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Oykie
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Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Fri Aug 07, 2020 5:48 pm

I was reading an interesting article in the Norwegian financial news paper Dagens Næringsliv that technically it is possible to have short haul electric airplanes in Norway with seats for up to 19 passengers by 2025. The author is a professor from the university NTNU and his speciality is electric power technology. I know the article is in Norwegian, but I will give you some highlights.

1. With today's technology it is possible to commercially fly 19 seat airplane 400 kilometers or 215 Nautical miles.
2. That plane will be Eviation Alice that is expected to EIS in 2025 (Wikipedia says 2022).
3. A big challenge is batteries weighs 43 times more than fuel.
4. It is recently been developed batteries that weighs 1/3 less than todays battery
5. Batteries that weighs 1/4 less than todays technology can make it possible to electrify bigger planes in the size of 737 and A320 with a range of 1100 kilometers or 600 nautical miles.
6. Norwegian engineers made the e-fan engine for Airbus E-Fan X project.
7. Norway has infrastructure for large scale test of clean energy airplanes.

Here is the original article with links to other sources:
https://www.dn.no/forskningviser-at-/te ... /2-1-85236

I was not aware of the possibilities to make electric planes as big as 737 and A320 with 600Nm range. It is still short, but much better than I assumed. What do you think about the business case for an electric 737/A320 airplane with 600Nm range from 2030? Can we see electric airplanes on small scale in Norway from 2025?
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
frmrCapCadet
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:02 pm

A 300 nautical mile 19 seater, one pilot could connect most of the unserved rural areas in the US.
Buffet: the airline business...has eaten up capital...like..no other (business)
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:28 pm

That would not be possible under FAR 121.2; operations require two pilots.
 
ScottB
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Fri Aug 07, 2020 11:33 pm

Oykie wrote:
1. With today's technology it is possible to commercially fly 19 seat airplane 400 kilometers or 215 Nautical miles.
2. That plane will be Eviation Alice that is expected to EIS in 2025 (Wikipedia says 2022).


The Eviation Alice carries nine passengers, not nineteen.

I have very serious doubts they can achieve certification with lithium-based batteries. Apparently the prototype was destroyed in a fire which started in a ground-based battery system. The battery system will have to be fail-safe as a thermal runaway in flight will likely mean destruction of the craft and loss of all lives.

Oykie wrote:
5. Batteries that weighs 1/4 less than todays technology can make it possible to electrify bigger planes in the size of 737 and A320 with a range of 1100 kilometers or 600 nautical miles.


That's still going to be a challenge outside of markets which are infeasible to travel via road or rail. Under ~400 km it's usually faster to drive or take a train. Assuming that 1100 km includes diversion and reserve requirements, that's still not enough for a route like ORD-LGA and barely enough for CDG-MAD.
 
Eikie
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:55 am

Problem with range is that, unless the rules change for these sort of aircraft, normally the amount of fuel carried has lots of required margins in it.

Startup and taxi fuel, trip fuel, contingency fuel, diversion fuel.

While some could be abolished (taxi via a tow, diversion fuel not needed under certain weather conditions), there are still certain amounts you have to carry which reduces the practical range (a lot).
 
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PatrickZ80
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 7:53 am

What if they would use hydrogen instead of batteries, would that save weight? I mean, there are already tests going on with hydrogen powered aircraft and they look promising. Also the waste product of hydrogen is just plain water, which can be dumped during the flight resulting in a lower landing weight. Batteries stay on board and weigh the same regardless if they're full or empty.
 
Eikie
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:41 am

PatrickZ80 wrote:
What if they would use hydrogen instead of batteries, would that save weight? I mean, there are already tests going on with hydrogen powered aircraft and they look promising. Also the waste product of hydrogen is just plain water, which can be dumped during the flight resulting in a lower landing weight. Batteries stay on board and weigh the same regardless if they're full or empty.

For what I know, hydrogen is extremely hard to contain. Die to the small size of the molecule, it escapes a container quite easily, requiring more dense, and therefore, heavier materials.
Also safety is a factor, hydrogen is very reactive. We wouldn't want a Hindenburg 2.0.

These issues will (or allready are) mostly be overcome, but not before 2025.
 
Waterbomber2
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:46 am

I have already addressed the issues in a previous thread but as an EV driver I see the following additional challenges:
-Charging infrastructure. Batteries are DC, so you need to convert grid AC to DC. A DC fast charger for an EV costs about 20.000 USD. Quite an investment and charging times are still significant. The upfront investment for charging infrastructure of something the size of an A320 will be very significant.

To resume my previous remarks:
-Oil prices are too low to motivate a switch to electric.
-What makes sense in Norway does't make sense elsewhere. Most countries first need to make power generation emission-free, otherwise it's pointless. In Norway, virtually all electricity is green.
-Switching to EV's is a higher priority, and many grids will need upgrading to support that. Norway is doing very well in those regards but they have a very high disposable income thanks to no less than oil.

If Norway want to pretend to be green, the first thing they need to do is stop oil production.
They are in the top 5 largest oil producers per capita and hence one of the biggest polluters.
Pretending to care about global warming while being a big oil producer, isn't that hypocrisy?
 
curlowl
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 11:58 am

Waterbomber2 wrote:
The upfront investment for charging infrastructure of something the size of an A320 will be very significant.


Everything in aviation needs "very significant" upfront investments, nothing new here.

Waterbomber2 wrote:
-Oil prices are too low to motivate a switch to electric.


Yeah, for now.

Waterbomber2 wrote:
-What makes sense in Norway does't make sense elsewhere. Most countries first need to make power generation emission-free, otherwise it's pointless. In Norway, virtually all electricity is green.


Charging an EV with electricity from a modern coal-fired plant w/ proper filtering standards still has lower emissions than a combustion engine car so not sure what you're arguing here.

Waterbomber2 wrote:
-Switching to EV's is a higher priority, and many grids will need upgrading to support that.


Yeah, how about doing both.

Waterbomber2 wrote:
If Norway want to pretend to be green, the first thing they need to do is stop oil production.
They are in the top 5 largest oil producers per capita and hence one of the biggest polluters.
Pretending to care about global warming while being a big oil producer, isn't that hypocrisy?


No, it's about future-proofing society and technology.
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 1:06 pm

Question is what "technically possible" means. Having R&D grade propulsion system, flying prototype, or ready for delivery in 2026?
I can see the first one being doable, last option.... Is there a frame they can base on? Od a clean sheet would be needed? Strengthening belly of ATR42 for batteries and re-engine may be a feasible approach.
 
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JetBuddy
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 2:25 pm

The interesting thing is that Norway can afford to implement cutting edge tech advancements like electric aircraft infrastructure, thanks to the petroleum industry. At the same time, using "oil money" to reduce dependence on oil by being the pioneers and risk takers is a good thing. If we can make it work in Norway, other nations might follow after.

We already have electric ferries, cars and buses. Aviation is next. But I do believe it will take a bit longer than 5 years.

There are about 1500 hydro power plants in Norway. And 75% of the water is stored in magasines, so it we can regulate when to produce power. A well maintained hydro powerplant will work for 100 years or more. And they pay most of their revenue in taxes. Which is 100% opposite of wind power. Wind power lasts only 10-15 years before a wind mill needs to be replaced. The materials can not be recycled. And it needs subsidies to work. And you can not store the energy. Which is why I'm pro hydro power and against wind power. Especially since Norway does not need more power, and that current hydro power plants can be improved with newer turbines to create even more power if needed, instead of building wind power parks.

With regards to regulations, a 19 seat airplane can be flown single pilot in Norway. I think.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:27 pm

Try making hydro power on the North European Plain or anywhere on the US plains. Then, there’s environmentalists decrying damming rivers.
 
pjc747
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 3:58 pm

What if you used kerosene fuel? It has incredible amount of energy for its weight, is cheap and abundant? As it burns off the plane's performance improves!
 
BerenErchamion
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:03 pm

The link is broken, and presumably it's in Norwegian which I can't read, but I'm curious if the developers are considering how local climate might be impacting their success? Just because a plane with a battery massive enough to power a plausibly-economically-feasible flight can get off the ground at, let's say, Trondheim, doesn't mean it can safely do so in Phoenix.
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 5:29 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Try making hydro power on the North European Plain or anywhere on the US plains. Then, there’s environmentalists decrying damming rivers.
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Try making hydro power on the North European Plain or anywhere on the US plains. Then, there’s environmentalists decrying damming rivers.

BerenErchamion wrote:
The link is broken, and presumably it's in Norwegian which I can't read, but I'm curious if the developers are considering how local climate might be impacting their success? Just because a plane with a battery massive enough to power a plausibly-economically-feasible flight can get off the ground at, let's say, Trondheim, doesn't mean it can safely do so in Phoenix.

I would say not that much about climate - it is about availability of cheap power, such as hydro - meaning mountais, rains, hence difficult and expensive surface routes. Passific northwest, Alaska, Norway, to a lesser extent Quebec. Maybe solar farms in the desert - Phoenix, Australia.
This is definitely a niche market, so clean sheet is impractical. If they can re-engine existing turboprop - ATR42 is still in production, right? - it can be a feasible niche market solution. Same as, for example, ethanol powered cars in Brazil.
 
BerenErchamion
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:14 pm

That's not my point--air pressure affects wing performance in a way that favors colder, lower-elevation locations (like coastal Norway) over places like Phoenix. It's not about power sources, it's about being able to safely fly at all given the power-to-weight ratio of batteries.
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:20 pm

BerenErchamion wrote:
That's not my point--air pressure affects wing performance in a way that favors colder, lower-elevation locations (like coastal Norway) over places like Phoenix. It's not about power sources, it's about being able to safely fly at all given the power-to-weight ratio of batteries.

Which is of course an issue, something that would need to be considered at the time of design - but not right now as this is more about the concept at this point.
If anything. the weight/payload penalty for hot-and-high is nothing new. Modular battery packs may be part of the answer, for example.
 
LucaDiMontanari
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:39 pm

Generally I wouldn't deny the feasibility of such a plane. There are two main points where I have some doubts.

First is the time frame: by 2025? A usefull e-powered aircraft can hardly be based on an existing airframe, due to the weight of the batteries. Someone posted a 43 times worse weight to power ratio against Jet A. We may get to a 10:1 ratio at some time, but hardly any better, due to the fact that batteries are not "pure" energy like jetfuel. Instead you will always carry a lot of dead mass. One would need mostly to start from scratch for such a plane - five years, in a time where this is even sporty for an upgrade of an existing type? For a start up company not even founded, based in a country with basically no aviation industry? Not in this world anymore, the sixties are gone long. Have a look at the ARJ-21: based on an older design, not very advanced and designed in a country who definitively has the financial and brain power to support such a project.

Second: a 19-seater? Who would buy this? The Viking Twotter sells in low numbers, others like the RUAG Do228-reheat failed epically. All other noticeable designs are out of production for years or even decades. A new design in that size will not be commercially viable: no one will invest in a below 100 copies market, especially when sustainable jet fuels are lurking around the corner. Yes, the latter are quite expensive at the moment, but this is largely due to the rather lab-sized production capacity today. Large scale mass production will change that and countries like Saudi Arabia have plenty of otherwise "useless" but very sunny deserts to install sun2fuell plants...
 
Oykie
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:22 pm

BerenErchamion wrote:
The link is broken, and presumably it's in Norwegian which I can't read, but I'm curious if the developers are considering how local climate might be impacting their success? Just because a plane with a battery massive enough to power a plausibly-economically-feasible flight can get off the ground at, let's say, Trondheim, doesn't mean it can safely do so in Phoenix.



It is in Norwegian, but here is hopefully a working link: https://tinyurl.com/y6by96no

The article does not detail the Norwegian climate compared to Phoenix. I would think that cold and super hot at not ideal for battery planes.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
Oykie
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:26 pm

Waterbomber2 wrote:
I have already addressed the issues in a previous thread but as an EV driver I see the following additional challenges:
-Charging infrastructure. Batteries are DC, so you need to convert grid AC to DC. A DC fast charger for an EV costs about 20.000 USD. Quite an investment and charging times are still significant. The upfront investment for charging infrastructure of something the size of an A320 will be very significant.

To resume my previous remarks:
-Oil prices are too low to motivate a switch to electric.
-What makes sense in Norway does't make sense elsewhere. Most countries first need to make power generation emission-free, otherwise it's pointless. In Norway, virtually all electricity is green.
-Switching to EV's is a higher priority, and many grids will need upgrading to support that. Norway is doing very well in those regards but they have a very high disposable income thanks to no less than oil.

If Norway want to pretend to be green, the first thing they need to do is stop oil production.
They are in the top 5 largest oil producers per capita and hence one of the biggest polluters.
Pretending to care about global warming while being a big oil producer, isn't that hypocrisy?


While I can understand that it seems strange that Norway try to be in forefront of electric airplanes and cars, while earning a lot of money on oil. However, because of oil Norway has the money to buy electric cars and airplanes. And that helps the R&D into those areas increase. So in my opinion it is a wise way of using money from CO2 to make a bridge to more environmentally friendly form of transportation.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
Oykie
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:31 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Try making hydro power on the North European Plain or anywhere on the US plains. Then, there’s environmentalists decrying damming rivers.


I do not understand why hydropower gets hit by some environmentalists. If built properly it is one of the cleanest and safest ways to produce energy.
Dream no small dream; it lacks magic. Dream large, then go make that dream real - Donald Douglas
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 1:34 am

Oykie wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Try making hydro power on the North European Plain or anywhere on the US plains. Then, there’s environmentalists decrying damming rivers.


I do not understand why hydropower gets hit by some environmentalists. If built properly it is one of the cleanest and safest ways to produce energy.

It is an off-topic for aviation forum, but hopefully my answer is technical enough to survive in technical subsection...
"properly" is a very difficult word here. Norwegian "properly" simply cannot be achieved in many places. Apparently, the amount of generated power is directly proportional to the difference between high and low water levels. If you have mountains, preferably with waterfalls, you can create the required difference with minimal modifications. Fish migration is already inhibited by waterfalls and fast flow, may reservoirs can be compact with steep rock walls.
Once you are in the plain, such as Mississippi river, situation is completely different. Land is flat, a small dam can create shallow but wide reservoir - which would, most likely, require towns to be abandonned, fields and/or forests to be flooded, and fish which used to swim up and down the river no longer able to do so. Sediment no longer moves the way it used to. And you end up with water level difference which would make Norwegian engineers shrug their shoulders and move to the next project.
Mississippi has what is called a "stairway of water": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_l ... ippi_River
Single digit (in feet, not meters!) level changes are pretty common...

Bottom line - for hydro, you need a lot of rain and suitable terrain, otherwise, it ends up not so great....
 
Sokes
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:19 am

Lots of visionaries here.
How good were the first trains, cars, bicycles, mobiles, jet engines?
Even though I have to admit that battery technology develops so fast that every three years delay gives enormous more potential. But then one has to build up contacts to suppliers, start teaching about it in university, make all kinds of mistakes, get investors interested and I don't know what.

Hard to believe, but for some rich people money is a means to an end.
I recommend the movie "Aviator" about Howard Hughes.
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
Sokes
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:40 am

Oykie wrote:
...because of oil Norway has the money to buy electric cars and airplanes. And that helps the R&D into those areas increase. So in my opinion it is a wise way of using money from CO2 to make a bridge to more environmentally friendly form of transportation.

:checkmark:
Innovation is always financed by young, educated and rich consumers.
Hayek justifies inequality by its role in innovation.
I respect Norway for it's role in financing innovation.
Is a lawyer with a Tesla a social worker?
Why can't the world be a little bit more autistic?
 
unimproved
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:40 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
That would not be possible under FAR 121.2; operations require two pilots.

...for now

Just like we went from 3 to 2, new tech might make it possible to have single person ops. We can already fly a drone from the other side of the world so why not with a backup pilot on the ground.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:57 am

The pedant in me feels compelled to point out that it is "electric" airplanes, not "electrical" airplanes. ;)

unimproved wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
That would not be possible under FAR 121.2; operations require two pilots.

...for now

Just like we went from 3 to 2, new tech might make it possible to have single person ops. We can already fly a drone from the other side of the world so why not with a backup pilot on the ground.


Indeed. We are likely to see single pilot large airliners in the next 10-15 years.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:08 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
The pedant in me feels compelled to point out that it is "electric" airplanes, not "electrical" airplanes. ;)

unimproved wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
That would not be possible under FAR 121.2; operations require two pilots.

...for now

Just like we went from 3 to 2, new tech might make it possible to have single person ops. We can already fly a drone from the other side of the world so why not with a backup pilot on the ground.


Indeed. We are likely to see single pilot large airliners in the next 10-15 years.

Again, we're talking a relatively short term project, and I still believe the one which would be much more doable as a modification of an existing plane.
I can mostly believe in a single pilot airliner, with some effort I can believe in electric plane for short range hops, but combining two significant changes in the same project?
If electrifying can be done as a modification to an existing plane - original pilot configuration would apply, except if 2 pilots are not really required. Could something like ATR42 be comfortably operated by a single pilot from workload perspective, if regulations wouldn't require two people?
 
unimproved
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:18 pm

kalvado wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
The pedant in me feels compelled to point out that it is "electric" airplanes, not "electrical" airplanes. ;)

unimproved wrote:
...for now

Just like we went from 3 to 2, new tech might make it possible to have single person ops. We can already fly a drone from the other side of the world so why not with a backup pilot on the ground.


Indeed. We are likely to see single pilot large airliners in the next 10-15 years.

Again, we're talking a relatively short term project, and I still believe the one which would be much more doable as a modification of an existing plane.
I can mostly believe in a single pilot airliner, with some effort I can believe in electric plane for short range hops, but combining two significant changes in the same project?
If electrifying can be done as a modification to an existing plane - original pilot configuration would apply, except if 2 pilots are not really required. Could something like ATR42 be comfortably operated by a single pilot from workload perspective, if regulations wouldn't require two people?

Any modern airliner can, as long as things don't go wrong.

But we already have the technology to return to base, automate checklists and functions, and have fully digital ATC. It just has to be certified and adapted.
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:47 pm

unimproved wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
The pedant in me feels compelled to point out that it is "electric" airplanes, not "electrical" airplanes. ;)



Indeed. We are likely to see single pilot large airliners in the next 10-15 years.

Again, we're talking a relatively short term project, and I still believe the one which would be much more doable as a modification of an existing plane.
I can mostly believe in a single pilot airliner, with some effort I can believe in electric plane for short range hops, but combining two significant changes in the same project?
If electrifying can be done as a modification to an existing plane - original pilot configuration would apply, except if 2 pilots are not really required. Could something like ATR42 be comfortably operated by a single pilot from workload perspective, if regulations wouldn't require two people?

Any modern airliner can, as long as things don't go wrong.

But we already have the technology to return to base, automate checklists and functions, and have fully digital ATC. It just has to be certified and adapted.

What if things actually go wrong? Engine failure at V1, or engine out approach are the situations which must be fully considered. Especially until in-service reliability of electric propulsion is not proven
And we're not talking about a brand new design of future cash cow where billions are committed. We're talking about a niche product with maybe optimistically 100-200 frames total market. Using as much of existing technology as possible is the way to make a non-ideal, but deliverable product.
 
unimproved
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:46 pm

kalvado wrote:
unimproved wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Again, we're talking a relatively short term project, and I still believe the one which would be much more doable as a modification of an existing plane.
I can mostly believe in a single pilot airliner, with some effort I can believe in electric plane for short range hops, but combining two significant changes in the same project?
If electrifying can be done as a modification to an existing plane - original pilot configuration would apply, except if 2 pilots are not really required. Could something like ATR42 be comfortably operated by a single pilot from workload perspective, if regulations wouldn't require two people?

Any modern airliner can, as long as things don't go wrong.

But we already have the technology to return to base, automate checklists and functions, and have fully digital ATC. It just has to be certified and adapted.

What if things actually go wrong? Engine failure at V1, or engine out approach are the situations which must be fully considered. Especially until in-service reliability of electric propulsion is not proven
And we're not talking about a brand new design of future cash cow where billions are committed. We're talking about a niche product with maybe optimistically 100-200 frames total market. Using as much of existing technology as possible is the way to make a non-ideal, but deliverable product.

Those two are prime examples where the pilot in command takes over anyway. In that case the pilot monitoring only pulls out the checklist and handles comms, both of which can be automated.
 
VSMUT
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 6:20 pm

kalvado wrote:
Could something like ATR42 be comfortably operated by a single pilot from workload perspective, if regulations wouldn't require two people?


Definitely not. ATRs are high-workload aircraft even with two pilots.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:31 pm

Anyone who thinks we’re going to singe-pilot ops in commercial passenger service anytime soon has little to no understanding of actually operating planes, the risks inherent in UAVs, and the cost of fully automating a plane versus the small savings. If you fly with one pilot, you’ll have to prove complete 10E-9 reliability of the automation AND answer the lack of CRM which has been key to safety advances. No pilot in cubicle can provide the back up of pilot failure in the cockpit.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:31 am

unimproved wrote:
kalvado wrote:
unimproved wrote:
Any modern airliner can, as long as things don't go wrong.

But we already have the technology to return to base, automate checklists and functions, and have fully digital ATC. It just has to be certified and adapted.

What if things actually go wrong? Engine failure at V1, or engine out approach are the situations which must be fully considered. Especially until in-service reliability of electric propulsion is not proven
And we're not talking about a brand new design of future cash cow where billions are committed. We're talking about a niche product with maybe optimistically 100-200 frames total market. Using as much of existing technology as possible is the way to make a non-ideal, but deliverable product.

Those two are prime examples where the pilot in command takes over anyway. In that case the pilot monitoring only pulls out the checklist and handles comms, both of which can be automated.


That's inaccurate and oversimplified regarding the handling of emergency situations.

The PIC does not necessarily take over control in these cases. It depends on the situation and the PICs preference. The PIC may want to run the procedures himself, or he may want to fly and do the comms. In Airbus emergency handling, the PF runs comms during "ECAM actions".

The PM in an emergency does not just "pull out the checklists". He also actions them. Some actions need to be confirmed by the PF. It can be a rather involved process depending on the emergency. And as mentioned at least on Airbus the PF will be handling comms.

Engine failure at V1 with the first officer as PF is probably not the best time to take over control. The rotation and climbout can be finicky, especially at heavy weights, so don't mess with it.

As we train it in the sim, the PF remains PF from the V1 cut/fire all the way to landing.

A lot of that can be automated, but there are lots of considerations before we can delete the PM.

kalvado wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
The pedant in me feels compelled to point out that it is "electric" airplanes, not "electrical" airplanes. ;)

unimproved wrote:
...for now

Just like we went from 3 to 2, new tech might make it possible to have single person ops. We can already fly a drone from the other side of the world so why not with a backup pilot on the ground.


Indeed. We are likely to see single pilot large airliners in the next 10-15 years.

Again, we're talking a relatively short term project, and I still believe the one which would be much more doable as a modification of an existing plane.
I can mostly believe in a single pilot airliner, with some effort I can believe in electric plane for short range hops, but combining two significant changes in the same project?
If electrifying can be done as a modification to an existing plane - original pilot configuration would apply, except if 2 pilots are not really required. Could something like ATR42 be comfortably operated by a single pilot from workload perspective, if regulations wouldn't require two people?


I suppose you could take an existing airframe and make an entirely new cockpit. But I think there'd be quite a bit of systems and interface redesign too. At what point are existing systems not practical for single pilot operation? I don't know.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:38 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Anyone who thinks we’re going to singe-pilot ops in commercial passenger service anytime soon has little to no understanding of actually operating planes, the risks inherent in UAVs, and the cost of fully automating a plane versus the small savings. If you fly with one pilot, you’ll have to prove complete 10E-9 reliability of the automation AND answer the lack of CRM which has been key to safety advances. No pilot in cubicle can provide the back up of pilot failure in the cockpit.

Yes, we all know that there is no such plane as Pilatus pc-12, and boutique air is just a fictional company...
 
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:09 am

Are they 121 commercial ops or single-pilot 135 Ops with autopilot OpsSpecs? Many of the 91K/135 operators like Boutique or Planesense fly two pilots.
 
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rjsampson
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 6:06 am

Starlionblue wrote:
Indeed. We are likely to see single pilot large airliners in the next 10-15 years.


Arch: You are one of the absolute best contributors to these forums. Your experience, insight, and selflessness in contributing to so many threads... We're lucky for your consistent on-point knowledge. But *large* airliners, with single pilots... in the next 10-15 years? I cannot imagine the flying public (much less the regulating authorities) ever getting to that point in within a 10-15 year timeline. Heck, we're already poking holes in OP's article about Norway getting a commercial aircraft with electic motors to prototype? production? EIS? by 2025. IMHO, the notion of single-pilot large airliners within 15 years falls within the same realm of speculation.

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Anyone who thinks we’re going to singe-pilot ops in commercial passenger service anytime soon has little to no understanding of actually operating planes,... No pilot in cubicle can provide the back up of pilot failure in the cockpit.


Galaxy: I'll say the same to you that I said to Starlion: You are one of this forum's most valuable contributors. In Starlion's defense: I wouldn't call him "anyone," as he clearly has incredible knowledge of aircraft operations. That said...

:checkmark:
I agree with everything you said.

kalvado wrote:
Yes, we all know that there is no such plane as Pilatus pc-12, and boutique air is just a fictional company...


:?:
Apples and Oranges comparison. That carrier (just like Cape Air) operate single-pilot certified aircraft under 135 (far cry from 121) operations with small passenger loads. PC-12 single-pilot, commercial operations are nothing new.

My personal opinion on all of this: I simply cannot imagine electric commercial aircraft getting EASA, FAA, etc. approval for 121 operations in the next 30+ years (at best: 20... and ONLY if there is a business case). I feel similarly about single-pilot ops. The former has fundamental technology/economic restrictions. The latter... well... That's a discussion another thread.

LucaDiMontanari wrote:
Generally I wouldn't deny the feasibility of such a plane..... We may get to a 10:1 ratio at some time, but hardly any better, due to the fact that batteries are not "pure" energy like jetfuel. Instead you will always carry a lot of dead mass.


:checkmark:
You nailed it, Luca, with fundamental physics/thermodynamics/economics, without even touching on the regulatory aspect of it. Commercial, 121-approved electric aircraft operations are decades away.
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 7:29 am

rjsampson wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
Indeed. We are likely to see single pilot large airliners in the next 10-15 years.


Arch: You are one of the absolute best contributors to these forums. Your experience, insight, and selflessness in contributing to so many threads... We're lucky for your consistent on-point knowledge. But *large* airliners, with single pilots... in the next 10-15 years? I cannot imagine the flying public (much less the regulating authorities) ever getting to that point in within a 10-15 year timeline. Heck, we're already poking holes in OP's article about Norway getting a commercial aircraft with electic motors to prototype? production? EIS? by 2025. IMHO, the notion of single-pilot large airliners within 15 years falls within the same realm of speculation.


I can understand the skepticism. I am skeptical myself. But Airbus is pushing hard in this arena, and I get the feeling they know more than I do. ;) Of course, predicting the timescales involved is very hard. And the pandemic is probably going to slow things down by 4-5 years.

I will say that I personally don't think adapting an aircraft already in service to single pilot is practical. So many things are buiit around the multi crew concept. IMHO it would need to be designed for single-pilot ops from the ground up.



Note the picture of the Airbus "DISCO" cockpit concept on this Airbus page. Airbus Autonomous flight

SHAPING THE FUTURE
Airbus is pushing ahead in tech as it aims for single-pilot planes, says CTO


Airbus exploring single-pilot, autonomous plane in tech race

Yes, that is an A350 pilot seat.
Image
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:55 pm

rjsampson wrote:

kalvado wrote:
Yes, we all know that there is no such plane as Pilatus pc-12, and boutique air is just a fictional company...


:?:
Apples and Oranges comparison. That carrier (just like Cape Air) operate single-pilot certified aircraft under 135 (far cry from 121) operations with small passenger loads. PC-12 single-pilot, commercial operations are nothing new.


If "different set of regulations" is the primary argument - one can reliably assume that most of that red tape can - and should - be removed. As a general comment, US is clearly overregulated to the point when regulations defeat their purpose. In this particular example, US allows 9 pax max for single-pilot ops, while Norway allows 19. I didn't hear about planes falling out of Norwegian sky by the flock, though.
Now, the actual pilot workload is much better consideration.

My original thought was that the best way to achieve viable plane on this scenario - 19 pax, single pilot, electrically powered short hops - would be modification of an existing aircraft. US regulations do not come into play. No, not even close.
Pretty clearly, capacity will be lower than on the original frame. Now, there is a gap between 19 and 40 seaters in production, correct me if I am wrong. And my question is - if I was in charge of a project, which plane would I choose for modification? Has to be something in 30-40 seat range, reasonably (not from the regulations standpoint) flyable by a single pilot. Preferably one in production today. Aomeone upstream commented ATR42 is a high workload bird, so two pilots are a must. any other candidates?
 
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:29 pm

The economics will kill it. Single-pilot Ops in RPT implies the means to land the plane WITHOUT a pilot with 10E-9 probability of success, probably designed to 10E-10. The cost far exceeds any pilot costs, then the idea of having a ground pilot adds back the cost of removing the second pilot. There’s little to no market for 50-seat jets, let along a new 19-49 seat prop, electric or fossil fueled without these costs.

Swiss A321 had a Pilot incapacitated intercepting the ILS on the 7th, how’d single pilot work that?
 
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:17 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
The economics will kill it. Single-pilot Ops in RPT implies the means to land the plane WITHOUT a pilot with 10E-9 probability of success, probably designed to 10E-10. The cost far exceeds any pilot costs, then the idea of having a ground pilot adds back the cost of removing the second pilot. There’s little to no market for 50-seat jets, let along a new 19-49 seat prop, electric or fossil fueled without these costs.

Swiss A321 had a Pilot incapacitated intercepting the ILS on the 7th, how’d single pilot work that?

why do you think it is 1e-9 probability? 95-98% should be good enough.
 
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:19 pm

Because that’s the certification standard for a single point of failure with a potential catastrophic outcome. Good enough ain’t good enough.
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 4:58 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Because that’s the certification standard for a single point of failure with a potential catastrophic outcome. Good enough ain’t good enough.

What is the probability of a pilot passing out in a cockpit? There were 10M airline flights in US in 2018, that is 20M pilot-trips, with average trip length above what we discussed. How many incap pilot events were there?
If 1 (which seems to be close enough to an average), then 2% autoland failure rate would result in 1e-9 of both pilot getting unable to fly AND autoland failure - which is a double failure required for a crash.
 
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:47 pm

kalvado wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Because that’s the certification standard for a single point of failure with a potential catastrophic outcome. Good enough ain’t good enough.

What is the probability of a pilot passing out in a cockpit? There were 10M airline flights in US in 2018, that is 20M pilot-trips, with average trip length above what we discussed. How many incap pilot events were there?
If 1 (which seems to be close enough to an average), then 2% autoland failure rate would result in 1e-9 of both pilot getting unable to fly AND autoland failure - which is a double failure required for a crash.


Pilot incapacitation might be the most common emergency situation in airline flying.

It isn't just passing out btw. Can be severe food poisoning, stroke, inhalation of toxic fumes.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:00 am

As I said, Swiss had a pilot incapacitated the other day. How about the one at a NYC airport crossing the runway threshold? It happens, pilots are considered a 10E-5 failure risk, not to mention the various times, one pilot checks the other’s inputs or speaks up about the approach profile. There’s a lot of reasons behind two pilots. Oh, BTW, trains run two people also.

I don’t get the fascination non-pilots have with getting rid of a pilot.
 
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:03 am

Starlionblue wrote:
kalvado wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Because that’s the certification standard for a single point of failure with a potential catastrophic outcome. Good enough ain’t good enough.

What is the probability of a pilot passing out in a cockpit? There were 10M airline flights in US in 2018, that is 20M pilot-trips, with average trip length above what we discussed. How many incap pilot events were there?
If 1 (which seems to be close enough to an average), then 2% autoland failure rate would result in 1e-9 of both pilot getting unable to fly AND autoland failure - which is a double failure required for a crash.


Pilot incapacitation might be the most common emergency situation in airline flying.

It isn't just passing out btw. Can be severe food poisoning, stroke, inhalation of toxic fumes.

How often would you estimate that happening?
 
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:19 am

Last figure I heard was, at least, once a year but that years ago.

From an FAA study,

We found 39 in-flight medical incapacitations for a rate of 0.045 per 100,000 hours and 11 impairments for a rate of 0.013 per 100,000 hours on 47 U.S. airline flights between 1993 and 1998. It is interesting that there were approximately four times as many incapacitations as impairments, since impairments were generally less serious events and could be expected to occur at least as frequently as incapacitations.


The most important factor that appears to be respon- sible for the exceptionally good U.S. airline safety record associated with in-flight medical incapacitations is the presence of a second pilot. In five out of the seven cases where safety of flight was considered to be severely im- pacted, the aircraft was taken over by the unaffected pilot who made a successful landing. In the two cases where the affected pilot remained at the controls after subtle impairment, both resulted in an aircraft accident


https://www.faa.gov/data_research/resea ... a/0416.pdf
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:30 am

kalvado wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
kalvado wrote:
What is the probability of a pilot passing out in a cockpit? There were 10M airline flights in US in 2018, that is 20M pilot-trips, with average trip length above what we discussed. How many incap pilot events were there?
If 1 (which seems to be close enough to an average), then 2% autoland failure rate would result in 1e-9 of both pilot getting unable to fly AND autoland failure - which is a double failure required for a crash.


Pilot incapacitation might be the most common emergency situation in airline flying.

It isn't just passing out btw. Can be severe food poisoning, stroke, inhalation of toxic fumes.

How often would you estimate that happening?


See GalaxyFlyer's answer above. Note that reporting is imperfect. In context, severe fatigue counts as incapacitation. Pilots regularly fly in the wee hours of the night, after minimum legal rest. But it isn't like every instance of legal controlled rest makes the official statistics. And there's a difference between incapacitation that affects the operation, e.g. falling asleep on final leading to a go-around, and someone taking an inadvertent 5-minute nap in the cruise while the other guy is fully awake.

At any rate, pilots are more likely to "fail" compared to many other "systems" that are required to be redundant, e.g. engines, hydraulic systems, packs. Thus, redundancy must be at least as good as those systems, whether we are talking two pilots or a pilot with a lot of systems and ground support. And as GalaxyFlyer's, says it would be much more expensive to implement single-pilot than just having two pilots. At least today. In 10-15 years, we shall see. The fact that Airbus is pushing so hard does indicate that this is an area they think has potential in the not too distant future.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
kalvado
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:56 am

Starlionblue wrote:
kalvado wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:

Pilot incapacitation might be the most common emergency situation in airline flying.

It isn't just passing out btw. Can be severe food poisoning, stroke, inhalation of toxic fumes.

How often would you estimate that happening?


See GalaxyFlyer's answer above. Note that reporting is imperfect. In context, severe fatigue counts as incapacitation. Pilots regularly fly in the wee hours of the night, after minimum legal rest. But it isn't like every instance of legal controlled rest makes the official statistics. And there's a difference between incapacitation that affects the operation, e.g. falling asleep on final leading to a go-around, and someone taking an inadvertent 5-minute nap in the cruise while the other guy is fully awake.

At any rate, pilots are more likely to "fail" compared to many other "systems" that are required to be redundant, e.g. engines, hydraulic systems, packs. Thus, redundancy must be at least as good as those systems, whether we are talking two pilots or a pilot with a lot of systems and ground support. And as GalaxyFlyer's, says it would be much more expensive to implement single-pilot than just having two pilots. At least today. In 10-15 years, we shall see. The fact that Airbus is pushing so hard does indicate that this is an area they think has potential in the not too distant future.

Well, pilots are actually more reliable than engines, if those FAA numbers are accurate. FAA tells it is over 1M hours per accident (or, if you will, that 1 in 25-50 pilots has such an event over their career) which is close to GE-90 IFSD rate (and I believe that is on a high side among existing engines)
With those numbers, backup reliability has to be at , or better, than 1 accident in 1000 landings - which is higner than my 98% estimate, but is still managable by upfront testing.
My main point here is that backup system doesn't have to have super-duper numbers to reduce the risk to certifyable limits.
 
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:49 am

But, why? There’s no need to increase the risk or incur very large infrastructure and aircraft costs to reduce to one pilot. It’s about money in the end and single-pilot isn’t going to save costs when all that goes into it is accounted for? A co-pilot is about $3 per passenger ticket.

BTW, are you a risk analyst in aviation?
 
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rjsampson
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Re: Electrical airplanes in Norway technically possible by 2025?

Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:56 am

Not to mention Pilot's Unions.... Good luck pushing Single Pilot operations through the multitude of those and their nuanced contracts.

I'm not a knee-jerk reactionary to changes (of course I'd fly on the MAX when it re-enters service). I honestly would never fly on a single-pilot jetliner. Not 10, 20, or 40 years from now. I suspect I'm not the only one.

..and what about a single-pilot aircraft's experiencing the same "teething issues" after EIS that most new aircraft do? No amount of flight testing seemed to effectively account for unforeseen issues after their EIS.
"..your eyes will be forever turned skyward, for there.." yeah we know the DaVinci quote. Unfortunately, we're grounded :(

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