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-   -   Small Electric Airplanes have Arrived (http://www.fuelly.com/forums/f22/small-electric-airplanes-have-arrived-19451.html)

ChewChewTrain 06-19-2017 07:21 PM

Small Electric Airplanes have Arrived

Eventually, as battery tech improves, commercial aviation will be here.

R.I.D.E. 06-20-2017 04:17 AM


Maybe, but it won't be in the next several decades. Battery breakthroughs have been predicted for at least 50 years. I doubt chemical batteries will ever get there. Maybe a different configuration, flywheel batteries?

trollbait 06-20-2017 04:52 AM

The gyroscopic effects would be worse for an airplane.

Draigflag 06-20-2017 08:14 AM

I think solar and battery tech is getting there for commercial aircraft, an around the world trip was completed recently using a solar powered plane, there's no cloud to worry about when you fly above it!

I wonder in an emergency low battery situation, could you force the plane into a dive to regenerate power instead? If a landing can yield a 5% charge, imagine a long nose dive, providing the forces don't hamper airspeed too much.

LDB 06-20-2017 11:01 AM

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We're going to be a bit late to our arrival time. We've unexpectedly run out of batteries early and will have to delay our flight for a previously unscheduled crash. Thank you for flying stupid fuel airlines.

ChewChewTrain 06-20-2017 08:32 PM


Originally Posted by trollbait (Post 195014)
The gyroscopic effects would be worse for an airplane.

Whatcha mean. TrollBait?

trollbait 06-21-2017 06:01 AM

Flywheels are just big gyroscopes, and the forces they generate effect handling of the vehicle. Airplanes equipped with old rotary engines, another big gyroscope, could turn right and down quicker than they could turn left and up because of those forces.

Another example are helicopters. To keep the body of the aircraft from spinning opposite that of the rotor, a tail rotor is commonly used. But it is also possible to have a second rotor spinning in the opposite direction or an gyroscope to cancel the force.

On a car, a flywheel(referred to as a kinetic energy storage system, KERS) isn't a problem. It can be mounted in an orientation to have little effect on cornering. Then the ground the car sits on acts like a brace against the force. Plus, the ones used so far have been on hybrids, limited by racing rules, and thus small.

On a plane, at least two will have to be mounted so that when they spin in opposite directions, their forces are cancelled out. That may not be enough to completely negate the influence of the flywheels' spinning on the plane in the case where they are the sole energy source for the craft.

SteveMak 06-21-2017 11:17 AM

Keep in mind that "small electric (passenger) airplanes" have limited use, due to their:
  • Short range
  • Low load capacity
  • Short loitering time (air time, regardless of distance traveled)
So far, they are being trialed as trainers (with short flights near the airport) only, and have yet to be proven as cost-effective. Their greatest strength is to provide training in locales where it's difficult to get 100LL aircraft fuel, or it's extremely expensive. Trials and research continues.

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