Discussion in 'Other Rec Aircraft' started by fly_tornado, Jul 7, 2016.
A beautifully made and really interesting video!
Has it flown yet?...what a great video
Beautiful, but still quicker to dump in 60 liters of fuel and go, rather than plug in for maybe 4 hours or swap out a battery rack, but nice to see the innovative approach
I found that so interesting FT.
I love seeing developments like this. This is what progress in design is all about.
I have no doubt that in a few years time many of our LSA's will be electric powered.
Having worked for 19yrs with the pioneers of the photoelectric industry prior to coming to Oz, I can see that not only the wings, but the majority of the airframe itself becoming one large solar panel would be very achievable to give even greater range.
All this stuff gets my old development brain working overtime.
If I don't sleep tonight, i'll know who to blame.
Electric is the way to go for training. This here uses about 2.5 euros in energy for an hour of circuit training:
Actually it's not quicker to dump in 60 liters and go. This would have been my mind-set until I flew the Pipistrel at the factory but once you've done it so many other lights are switched on and electric begins to make sense.
For a start your plane has probably been sitting for more than 4 hours before you fly it so it's already charged. If it's a flying school plane then it takes about 5 minutes to slip in a fresh set of batteries.
When we did the pre-flight I was baffled. No dipping the tanks. No checking the oil. No fuel drain. No pulling through to check compressions. Just check the prop turns and look at a battery condition gauge then push the power lever forward. Six seconds later you are in the air. No run-ups and no magneto checks and no carb-heat checks. And think about all the fuel, oil and coolant plumbing that you don't have to check and replace every five years or so.
I don't have any connection to Pipistrel. I love my Gipsy Major and the Rotax 912 I regularly fly behind but, the advantages of electric go far beyond saving Co2 emissions. Safety, simplicity and neighbor friendly are bonuses which only became apparent when I actually flew the Pipistrel. Yes it is still a 45 min around the patch plane or a student ab initio plane. But when, after 43 years of flying, I look at my log book, that's about 80% of my flying.
The next step is a difficult one I.e cross country, infrastructure, recharging etc but I'm quite sure it will come. Oh and the noise in the cockpit. It's heaps quieter than my 912ULS Kitfox. We took the headsets off and conversed easily. Like sitting behind a big electric fan. And watching the battery recharge as soon as soon as you pull the power back and begin to descend is very comforting.
My first post here. An Auster, Kitfox and Jodel flyer.
I have a Tesla, if you can schedule and plan ahead it's fine, otherwise I still like to jump in my petrol Mazda most of the time and just go without needing to think ahead at all.
"Alternate" does intrude in the magnificent freedom that vehicles usually offer.
Have you tried Duracell's Bex.
I've seen their ads on tv and they look quite impressive.
But i'm no bunny! (in my humble opinion|)
Somewhere in Europe (Netherlands perhaps?) they're developing PV footpaths/bike tracks which generate electricity. Perhaps in the future that technology could be applied to that big long flat strip of asphalt we use for take off and landing...
It was all the better for being presented by Kryten from Red Dwarf...
I have a mental image now. 2/3 scale, electric, contra-rotating Spitfire... hell you'd only need 15 minute flights to scare the pants off yourself.
Clearly, electric power has a fair bit of potential. Infernal combustion engines are all trying to self destruct, and often manage to. IF you train on electric how will you know about the other engines? It's hard to get the 2 stroke endorsement these days. Nev
I'm perhaps more excited about the future of electric engines as a power source for aeroplanes than anything else in the cutting edge of aerospace today. As you say Nev, internal combustion is all about slamming linked bits of metal back and forth at great speed, it does constantly try to destroy itself. The advantages of electric - the ones mentioned by Auster above, along with the ones by the bloke in the video, are substantial, and enhanced by the contra-rotating idea.
I can see some further education required in my future.
I asked the Pipistrel people about this and, understandably, they said it's just a matter of difference training and they make exactly the same plane with a Rotax 912. Obviously they hope flying schools would have the electric version for the circuit and near airfield training and the piston version for the remainder. Another big advantage here in Europe, especially for training, is the low noise output.
Where I fly we have many restrictions i.e. a circuit that looks like the Albert Park GP track to avoid noise sensitive villages and farms, and restrictions on times when circuits can be flown. It's a big problem and the restrictions, in my view, sometimes impinge on safety.
You can not avoid 2 simple parts of the equation Marty;
1/ Petrol contains 4 times as much energy per kg than a battery. If you need 50kgs of petrol to do your trip, you need 200kgs of batteries to do the same trip.
2/ At the end of the flight your petrol vehicle is lighter by the amount of fuel used and the bits of metal that Nev reckons have fallen off, while electric weighs exactly the same.
Points taken and agreed with. However as Auster said above,
Unless you're into cross country then an hour should be enough - the Pipistrel Alpha Electro apparently will go 1.5 hours (1 hour flying, 30 min reserve) on a battery weighing 126kg and motor weighing 14kg. That's 140kg all up. Rotax 912s weighs 63.8kg installed, plus coolant, battery, fuel lines, fuel tanks, header tank, fuel pump, etc. I'm not sure exactly how much that all weighs but probably wouldn't get much change out of 6kg (the plastic Sav tanks weigh a fair bit). So that's 70kg, 77 litres of fuel at .71kg/l = 54.67kg, so we're up to around 125kg all up. Yes that will fly us a lot longer than 1.5 hours - at say 17lph you've got 4.5 hours... but the whole point is, most of the time you probably only fly an hour anyway.
What I'm imagining is a 66 - 75% single seat Spitfire that would be fun to throw around the sky for half an hour. I wouldn't want to do long flights anyway (well I might, but it won't kill me not to!)
Some info from the people featured in that video:
The answer is yes, we will move to offer a commercial 300hp electric contra rotating propulsion system in the future.
Some late series Spitfires as you no doubt already know were fitted with the Griffin powered contra rotating propeller arrangement and proved highly successful performance wise but being ICE powered was tremendously complex and needed a military budget to build and maintain them.
Have a look at www.contraelectric.com which will give you more information on the development although the site is a little out of date – we will be updating it shortly.
We are hoping Robert Llewellyn will do a second Fully Charged program covering the ground test program of the CRPS unit which will commence in the next few weeks.
The attached photo shows the prototype CRPS at the Royal International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford recently.
Contra Electric Propulsion Ltd.
The site www.contraelectric.com is very interesting. Below is the photo they attached.
Thanks, I was racking my brain to figure out what he was in......
Fascinating stuff, hmm assume the thrust will be reversible too? Land even shorter ;)
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