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Electric Xplane development

  1. Jul 26, 2016 #1

    1oldman2

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    I came across this item today, the concept sounds very interesting, however the "electric jet engine" may be a while in development. o_O
    http://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/features/X-57_fuselage_arrives.html
    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/18/science/nasa-electric-plane-x57.html
    The steps taken by NASA will not translate into all-electric cross-
    country jetliners. But the agency hopes the technology can be
    incorporated into smaller, general aviation and commuter aircraft some
    years from now.

    quoting Sean Clarke of NASA's Armstong flight research center, "I think all-electric would be a stretch for jetliners,"
     
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  3. Jul 27, 2016 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    They are experimenting with reducing power requirements ... this is a concept aircraft (prob not even that far along) only.
    The main issue with electric aircraft is the energy dencity: batteries are heavy for the amount of energy they can store, so electric aircraft have issues with range.
    Still ... it's the sort of thing to expect as fossil fuels increase in price down the track.
     
  4. Jul 27, 2016 #3

    1oldman2

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    It will be interesting to see what developments come from this, in electrical storage as well as aircraft materials/design. I did notice all the E-aircraft seem limited to about one hour of flight time, that will change as R&D keeps chipping away at the issues involved.
    This as well as emissions and noise pollution are very high on the list of driving factors behind the programs in everything I've read so far.
    I'm still trying to figure out if I've missed something where the terms "electric and jet" get used, I can't reconcile the notion of a jet engine(which to me is combustion) and electric motors, It seems writers are using the term jet as a euphemism for any larger passenger aircraft rather than one specifically powered by a jet engine (or possibly turbine over electric ?). One things certain these programs are going to be keeping a lot of engineers busy for the foreseeable future.
    Here is another write up from a couple of years ago. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/impossible-electric-airplane-takes-flight/
    A series of lithium-ion batteries fitted into the wings of the plane are the
    sole power source for the E-Fan's two 30-kilowatt electric motors. A 6
    kW electric motor in the main wheel provides extra power during
    acceleration and taxiing to reduce electrical power consumption on the
    ground.

    But despite its highly energy efficient design, the E-Fan only has a
    one-hour range, which means it cannot leave the vicinity of an airport.
    To combat range anxiety, the plane is outfitted with a backup battery for
    landing purposes and a parachute that can be deployed as high as 2,000
    feet.

    "We're trying this. It's not to enter the business of small aircraft," Botti
    said. "It's to learn to make a new business."

    Airbus Group's ultimate goal is to make a 70- to 80-person hybrid-
    electric commuter jet with three hours of range in the 2050 time frame.
    Initial designs of the E-Thrust aircraft show the plane with six electric-
    powered fans that will be powered by a gas-fueled energy storage unit
    during the ascent and cruise phase and then glide using electric power
    alone while descending.
     
  5. Jul 27, 2016 #4

    Simon Bridge

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    You can use an electric arc to heat air in an electric jet engine.
     
  6. Jul 27, 2016 #5

    1oldman2

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    Interesting concept, I haven't come across that, thanks. I'm curious about such a systems efficiency, can you recommend any sites or articles that would be available on the subject ?
     
  7. Jul 27, 2016 #6

    1oldman2

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  8. Jul 29, 2016 #7

    Simon Bridge

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    No idea... i imagine it is as good as mixing fuel and air in terms of getting requisite expansion.
    The main issue being the energy density of the source.
     
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