly phones will keep charging your device even if you have it plugged outside and in the sun - with battery temps reaching 120+ degrees Fahrenheit.

Your 3000 mah battery in your phone would only be rated as a 2400 mah battery (or even less) in a Tesla. Tesla's batteries COULD hold more if they forced them to.. at the expense of significantly shorter life. In essence, relative to a cell phone battery, the Tesla says - more or less - "sorry, I'm only going to let you charge from 15% to 85%... the remaining 30% is not going to be used to extend the life of a battery." A Li-on battery charged kept between 3.6 and 4.1 will be 5x+ more durable in terms of total watt-hours delivered than one that cycles between 3.4 to 4.3 (illustrative voltages.. different li-on chemistries have different cell-level voltages, and of course the voltage output of the battery pack as a whole can be stepped up / down as needed by running them in series and - worst case - with a transformer but that is different than optimal cell-level voltage).

Image

The other variable is thermal management. Doesn't exist at all in cell phones, other than some cell phones finally starting to reduce charge voltage or stop charging if the battery gets too hot. This was the death knell of the first-generation Nissan Leaf. It had virtually no thermal management and batteries died fast despite babying the voltages. Most modern electric vehicles (surprisingly still not the Leaf.. but they've gotten better with more fans at least) have liquid cooling. I assume this plane doesn't have liquid cooling (too heavy) but probably has very generous air cooling (made easy by.. flying in the air).

Either way, point is, I wouldn't worry about it. These batteries will be fine. They're engineered to do what they need to do - which is different than a smartphone use case. The reason why your iPhone shut down at 20% charge is because smartphones have highly variable power demands. Apple fixed this by throttling the CPU if it doesn't believe the battery can handle the increased power draw at lower voltages (of course then everyone complained but that's a separate issue).
 
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:39 pm

This is great news and a big milestone. Congratulations.

Evolution will move forward. This isn't perfect yet but ... it will improve. Lets see where we are after 10 or 30 years.
 
Sokes
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:04 pm

ethernal wrote:
I assume this plane doesn't have liquid cooling (too heavy) but probably has very generous air cooling (made easy by.. flying in the air).

"The power is delivered by 345 VDC electric system built around a liquid-cooled in-house developed high performance battery system, which includes two Pipistrel PB345V124E-L batteries connected in parallel, installed in a redundant 2-unit arrangement, total nominal capacity 24.8 kWh. Crashworthy, thermal runway inhibiting, HIRF/EMI tolerant."
source: https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/airc ... o-easa-tc/

My wife argues with me to remove the mobile from the charger when charged. I argue the charger can't just keep charging, it will cut of. Is she right?
IIRC Li-ion batteries should be cycled between 30-80%. Is this wrong or outdated? Did they find some new materials?
You say Apple allows discharge to 20%. Do all mobiles stop at 20% remaining capacity? Do mobile chargers charge to 100%?

I enjoyed your post. Very informative.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
ethernal
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:43 pm

Sokes wrote:
ethernal wrote:
I assume this plane doesn't have liquid cooling (too heavy) but probably has very generous air cooling (made easy by.. flying in the air).

"The power is delivered by 345 VDC electric system built around a liquid-cooled in-house developed high performance battery system, which includes two Pipistrel PB345V124E-L batteries connected in parallel, installed in a redundant 2-unit arrangement, total nominal capacity 24.8 kWh. Crashworthy, thermal runway inhibiting, HIRF/EMI tolerant."
source: https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/airc ... o-easa-tc/


Nice!

My wife argues with me to remove the mobile from the charger when charged. I argue the charger can't just keep charging, it will cut of. Is she right?


She used to be right, you're right now. Not so much because the charger won't stop charging - it will (otherwise the battery would literally explode). The issue is that historically cell phones were really, really stupid when it came to charging. It would charge to 100%, and then slowly drain (typically it will run off the wired power but batteries lose power over time), and then boom, it's at 99%. The phone then says "Hey! Look! I can charge again" and go from 99->100% again. In short, it would always try to charge the phone to 100%. The issue is that this is exactly the voltage range you don't want to be in - going from 99%->100% does as much damage to the cells as going from 40-60%. So by leaving it plugged in you were adding wear and tear for virtually no benefit.

The good news is that phones in the past several years stopped being really dumb. Now they will stop charging when they hit 100% and let it drain without recharging until it gets relatively low - like 90%. A lot of phones mask this behavior from users (it will pretend it is 100% as long as it is plugged in even if it has started to discharge) but this is pretty universal in both Android and iPhones now. Short answer is, she was right several years ago but you're right now assuming your phone is relatively new.



IIRC Li-ion batteries should be cycled between 30-80%. Is this wrong or outdated? Did they find some new materials?


It's still right - sort of. If you want to maximize your phone battery's life, then yes, charging between that range will extend the life. You can extend the lower range down to 10-15% without much issue* - it's really the higher end state of charges above 80% that typically do the most damage. That said, how much of your life do you want to spend worrying about your phone battery? Assuming you aren't a power user, even if you charge batteries to 100%, it will probably last you for 2-3 years or so without major degradation. If you plan on keeping your phone longer than that, then either think about babying your battery or prepare to get it replaced.

* Li-ion cells will permanently fail if their voltage goes below a certain level, but a built-in logic controller prevents this from happening. It will stop providing any output power long before it reaches this state - your phone's 0% is safely above this minimum threshold. That said, if you plan to store your li-ion batteries for a long time without charging, you should store them at a 40% or so state of charge - if you store them at 0% charge, the battery may self-discharge to such an extent that it reaches that lower voltage limit and the cells are permanently destroyed.

You say Apple allows discharge to 20%. Do all mobiles stop at 20% remaining capacity? Do mobile chargers charge to 100%?


Apple sets a charge range for its batteries that is just a certain voltage. 0% = X voltage, 100% = Y voltage (more or less). So it's wrong to say that 'Apple allows you to discharge to 20%'. From a user perspective, you get to use 100% of that 3000 milli-amp hour battery. Apple decides how much stress they are willing to put the cell through. They could take that 3000 mah battery and instantly turn it into a 3500 mah battery by allowing it to go up to 4.5 volts instead of 4.2. The issue is that it would probably only last 10 cycles before it lost half its capacity. So they don't do that.

My 20% comment was oriented around the fact that people's phones had issues with turning off at 20%. This isn't by design. Batteries are not just about how much energy they store - it's also about how much energy they can release at one time (how many watts?). Some battery chemistries have good energy storage characteristics but very slow power characteristics, whereas others are the opposite: as an extreme example - capacitors (which aren't chemical batteries but still energy stores) can release tons of power quickly - but don't store a lot of energy. It could power a 100W lightbulb - but only for a fraction of a second. A phone battery, on the other hand, could never power a 100W lightbulb.. but it would power a 1 Watt lightbulb for a pretty long time (3000 mah @ 4 volts = 12-watt hours.. so it would power a 1 watt lightbulb for 12 hours). It can't power a 100W lightbulb because it literally can't output 100 watts at a time - even though in terms of the energy stored it has "enough" to light it for more than 5 minutes. It just can't because the chemistry can't release power that quickly.

The issue is that the rate at which a battery can release energy doesn't just depend on how big the battery is, but also its state of charge. An iPhone may use as few as 30 milliwatts when it is "sleeping", but it can ramp up to 5W under heavy load - when the processor ramps up, when the antenna is emitting, and so on. 5W on a brand new battery at 50% state of charge? 5 watts is no problem. Easy peazy. The issue is that when you lower the state of charge (i.e., the voltage), the amount of power it can release at any one time goes down. When the battery is new, even at 20%, it can output 5W. But once it's old and the capacity is reduced.. all of the sudden, at peak demand, the battery literally can't output enough power. The phone tries to throttle up the CPU and the battery tries to give it juice, but the battery can't. The transistors on the chip suddenly can't operate because of voltage droop and.. the phone shuts down.

This is what I meant by the 20% issue. Old battery at lower state of charge can't output enough power to feed "peak" demand. So even though the battery still has energy stored in it to keep the phone running for a while, it can't physically output enough power at peak which causes it to turn off. You can even turn the phone back on and it will work fine (assuming the boot sequence doesn't create the same power draw circumstances) - but as soon as you put the phone under high load again, it will shut down again.

Apple fixed this by adding logic to their phones that said "Hey.. if it looks like the battery is degraded, I need to to make sure that I operate the phone in a reduced max power state. I'll keep the CPU and other logic chips throttled to a lower frequency to make sure I stay below the power limit I think this battery can output." The upside: the phone stays on and happily draws down to 0%. The downside: the phone may be slower or sluggish because the CPU can't throttle up in response to demand. It's a lose-lose for the phone manufacturer as people will complain either way. Me? I'd personally prefer the phone not to crash and run a bit slower. :)


I enjoyed your post. Very informative.


Glad you enjoyed it - batteries are awesome! They'll never be good enough for long-haul flying (biofuels will have to do for that) because there are just physical limits to the energy density we're going to be able to get chemical batteries at but I'm definitely excited to see how ultra-short-haul flying evolves with battery tech over the coming decades.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:58 pm

From the Wright brother's flight to the first swept wing, multi jet engines hung on pod below wings was only 43 years. (final design of B47). It is time for a change! First significant planes threatening regionals will be less than 100 miles, half a dozen passengers. Question will be what is the doubling time to 100 passengers and 500 miles.
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ethernal
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:09 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
From the Wright brother's flight to the first swept wing, multi jet engines hung on pod below wings was only 43 years. (final design of B47). It is time for a change! First significant planes threatening regionals will be less than 100 miles, half a dozen passengers. Question will be what is the doubling time to 100 passengers and 500 miles.


That's really an economic question rather than a technical one. I am confident we have the technology to create a 500-ish mile range 100 passenger electric plane today if we wanted to. Once you start getting ranges longer than that, you'd start to run into real technology/engineering problems (the plane would just be too heavy - the whole plane would just have to be one big battery with a propeller on the front.. maybe you could store a bag or two on top).

The issue is that there isn't enough of a value proposition to do so. Turboprops and jets are cheap, plentiful, and already in production. And, in a cruel irony, the place where fuel prices matter the most - long haul - is where electric is impossible. Fuel costs are a small fraction of short-haul flying costs, so the value of electric (lower fuel costs) is lessened. There are other benefits of course (e.g., likely less maintenance) but they pale into comparison to the cost of building a new plane on a new technology for relatively niche use case without a high return. At this point you'd be trading a slight reduction in operating costs for a massive increase in acquisition costs. Not going to happen.

The only way we see a plane in that mold soon would likely be driven from regulatory pressure (e.g., if the EU decided to essentially ban fossil-fuel based short-haul flights in favor of rail/ground transit).
 
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:35 pm

Until someone develops a battery with comparable energy density to jet fuel commercial electric planes are going nowhere. And even equal energy density will not do the trick; conventionally fueled aircraft get lighter as they burn fuel, but electric ones do not. On top of that electric planes are only carrying stored energy; that electricity still has to be generated, and generating, transmitting, and storing electricity is pretty inefficient. And the whole impetus for doing it is a hoax anyway, but that is another topic for another forum.
The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
 
ethernal
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:45 pm

SEPilot wrote:
Until someone develops a battery with comparable energy density to jet fuel commercial electric planes are going nowhere. And even equal energy density will not do the trick; conventionally fueled aircraft get lighter as they burn fuel, but electric ones do not. On top of that electric planes are only carrying stored energy; that electricity still has to be generated, and generating, transmitting, and storing electricity is pretty inefficient.


Of course it can't be used for long-haul; the question is on short haul. There will never be a chemical battery with the energy density of jet fuel because of physics. That said, you're wrong on the energy density requirements (especially on short haul). We're still a ways off before it is economical to build a commercial passenger electric plane, but the propulsive efficiency of a turbofan is only around 70% whereas battery-powered planes it's more like 90%. So, on a short-haul basis, the fuel burnoff is far outweighed by the relative propulsive efficiency of batteries. That said, the energy density is still off by nearly two orders of magnitude so it's a moot point.

Generating energy can be very cheap - and clean - depending on the source and time of day. One could argue that drilling miles into the earth to extract crude only to then expend tons of energy to refine it into Jet-A is pretty inefficient too. :)

In the long run, short haul (<500 mile regional) will probably be electric and long-haul will move to biofuel (and ultimately synfuel as biofuel isn't great for the environment either). But both of those are far off. The economics are solidly in favor of turboprops and turbofans running traditional Jet-A in the near future.
 
Sokes
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:48 pm

ethernal wrote:

batteries are awesome! They'll never be good enough for long-haul flying (biofuels will have to do for that) because there are just physical limits to the energy density we're going to be able to get chemical batteries at but I'm definitely excited to see how ultra-short-haul flying evolves with battery tech over the coming decades.

ATR-72:
OEW 13,5t
Fuel capacity: 5t
MTOW: 23t
Range: 1,528 km, 825 nmi

I also have my doubts.
"Li-ion batteries have a number of advantages. They have one of the highest energy densities of any battery technology today 100-265 Wh/kg "
source: https://www.cei.washington.edu/educatio ... %20Ni%2DMH.

I believe aviation fuel is 12 kWh/ kg, roughly 50 times more. If we assume 33% efficiency, it's about 17 times more. But then engines also have weight.
If battery energy density can be improved by factor five, it becomes interesting. Is there a theoretical limit?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
ethernal
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:00 pm

Sokes wrote:
ethernal wrote:

batteries are awesome! They'll never be good enough for long-haul flying (biofuels will have to do for that) because there are just physical limits to the energy density we're going to be able to get chemical batteries at but I'm definitely excited to see how ultra-short-haul flying evolves with battery tech over the coming decades.

ATR-72:
OEW 13,5t
Fuel capacity: 5t
MTOW: 23t
Range: 1,528 km, 825 nmi

I also have my doubts.
"Li-ion batteries have a number of advantages. They have one of the highest energy densities of any battery technology today 100-265 Wh/kg "
source: https://www.cei.washington.edu/educatio ... %20Ni%2DMH.

I believe aviation fuel is 12 kWh/ kg, roughly 50 times more. If we assume 33% efficiency, it's about 17 times more. But then engines also have weight.
If battery energy density can be improved by factor five, it becomes interesting. Is there a theoretical limit?


You can't just design an airplane and replace the same weight of fuel with batteries. An electric plane would be significantly heavier. No one would argue otherwise. And range is the death knell of any electric plane - every extra 100 miles is that much harder. But there are other design benefits that free up weight (the electric motors to turn a prop weigh very little compared to a turboprop engine). Because thrust is basically 'free', you can have a much heavier plane with good takeoff performance.

The issue of course is that the heavier the plane, the more energy it takes to keep it flying, and of course that's where range becomes the big limiting factor.

Battery energy density will never, ever match that of hydrocarbons due to physics. There are many reasons for this, but even if we were to build "the perfect chemical battery", it would still be less energy dense than hydrocarbons. That is because hydrocarbons "cheat" and use the the second most electronegative atom (oxygen) to generate their energy. For every pound of Jet-A burned, two pounds of oxygen are used (and, of course, because oxygen is so highly electronegative, that is what releases the energy). And of course, those two pounds come from the air - whereas a battery must store its equivalent of oxygen inside itself.

In practice, we can probably continue to increase battery density a few more times, but it will never ever match that of hydrocarbons.
 
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armagnac2010
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 4:44 pm

Even taking into account increased density, batteries in the foreseeable future are inadequate for anything but short range flights. Their only public air transport role could be the various urban mobility concepts - lot of 'ifs' there.

This is why hydrogen and fuel cells are considered as more promising for anything having decent payload and range. And we are not talking about medium and long range products.

There are 2 practical projects launched. Harbour Air is really about urban mobility, at least for the operations they consider for their electrical conversions. The Norwegian initiative to shift toward electrical propulsion for their subsidised regional operations will require new commuter designs. They have both the resources and the political will.

Time will tell.
 
ethernal
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 5:59 pm

armagnac2010 wrote:
Even taking into account increased density, batteries in the foreseeable future are inadequate for anything but short range flights. Their only public air transport role could be the various urban mobility concepts - lot of 'ifs' there.

This is why hydrogen and fuel cells are considered as more promising for anything having decent payload and range. And we are not talking about medium and long range products.

There are 2 practical projects launched. Harbour Air is really about urban mobility, at least for the operations they consider for their electrical conversions. The Norwegian initiative to shift toward electrical propulsion for their subsidised regional operations will require new commuter designs. They have both the resources and the political will.

Time will tell.


Fuel cells are a waste. You're better off using biofuels and, longer term, synfuels than hydrogen. There's a lot of vested interest in making hydrogen a "thing" (because 95%+ of hydrogen is produced via carbon-stripping natural gas so.. all the oil and gas companies are huge hydrogen advocates and have invested billions in fuel cell research) but it makes no economic sense. It's expensive, comparatively dangerous relative to alternatives, and low power output (it takes a LOT of fuel cells to produce enough horsepower to run a propeller).
 
RDUDDJI
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:13 pm

It really is a milestone to see an electric airplane carrying pax. This would have seemed impossible not so long ago.

Sokes wrote:
"The power is delivered by 345 VDC electric system built around a liquid-cooled in-house developed high performance battery system, which includes two Pipistrel PB345V124E-L batteries connected in parallel, installed in a redundant 2-unit arrangement, total nominal capacity 24.8 kWh. Crashworthy, thermal runway inhibiting, HIRF/EMI tolerant."
source: https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/airc ... o-easa-tc/


Interesting. My EV battery is 75kWh. Also liquid cooled. I wonder if "redundant 2-unit arrangement" means it's actually 49.6 kWh, but only 24.8 is usable? Or if they're just referring to the way the cells are connected.

Another nice thing about EVs is that there's far fewer things than need to be serviced regularly (and less things to break). I wonder if that will eventually be true of airplanes as well.
Sometimes we don't realize the good times when we're in them
 
TonyClifton
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:20 pm

Interesting and phenomenal! While battery tech might not be there for airline travel right now, starting it in the GA world is great and will certainly provide a great future for training aircraft. Instead of calling the line guy for a fuel top up, you’ll be calling for a battery change!
 
DoctorVenkman
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Fri Jun 12, 2020 9:01 pm

SEPilot wrote:
Until someone develops a battery with comparable energy density to jet fuel commercial electric planes are going nowhere. And even equal energy density will not do the trick; conventionally fueled aircraft get lighter as they burn fuel, but electric ones do not. On top of that electric planes are only carrying stored energy; that electricity still has to be generated, and generating, transmitting, and storing electricity is pretty inefficient. And the whole impetus for doing it is a hoax anyway, but that is another topic for another forum.


Not quite true on the density part (I'm not even going to touch the climate change denial) - if we could somehow magically have a battery with equal energy density to jet fuel, the electric aircraft would have a much longer range. This is because electric motors are way, way more efficient at turning stored energy into motion than internal combustion engines are. Electric cars are about 4x as energy efficient as ICE vehicles in terms of turning stored energy into motion. So if we assume propeller motors have a similar ratio, you'd only need a battery density of roughly 1/4 to have an equal range.

That being said, current battery tech is roughly two orders of magnitude less energy dense than hydrocarbons. But there are new battery chemistries (e.g. solid state) on the near horizon that could get density a lot closer to hydrocarbons, and long term there are battery chemistries (e.g. metal-air) that could reach parity in theory. We have a long way to go, but it's certainly not impossible.
 
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brianK73
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:39 am

I can see some smart geek to come up with a wireless-recharging device for this plane, so that it can "harvest" some power by flying parallel to a high tension power lines. Steady hands are a must.
 
prebennorholm
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:17 am

RDUDDJI wrote:
It really is a milestone to see an electric airplane carrying pax. This would have seemed impossible not so long ago.

Nah, the first self-launching sailplanes with Li-ion battery power were made many years ago. The new thing is just EASA ceritfication of an electric plane design. It means that the plane (at least within the EU) can be registered on the ordinary register, not classified as an experimental plane.

RDUDDJI wrote:
My EV battery is 75kWh. Also liquid cooled. I wonder if "redundant 2-unit arrangement" means it's actually 49.6 kWh, but only 24.8 is usable? Or if they're just referring to the way the cells are connected.

Other sources specify 2 x 11 kWh batteries, total 22 kWh. The difference to 24.8 is likely due to different capacity depending on how hard you change, and what rate of degrade you accept.

No way will this plane be able to lift anything comparable to your 75 kWh EV battery off the ground. It's way too heavy.
Always keep your number of landings equal to your number of take-offs
 
Sokes
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Sun Jun 14, 2020 5:37 pm

ethernal wrote:
Fuel cells are a waste. You're better off using biofuels and, longer term, synfuels than hydrogen. There's a lot of vested interest in making hydrogen a "thing" (because 95%+ of hydrogen is produced via carbon-stripping natural gas so.. all the oil and gas companies are huge hydrogen advocates and have invested billions in fuel cell research) but it makes no economic sense. It's expensive, comparatively dangerous relative to alternatives, and low power output (it takes a LOT of fuel cells to produce enough horsepower to run a propeller).

"a 100%-efficient electrolyser would consume 39.4 kilowatt-hours per kilogram (142 MJ/kg) of hydrogen,[24] 12,749 joules per litre (12.75 MJ/m3). Practical electrolysis (using a rotating electrolyser at 15 bar pressure) may consume 50 kW⋅h/kg (180 MJ/kg), and a further 15 kW⋅h (54 MJ) if the hydrogen is compressed for use in hydrogen cars.[25]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroly ... ial_output

However 95% of hydrogen comes from fossil fuels.
"As of 2002, most hydrogen is produced on site and the cost is approximately $0.70/kg and, if not produced on site, the cost of liquid hydrogen is about $2.20/kg to $3.08/kg"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_ ... gen_market

So if excess wind/ sun is available for let's say 1 cent/ kWh it depends on the cost of the process. Storage would have to be in geological suitable salt layers. Not every country has them, but Germany does. I am of the opinion that Germany should leave renewable energy production beside a few places near the coast and try to build a hydrogen economy. Cost of electrolysis and fuel cells will come down once enough money is thrown at it. Germany would become Europe's electricity regulator, buying Europe's excess wind and 12 o'clock solar energy.

If combined cycle gas turbines run on hydrogen reach electrical efficiencies over 50% with heating use of generated heat, will fuel cells be cost effective?
Again one has to throw money on the technology. It's like with solar cells or batteries.

I always assumed that lignite plants are the natural enemy of renewables, as they can't be regulated. I think I'm wrong. They lead to very low electricity prices. That helps the construction of pumped storage. One can't start the hydrogen economy when lignite is gone. For a start it requires very cheap electricity.

Fuel cells for planes would have to be a byproduct, just as batteries for electric vehicles are a byproduct of smart phone batteries.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
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alberchico
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:34 am

Image

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DS3wXMESGkA&t=119s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTjvwolUUN4

https://www.flyer.co.uk/china-flies-fir ... ater-rx4e/

Not to get off topic but the Chinese have their own 4 seat electric trainer in development, with a 90 minute flight time endurance. There is also a two seat version with 2 hours flight time.

http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1073159.shtml
Image
Image
short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
 
ethernal
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:25 am

Sokes wrote:
"a 100%-efficient electrolyser would consume 39.4 kilowatt-hours per kilogram (142 MJ/kg) of hydrogen,[24] 12,749 joules per litre (12.75 MJ/m3). Practical electrolysis (using a rotating electrolyser at 15 bar pressure) may consume 50 kW⋅h/kg (180 MJ/kg), and a further 15 kW⋅h (54 MJ) if the hydrogen is compressed for use in hydrogen cars.[25]"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroly ... ial_output

However 95% of hydrogen comes from fossil fuels.
"As of 2002, most hydrogen is produced on site and the cost is approximately $0.70/kg and, if not produced on site, the cost of liquid hydrogen is about $2.20/kg to $3.08/kg"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_ ... gen_market

So if excess wind/ sun is available for let's say 1 cent/ kWh it depends on the cost of the process. Storage would have to be in geological suitable salt layers. Not every country has them, but Germany does. I am of the opinion that Germany should leave renewable energy production beside a few places near the coast and try to build a hydrogen economy. Cost of electrolysis and fuel cells will come down once enough money is thrown at it. Germany would become Europe's electricity regulator, buying Europe's excess wind and 12 o'clock solar energy.

If combined cycle gas turbines run on hydrogen reach electrical efficiencies over 50% with heating use of generated heat, will fuel cells be cost effective?
Again one has to throw money on the technology. It's like with solar cells or batteries.

I always assumed that lignite plants are the natural enemy of renewables, as they can't be regulated. I think I'm wrong. They lead to very low electricity prices. That helps the construction of pumped storage. One can't start the hydrogen economy when lignite is gone. For a start it requires very cheap electricity.

Fuel cells for planes would have to be a byproduct, just as batteries for electric vehicles are a byproduct of smart phone batteries.


Hydrogen is garbage for energy storage. You would never use it for that purpose. Best case, your round-trip efficiency is on the order of 50-60% and it won't get better than that (80% in either direction is significantly better than we can do today). Alternative stores of energy (such as pumped storage, molten salt, or grid-scale batteries) are more economical and already exist today.

In theory, hydrogen could make sense for energy dense applications. On that basis alone, an airplane is a logical place for that... but hydrogen airplanes bring in a litany of new challenges for relatively little gain. Jet A is "energy dense enough" - you can already fly point-to-point almost anywhere in the world with planes that - if anything - already have too many seats to fill. So, it will come down to input costs - of which capital expenses to design and certify an entirely new design are significant for commercial airliners.

A hydrogen economy will never form around airplanes alone, and it won't work for power storage, and the "battle" for ground transportation is already lost in favor of electric vehicles (since, on the ground, weight isn't as big of a problem).

If you are going to go through the exercise of electrolyzing water to produce hydrogen, it is "trivial" to also electrolyze carbon dioxide to create CO feedstocks for synfuel production (to complement the H2). Once I've got CO+H2 feedstocks, there are relatively straightforward (and already in production today - ~500K synfuel is created today, albeit primarily from coal and natural gas) processes to turn that into whatever hydrocarbon I need - including Jet-A. Carbon free (assuming using renewable energy for my electrolysis), ultra-low pollution (minimal/no impurities like in regular Jet-A), and no need to completely re-design my airframes and engines to use hydrogen.

In other words, electric may not work for long-haul, but don't expect hydrogen to be used either - even in the distant future. There is tons of R&D being applied to electric aircraft (as evidenced by this certification!)... there is very little active R&D on hydrogen powered aircraft. That's a reason for that!
 
Sokes
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:46 am

ethernal wrote:
Best case, your round-trip efficiency is on the order of 50-60%

That would be fantastic. But for this we would require fuel cell investments similar to solar or batteries. Today I would rather say 0,8 x 0,5 = 0,4 = 40%. Add "waste" heat that can be used for house heating in cities.

ethernal wrote:
Alternative stores of energy (such as pumped storage, molten salt, or grid-scale batteries) are more economical and already exist today.

Pumped storage is indeed great. Efficiency is up to 80%. Deduct line losses. So we may look at 70-75% efficiency, very good for stored electricity.
Because Germany has lots of lignite plants which can't be regulated there are lots of times with electricity prices around 20 Euro/ MWh, but also over 50 Euro/ MWh.
Sometimes prices are even negative.
The estimates for pumped storage potential which one always heard were economic potentials at low electricity price fluctuations.

Here a pumped storage recently built in Austria:
The pipeline connects to a existing pipeline from an existing pumped storage project (1000 m head.). The upper basin and some technology of it belonging to the original project can be seen at 0:55 in the video. It is 500 m above the basin from the beginning of the video.
-The turbine can be seen at 6:29. It's 10,4 MW in operation with 2,6 cubic meter water/ second.
-generator at 7:30,
-pump turbine at 8:00, 13,2 MW in operation. I thought Francis turbines can also be used for pumping. Apparently not with 500 m head. Anybody knows more?
-at 9:29 the "Kugelschieber" = ball valve.

I don't know if a similar project is available as video in English. I guess Europe's crazy electricity prices are required for it. But it shows that pumped storage potential is more or less unlimited.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f5tM4wDR2R0

ethernal wrote:
If you are going to go through the exercise of electrolyzing water to produce hydrogen, it is "trivial" to also electrolyze carbon dioxide to create CO feedstocks for synfuel production (to complement the H2).

I disagree. Overall efficiency will sink even if fuel cells for your hydrocarbons should become available. Otherwise multiply with the efficiency of an engine or turbine instead of fuel cell.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
ethernal
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Mon Jun 15, 2020 12:25 pm

Sokes wrote:
ethernal wrote:
If you are going to go through the exercise of electrolyzing water to produce hydrogen, it is "trivial" to also electrolyze carbon dioxide to create CO feedstocks for synfuel production (to complement the H2).

I disagree. Overall efficiency will sink even if fuel cells for your hydrocarbons should become available. Otherwise multiply with the efficiency of an engine or turbine instead of fuel cell.


Going to focus on this pat since I don't want to veer too far off topic. :)

It is unlikely that there will be any long-haul fuel cell powered aircraft.. if only because a fuel cell (electric) approach requires propellers which will generally always have a cruise speed 25% less than that of jets due (unless we figure out how to deal with supersonic wake from propellers). Fine on short haul, maybe okay on mid-haul (e.g., US transcons), but certainly not for long-haul (4000nm+) where efficiency matters the most. One could argue that "passengers will deal with it" but fuel costs are not the only issue.. crews cost money, air-frames cost money, and so on - 25% longer flights mean that those costs go up by 25% as well and balance some of the potential (unproven) fuel/energy cost benefits. Of course, you could say - let's burn hydrogen in a turbine - but now we're back to the even-greater efficiency losses from a turbine. Completely re-designed plane (you can't just put hydrogen in existing fuel tanks)... all for.. slightly less fuel weight carrying penalty.

The issue is fundamentally one of what is - as a whole - easiest economically and technically. There is a term in economics called path dependency - the reality is that we already have entire sets of infrastructure oriented around both the production and consumption of hydrocarbon-based fuels. It is "easy" to change out one with the right incentives - changing out both at the right time is much harder. Even if it is theoretically the "best" outcomes (questionable), it would take an authoritative edict to make it happen because there are multiple other "good enough" meta-stable options that don't require the same activation energy (investment).

If - and only if - the "hydrogen economy" took shape would you see planes evolve to take place. Unfortunately hydrogen has already lost - it's just not going to happen. It has lost ground transportation, and it won't win energy storage. In the order of total cost - hydrogen is even more expensive than the already way-too-expensive chemical batteries (which at this point are really only useful for grid smoothing, not true grid storage). It is not just an issue of pouring more money into research; just like with chemical batteries there are real physical limits to how efficient and how durable we can make electrolyzers and fuel cells. So it is highly, highly unlikely that air travel will be the "odd man out" so to speak and move to a hydrogen solution: it will leverage its existing infrastructure for a long time. It will start to transition to biofuels, and maybe one day to synfuel from electrolyzed feedstocks. But aviation will never pave the way as it relates to hydrogen - it will always be a follower - and there is nothing to follow.

The aviation industry will take advantage of the massive investments being put into batteries for electric vehicles and so you'll continue to see improvements in this space. But there is no hydrogen economy, there is no real economic incentive (other than malinvestment from oil and gas companies and nation states) to move to hydrogen as a whole in the economy - so aviation would have to "blaze its own way". It will never happen.
 
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armagnac2010
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:13 pm

It is true that aviation in isolation will not sustain the required R&D in hydrogen, the first enabler being to produce 'green' hydrogen. But as part of a global shift toward that energy, it might happen:

https://www.dw.com/en/germany-and-hydrogen-9-billion-to-spend-as-strategy-is-revealed/a-53719746

Similar move in China.

In fact, electric airplanes like the one certified last week are possible only because the automotive industry R&D in batteries.

There are very serious hydrogen research and develoment currently undertaken by aircraft OEMs. It is rather unlikely we will see long or medium range aircraft using anything else than JET A/A1, fossil or synthetic. Short range hydrogen applications might be feasible, under form and format which might be quite different from the current airplanes.
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Mon Jun 15, 2020 1:57 pm

I still am hoping someone can come up with the pricing of a carbon tax on aviation fuel. How would it affect the cost of a ticket? Would it produce enough money to buy better electrical infrastructure for ground transportation and space heating/cooling? I don't fly much, but were the economy to move more rapidly to electrification we could tolerate the fossil consumption of aviation as bio-fuels are developed. I am not generally a Pollyanna but we have the capability to fly and travel more while it the same time greatly reduce CO2.
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ethernal
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Mon Jun 15, 2020 2:10 pm

frmrCapCadet wrote:
I still am hoping someone can come up with the pricing of a carbon tax on aviation fuel. How would it affect the cost of a ticket? Would it produce enough money to buy better electrical infrastructure for ground transportation and space heating/cooling? I don't fly much, but were the economy to move more rapidly to electrification we could tolerate the fossil consumption of aviation as bio-fuels are developed. I am not generally a Pollyanna but we have the capability to fly and travel more while it the same time greatly reduce CO2.


Relatively cheap as of today because we still have a lot of cheap-to-replace carbon sources to eliminate. Of course, without a strongly regulated carbon trading market most of it is fuzzy math. United says a round-trip from EWR to LHR would only cost about $10. I picked this route for convenience at it produces approximately 1 ton of CO2 emissions which is typically how carbon offsets are priced (or kilo-ton/mega-ton depending on the scale). Offset prices (again, fuzzy math here) are typically anywhere from 10 cents to $50 depending on who you ask, so $10 is actually a decent middle ground.

Note that in a a proper functioning market there is no single price but it would fluctuate over time depending on what alternatives exist. Of course, from a simplicity point of view you could always just set a $X/ton tax but those sorts of taxes tend to be less economically efficient than a tradeable credit which relies on the "best way" to achieve a reduction in context of market pricing.
 
iamlucky13
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:17 pm

DoctorVenkman wrote:
Not quite true on the density part (I'm not even going to touch the climate change denial) - if we could somehow magically have a battery with equal energy density to jet fuel, the electric aircraft would have a much longer range. This is because electric motors are way, way more efficient at turning stored energy into motion than internal combustion engines are. Electric cars are about 4x as energy efficient as ICE vehicles in terms of turning stored energy into motion. So if we assume propeller motors have a similar ratio, you'd only need a battery density of roughly 1/4 to have an equal range.


Passenger highway vehicle engines efficiency is poor in large part due to being sized for, in an engineering sense, absurd peak loads. Nobody wants the acceleration of a semi-truck. Hybrids and turbocharging do significantly change this, however, by broadening the range of efficient operation.

Aircraft turbine engines should be over 40% thermal efficiency, although I don't have access to any authoritative numbers.

Lithium ion charge/discharge is really good at low to moderate currents (high 90% range), but can drop below 90% at high currents. Charge rate can be critical in in some applications, like airline use.

These considerations don't affect the overall order of magnitude of the question, but do affect the perceived gap.
 
DIJKKIJK
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Mon Jun 15, 2020 6:35 pm

jetmatt777 wrote:
My main concern is true battery life. Anyone who has any kind of battery powered electronic device can tell you that sometimes 20% battery left doesn't quite always mean that. Certainly, this battery is more advanced than my iPhone, but my phone has died at 20% before.
arcticcruiser wrote:

About a 120 feet...


Not bad considering the first internal combustion engine airplane flew about 120 feet.


I don't know why they can't integrate solar panels on the surface of the wing and allow it to charge inflight during daytime?
Never argue with idiots. They will bring you down to their level, and beat you with experience.
 
DoctorVenkman
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:32 pm

DIJKKIJK wrote:
jetmatt777 wrote:
My main concern is true battery life. Anyone who has any kind of battery powered electronic device can tell you that sometimes 20% battery left doesn't quite always mean that. Certainly, this battery is more advanced than my iPhone, but my phone has died at 20% before.
arcticcruiser wrote:

About a 120 feet...


Not bad considering the first internal combustion engine airplane flew about 120 feet.


I don't know why they can't integrate solar panels on the surface of the wing and allow it to charge inflight during daytime?


Even assuming perfect panel alignment, 100% sunshine, no extra drag or weight from the panels, and no efficiency losses.... solar would produce no where near enough power to significantly charge the batteries or extend the range substantially.

A top of the line solar panel can produce about 20 watts per square foot in ideal conditions. If we are generous and assume 100% of the 100sqft wingspan can be covered in solar panels, that is about 2kW of generated power under ideal conditions. The motor has a maximum output of 57kW, so even under completely ideal circumstances solar panels would only produce about 3.5% of the maximum power draw from the engine.

Realistically you would see significant losses due one or more of the following: angle of the wings relative to the sun, time of day, cloud cover, conversion losses, and panel temperature just to name a few. So that 2kW figure would be much lower in reality. And then on top of that you need to account for the extra weight and drag that comes from the additional solar equipment. At the end of the day the additional range would be negligible and not worth all the additional cost and complexity.
 
ewt340
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Re: First electrical airplane in the world certified !

Tue Jun 16, 2020 3:37 pm

This would help revive the 19-30 seat market that are dying these days.

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