Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

OMG, the Dreaded Six-Engine Approach!

Daher, Airbus and Safran announced they are teaming up to develop a “hybrid-propulsion” aircraft to fly in 2022. Based on a TBM airframe still fitted with a Pratt & Whitney PT6A turboprop, the video produced by Daher reveals six electric motors mounted to the leading edge of the wing.
Clearly, it's a experimental airplane. It's going to take a long time before any of this is commercially viable.

To be frank, I am skeptical. To run those electric motors, there has to be batteries or a fuel-burning generator. All that means weight.

For almost every airplane, filling all the seats with adults and filling the fuel tanks is not possible. So one trades payload for range. Batteries make that tradeoff impractical.

For the near term, electric airplanes will be either used for specialized circumstances (like high-altitude radio relays) or for hobbyists.

(Google "seven-engine approach" if you don't get the headline.)


k55f5r said...

I disagree about the electric planes. All that is needed is a high-capacity lightweight battery and we will all be flying them.
MIT is working on a carbon nanotube battery that will be ideal for this application once )=(and if) it comes to fruition.
And honestly, battery innovation is about our only hope to reduce carbon to an acceptable amount and postpone climate change. All the solar power from the sun and no way to carry it around....

Comrade Misfit said...

I still believe that, for the near term, electric airplanes will be impractical.

But hell, the same was true of all airplanes 110 years ago.

Zendo Deb said...

"All that is needed is a high-capacity lightweight battery"

See this chart for the various energy density values of various material. If you seriously want to get rid of jet fuel (which while not listed is probably not quite halfway between kerosene and gasoline), you would be better off trying for hydrogen fuel. Though you have the problem of invisible fires in the event of a crash.