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  #41  
Old 12-01-2021, 02:45 PM
Bernardo's Avatar
Bernardo Bernardo is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 21
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post
I agree that electric propulsion is the future of transportation, after all, dino juice can't last forever...
There is a third way: biofuels. About as sustainable and carbon-neutral as a battery, with about the same energy density as fossil fuels.

One possibility is synthetic UL91, which has already been used to fuel a Rotax-912-powered Ikarus C42.

Another possibility is ethanol. (By "ethanol" I mean pure ethanol, E85 to E100, not "gasoline with some ethanol in it" like the E15 that we buy at the gas station). It does pose some challenges - which is why engine companies like Lycoming and Rotax tell us to avoid it - but it is possible to overcome those challenges through R&D, and (after enough testing and some minor modifications) to run most piston airplane engines on ethanol. In Brazil, a large fraction of cars have been running on ethanol for decades, and cropdusters are powered by certified IO-540 engines that run on ethanol. It's not rocket science. It's just a matter of testing materials until you find reliable ones that are not corroded by ethanol, for things like fuel lines and gaskets and fuel pumps and so on.

A third possibility is biodiesel / synthetic Jet-A, which is what most people mean when they say "Sustainable Aviation Fuel". This is already used by airlines and jet manufacturers and bizjet operators and the USAF and Navy. However, there are only very few people who fly piston-powered airplanes who want diesel engines, which have the side benefit of being able to burn Jet-A. I won't go into all the pros and cons of those engines, other than to say that their high price seems to prevent them from becoming super popular.

For example, the Vanguard Squadron has been flying RVs on biofuels for many years.

I would not recommend that anyone start flying their airplane on ethanol, or any other alternative fuel, without first developing a thorough understanding of how each material in your fuel system holds up to years of exposure to the fuel in question, including mixtures with water, or on surfaces that is mostly exposed to air but occasionally to fuel, etc. When you start using an alternative fuel before there are reliable materials and modifications for it on the market (based on R&D and, ideally, years of experience), you're basically engineering your own fuel system.

But it's only a matter of time until we all have to choose one of these options, and are forced to do the R&D and testing and modifications required to safely use synthetic fuels (or hydrogen) or to improve batteries, because dino juice won't last forever.
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RV-6, 6A, 7A, 9A, & 12 pilot/co-owner. Aeronautical engineer, researcher, lecturer, author. Stanford, Boeing, etc.
Worked on wind-tunnel research, on design & modeling of rocket & jet engines, control systems for UAVs & spacecraft, jetliner maintenance planning, lab tests & computer modeling of innovative aero structures, future airplane design… But I have always wanted to work for a small company, on airplanes optimized for fun rather than profit, and no airplane is more fun than an RV!

Last edited by Bernardo : 12-02-2021 at 10:55 AM. Reason: Clarification: "Ethanol" means "pure ethanol". Added line about hydrogen and batteries, linked to FAA Climate Action Plan.
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  #42  
Old 12-01-2021, 08:33 PM
David Z David Z is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 782
Default Messy

Hydrocarbon fuels also mean lubrication oil. This all eventually leaks from somewhere. Needs maintenance, is messy, needs proper disposal.

Air cooled electric motor has no need for lubrication oil, so no oil changes, no mess, no fuel tank leaks or weeping rivets. Us Canucks are plugging in our airplanes so the hydrocarbon engine is warm enough to start. Might as well unplug a power source for an electric motor and go flying. I know we're a long way off in terms of battery capacity and recharge rates. Low maintenance and cleanliness sounds wonderful. Can't wait.
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  #43  
Old 12-04-2021, 01:16 PM
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smokyray smokyray is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: TX32
Posts: 1,968
Default Train Wreck...

Not to De-Rail this thread any more than it already has been, the RV15 and RV16 are yet to be unveiled by Van's skunkworks but have been vaguely defined in their official statement (see home page this site) at OSH last summer.
High Wing, multi passenger, backcountry (off airport) capable aircraft.

As far as propulsion, until the technology of alternate fuel, electric power or steam, Nuke or otherwise reaches reliable, cost effective and readily available, affordable sources, I don't see it happening prior to next Spring's announcement and prototype (s) slipping the surlies.
That said, I bet it has a Lycoming bolted on the front...

For now.
V/R
Smokey

Last edited by smokyray : 12-04-2021 at 01:26 PM.
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  #44  
Old 12-04-2021, 02:23 PM
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Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokyray View Post
Not to De-Rail t
That said, I bet it has a Lycoming bolted on the front...
For now.
V/R
Smokey
Ya Think??????? I certainly wouldn't bet against that!! Well, steam maybe!
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Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished. Discount for Veterans, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School E-LSA Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
<rvmel(at)icloud.com>
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  #45  
Old 12-04-2021, 03:13 PM
PilotjohnS PilotjohnS is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Southwest
Posts: 1,841
Default I wanna know

Quote:
Originally Posted by smokyray View Post
Not to De-Rail this thread any more than it already has been, the RV15 and RV16 are yet to be unveiled by Van's skunkworks but have been vaguely defined in their official statement (see home page this site) at OSH last summer.
High Wing, multi passenger, backcountry (off airport) capable aircraft.

As far as propulsion, until the technology of alternate fuel, electric power or steam, Nuke or otherwise reaches reliable, cost effective and readily available, affordable sources, I don't see it happening prior to next Spring's announcement and prototype (s) slipping the surlies.
That said, I bet it has a Lycoming bolted on the front...

For now.
V/R
Smokey
Just wanna know if it is a 320, 390, or 540?
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WARNING! Information presented in this post is my opinion. All users of info have sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for their use.

Dues paid 2021, worth every penny

RV9A- Status:
95% done, 5% left to go
Electrical/Panel done
Firewall Forward 95% done (waiting on fiberglass to be done)
Fiberglass 5%
www.pilotjohnsrv9.blogspot.com
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  #46  
Old 12-04-2021, 06:31 PM
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airguy airguy is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Garden City, Tx
Posts: 5,601
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PilotjohnS View Post
Just wanna know if it is a 320, 390, or 540?
Two place bush plane? My money is on a 390.
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Garden City, TX VAF 2021 dues paid
N16GN flying 900 hrs and counting; IO360, SDS, WWRV200, Dynon HDX, IFD440, G5
Built an off-plan RV9A with too much fuel and too much HP. Should drop dead any minute now.
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  #47  
Old 12-04-2021, 08:20 PM
PilotjohnS PilotjohnS is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Southwest
Posts: 1,841
Default Agree

Quote:
Originally Posted by airguy View Post
Two place bush plane? My money is on a 390.
I am not sure what is in the RV15, but even if Van's says it is a 320, you know everyone is going to stuff a 390 in it anyway. ;-)

I am sure any 4 place will have the 540.

Can't wait to see the Rocket version of the RV15
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John S

WARNING! Information presented in this post is my opinion. All users of info have sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for their use.

Dues paid 2021, worth every penny

RV9A- Status:
95% done, 5% left to go
Electrical/Panel done
Firewall Forward 95% done (waiting on fiberglass to be done)
Fiberglass 5%
www.pilotjohnsrv9.blogspot.com
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  #48  
Old 12-05-2021, 09:15 AM
sailvi767 sailvi767 is offline
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Charlotte NC
Posts: 1,389
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Z View Post
Hydrocarbon fuels also mean lubrication oil. This all eventually leaks from somewhere. Needs maintenance, is messy, needs proper disposal.

Air cooled electric motor has no need for lubrication oil, so no oil changes, no mess, no fuel tank leaks or weeping rivets. Us Canucks are plugging in our airplanes so the hydrocarbon engine is warm enough to start. Might as well unplug a power source for an electric motor and go flying. I know we're a long way off in terms of battery capacity and recharge rates. Low maintenance and cleanliness sounds wonderful. Can't wait.
I am a big proponent of electric power and own a Tesla and had another electric car before the Tesla. Many believe electrics to be pollution free but that is far from the case. The effects of both mining lithium and later disposal of the batteries is a serious issue. The type of power used to charge a electric comes with its own set of problems. Many Tesla’s are effectively burning coal or other greenhouse fuels. The same would apply to aircraft.
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  #49  
Old 12-05-2021, 09:48 AM
lr172 lr172 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Schaumburg, IL
Posts: 6,735
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailvi767 View Post
I am a big proponent of electric power and own a Tesla and had another electric car before the Tesla. Many believe electrics to be pollution free but that is far from the case. The effects of both mining lithium and later disposal of the batteries is a serious issue. The type of power used to charge a electric comes with its own set of problems. Many Tesla’s are effectively burning coal or other greenhouse fuels. The same would apply to aircraft.
Yeah, I find it amusing how electric car users think they are helping the environment. Over the last 10 years, there has been a big push to natural gas for electricity production; Hardly green energy, though less sulfur and other **** from coal burning. That said, I am confident that the CO emissions for the electricity consumed by a car is less than that from the same power produced by an internal combustion engine.

Larry
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  #50  
Old 12-05-2021, 08:01 PM
David Z David Z is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Thunder Bay Ontario
Posts: 782
Default

I didn't even comment on the environmental issue of internal combustion vs electric. Just that electric is physically cleaner in that there is nothing to leak. No weeping tank rivets, no oil leaks. Also more user friendly due to significantly less maintenance.

If I'm pluging in the Reiff/Tanis to have my Lycoming warm enough to start. I already need electricity, produced primarily by hydroelectric dams, and nuclear in my area. Once batteries catch up, I'll run my whole plane on the electrons I used to use to keep thr Lycoming warm enough to start.
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Empennage Passed Pre-close Inspection
Wings mostly done
Fuselage deburring and dimpling. So many holes
83126
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Donation till September 2022
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