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  #31  
Old 11-30-2021, 03:12 PM
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rv8ch rv8ch is offline
 
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Originally Posted by PilotjohnS View Post
I hope you are kidding.
If Ford can do it, Van's can do it.

https://www.ford.com/suvs/mach-e/
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  #32  
Old 11-30-2021, 03:47 PM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
 
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I agree that electric propulsion is the future of transportation, after all, dino juice can't last forever, But the obvious elephant in the room is that with current battery technology, there isn't a viable solution that can pack enough electrons into an airplane to actually go anywhere without making it too heavy to be practical...

A quick google search seems to indicate that the battery pack on the Ford Mach-E weighs a little over 1,000 lbs!
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  #33  
Old 11-30-2021, 04:29 PM
PilotjohnS PilotjohnS is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post
... dino juice can't last forever, l...

A quick google search seems to indicate that the battery pack on the Ford Mach-E weighs a little over 1,000 lbs!
Some of us believe "dino juice" is constantly being created (re generated) in the earth's crust. so for us "far out" guys, the question becomes are we consuming it faster than it is being created?
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  #34  
Old 11-30-2021, 05:08 PM
rockwoodrv9 rockwoodrv9 is offline
 
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I went up today and it was cold! Michigan in winter s not a friendly place. I was glad I had my heater - even as limited as it is at least I have one. No such luck in an elect plane. It takes too much of the battery power. I dont see much of a future for elect flight other than a novelty. Nuclear or other alternates - hopefully.
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  #35  
Old 11-30-2021, 05:17 PM
Desert Rat Desert Rat is offline
 
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In its current form, don't nuclear reactors just make steam that turns turbines and makes electricity? Have I got that wrong?

Seems like a nuclear airplane is pretty out there, but you would surely have plenty of heat!

perhaps dilithium chrystals are the answer
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  #36  
Old 11-30-2021, 05:31 PM
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Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Desert Rat View Post
SNIP

Seems like a nuclear airplane is pretty out there, but you would surely have plenty of heat! SNIP
Nuclear power for bombers was a massive development effort in the late 50s. Common sense finally prevailed and the program was killed.

Carl
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  #37  
Old 11-30-2021, 05:39 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
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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, But the obvious elephant in the room is that with current battery technology, there isn't a viable solution that can pack enough electrons into an airplane to actually go anywhere without making it too heavy to be practical....
According to Aviation Week and Space Technology, a number of companies are developing electric aircraft of various types. There is big money and a bunch of talent there. And more than one, I think, are well on their way to getting FAA certification.

Dave
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  #38  
Old 11-30-2021, 05:40 PM
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+1 for Dilithium crystals
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  #39  
Old 11-30-2021, 07:53 PM
PhatRV PhatRV is offline
 
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Originally Posted by David Paule View Post
According to Aviation Week and Space Technology, a number of companies are developing electric aircraft of various types. There is big money and a bunch of talent there. And more than one, I think, are well on their way to getting FAA certification.

Dave
There is many companies into the urban mobility like air taxi where long range isn't an issue. The urban infrastructure can also support rapid charging at established sites. However, the battery density is limiting the kind of airplane performance we are accustomed to. For a small LSA, anything short range and low speed within 1 - 2 hours is doable, much like flight training. Beyond that, fossil fuel wins out by a wide margin.
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  #40  
Old 12-01-2021, 02:45 PM
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Bernardo Bernardo is offline
 
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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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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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