Electric Airplanes attract Flight School attention

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Johny
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Electric Airplanes attract Flight School attention

Post by Johny » Fri, 29 Oct 2010, 18:42

Not quite motoring - but close.
Coming to a Flight School near you.
Last edited by Johny on Fri, 29 Oct 2010, 07:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Richo » Fri, 29 Oct 2010, 21:14

The E-Spyder is able to fly under the regulations outlined for ultralight aircraft weighing less than 254 pounds (115kg) empty that have been in place since the ultralight boom of the 1980s
If the basttery cost $20,000.
Allow for $2.5/Ah gives 8000Ah.
Or 133 x 3.2V 60Ah TS cells(2.3kg ea).
Gives 305kg of battery pack alone?
Even if a lipo pack was 1/2 the weight that is still 150kg.

So I guess they don't include the battery pack in the empty weight...

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Post by Johny » Fri, 29 Oct 2010, 21:27

The E-Spyder is this airplane.
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/10/wi ... ric-plane/
"Peghiny says the key to flying is watching the voltage. The 72-pound, 70-amp-hour lithium-polymer battery started the flight with 74 volts."

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Post by Thalass » Sat, 30 Oct 2010, 07:53

I dunno about the spyder, but the uneec thing is pretty neato. I'm not a fan of the pod-and-boom type that this is close to, but still its neat. Just needs an on-board fusion plant. :P
I'll drive an electric vehicle one day.

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Post by 7circle » Sat, 30 Oct 2010, 13:36

Richo wrote:
The E-Spyder is able to fly under the regulations outlined for ultralight aircraft weighing less than 254 pounds (115kg) empty that have been in place since the ultralight boom of the 1980s
If the basttery cost $20,000.
Allow for $2.5/Ah gives 8000Ah.
Or 133 x 3.2V 60Ah TS cells(2.3kg ea).
Gives 305kg of battery pack alone?
Even if a lipo pack was 1/2 the weight that is still 150kg.

So I guess they don't include the battery pack in the empty weight...
Johny wrote: The E-Spyder is this airplane.
http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/10/wi ... ric-plane/
"Peghiny says the key to flying is watching the voltage. The 72-pound, 70-amp-hour lithium-polymer battery started the flight with 74 volts."


A lipo pack with 70ah x 72V = 5kWh
Compared to 25kWh Rich suggested pack of 133 60Ah cells is a much smaller.

So that suggests only 25Kg for 200Wh/kg to get 5kWh.
Running at 4C for a 15 minute flight at 20kW motoring is sounding in the dropzone.

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Post by Richo » Sat, 30 Oct 2010, 14:34

So 20 x 3.7V 70Ah Lipo cells.

If we used 3.7V 5Ah 5S1P 20C lipo packs this makes 4S14P in pack form or 56 packs or 280 individual cells.
Each pack is about $50 so this is $2800 retail.
And the weight is 38kg/84-pounds.
Take the cells out of the wrappers and make one big pack you could probably get to about 72 pounds.
So if they sell the pack for $20,000 and they buy the batteries at retial of $2800 pay an employee $1000 for a week to make the pack for the plane.
That leaves $16,200.
I guess they could put it in a carbon fibre battery box - which really should be part of the plane - but may cost them $3000.
That now leaves $13,200 profit.

You would have to really ask is they batteries they are getting worth that much extra?Image

Still it is a nice plane
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Post by 7circle » Sun, 31 Oct 2010, 06:41

How much does it cost to replace a worn-out Cessna engine with an overhauled one?

Maybe there's a conversion market their Image Image

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Post by T1 Terry » Sun, 31 Oct 2010, 22:13

Does anyone make electric powered microlites? That would be the ultimate machine for me, packed up to travel on the bus, assembled at a chosen location and fly around the area almost silently for a 3 dimensional view. Drooling just thinking about it, I want one Image

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Post by Richo » Wed, 03 Nov 2010, 03:43

I vauguley recall someone in the UK making electric ultra-lights but have no links :(

Another issue atm is that Lithium batteries are not suppose to be transported by air.
Does the fact that they are the fuel make it ok?

Especially Li-po which is not as safe as some lithium batteries.
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Post by lithbattboss » Wed, 03 Nov 2010, 04:13

Richo wrote: I vauguley recall someone in the UK making electric ultra-lights but have no links :(

Another issue atm is that Lithium batteries are not suppose to be transported by air.
Does the fact that they are the fuel make it ok?

Especially Li-po which is not as safe as some lithium batteries.


That is not quite true. All of our LiFePO4 batteries are shipped worldwide by air daily. Virtually none are shipped by sea freight.

The only batteries which are/should be a no no by air are hazardous chemistry lithium ion batteries like Li-Co and Li-Po batteries.
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Post by bga » Fri, 05 Nov 2010, 19:38

Isn't it OK if the batteries are doing the transporting?

Hmm, you could put the batteries along the wing, that's good because they don't contribute to the structural loads there. A possible problem could be that high perfoirmace wings are thin, about 100-125mm thick. A battery box could be accomodated between the fwd and aft spars that frame the main structral element. I would expect a 100mm x 250mm aperture along about 1/2 of the wing. Sailplanes mostly have a big ballast (water) tank there.

There is a chinese 2-seater that claims 1.5-2.0 hours in level flight.
Chinese Yuneeq

The video makes the good point that the cost to operate is very low compared to avgas. ($2.50+ ? per litre)

This sport market is a good prospect because the electric drive completes with expensive aircraft engines and a lot of local sport flying is less than 2 hours.

Perhaps a fibreglass glider with a retractable propeller would better because it is much more efficient in the air and can be flown as a sailplane with the motor retracted or maybe windmilling, recharging the battery if the conditions are strong.

High perforamce 2-seat gliders can achieve glide ratios twice that of the Yuneeq and cruise at about twice the speed(~160kph) while thermalling (porpoise soaring and not circling in the thermals) on days with strong thermals.

I would expect that 300-500km flights with electric assist whould be readily acheivable most good summer gliding days in Australia with fewer outlandings in dodgy paddocks.

Edit:
I'd much rather crash with a pile of batteries that a tank full petrol.
Last edited by bga on Fri, 05 Nov 2010, 08:43, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Richo » Fri, 05 Nov 2010, 20:35

bga wrote:I'd much rather crash with a pile of batteries that a tank full petrol.


Ain't that the truth Image

But the question is would an electric plane crash more than a petrol one?
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Post by bga » Mon, 08 Nov 2010, 17:47

Cafe Foundation

A bunch of stuff on green aircraft and an x-prize for flying fuel economy.
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Post by Richo » Mon, 08 Nov 2010, 20:58

Tough challenge.
Got to go 200miles in 2 hours or less using 1gallon equivelent per passanger.
"Their" equivlent in battery energy is 33.7kWh/passenger.
Ie if you make a 2-seater you need to use less than 67.4kWh to go 161km/hr or faster.
So the max power would be 33.7kW to go a minimum of 161km/hr.

But solar is free so that 2-4kWh extra will probably amount to squat Image

USD$1.5M for the winner

Batteries alone would be around $50k for a 2-seater.
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Post by bga » Sat, 13 Nov 2010, 20:43

Not much solar power ... unless the wing is huge, but then the speed will be low.

How close does a sail plane get?

100kts, probably 35:1 glide ratio.
(I'm guessing at the polar curve here)
2 seats 700kg
200 miles is 350km,
350 km at 35:1 is 10,000m total glide height
energy is mass * g * height
energy is 700 * 10k * 9.81 = 69 MJ
divide by 3600 seconds per hour = 19 Kwh
divide by 2 seats = 9.5 kwh per seat
motor + propeller efficiency is probably 70% all up.
= 15 kwh per seat.

Should romp it in.

Diesel is probably a better bet because of the battery weight.
Last edited by bga on Sat, 13 Nov 2010, 10:06, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Richo » Tue, 16 Nov 2010, 20:27

I have always called them a glider.
Dunno if there is a difference.

The issue with the glider is if it will get a good enough speed for the trip.
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Post by bga » Wed, 17 Nov 2010, 00:26

Should be no problem with speed, max is about 250-300kph

See this: Here
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Post by Richo » Wed, 17 Nov 2010, 20:29

That one is 105kph.
But is doesn't say if that is the max unpowered speed.
Need 161km/hr+

I see they did use a 19kW ICE so that is well within the 33kW or less spec.
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Post by bga » Wed, 17 Nov 2010, 21:15

Yes, at 105kph, it glides 57m forward fore very 1m down, about twice as good as the wood and metal ones I've flown.

To fly the 320km at this speed would only need 5600m of height. Start at 18,000 feet and glide all the way there at 57kt.
This would translate to 38.5MJ, or 10.7kWh for two persons!
(or about 3 hours at 3.5kW) It would even be possible on batteries.

The wikipedia page for the Schempp-Hirth_Nimbus-3 lists the max speed for the single seat version as 270 kph. Most gliders have max speeds in the range 250 to 280 kph.

The glide ratio isn't as good at 100mph. I have guessed at about 35:1 is likely and better than most moderate performance gliders at 1/2 the speed.

The 80+ foot wingspan is a problem for ground handling and would make these impractical for day to day use.

On a good day with strong streets of thermals 100mph average should be easily possible without the motor on at all. In 1985, Hans Werner Grosse set a 750km triangle record at an average speed of 98 mph.
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Post by Simon » Wed, 17 Nov 2010, 21:34

Richo the 105kph is the optimum Lift/Drag ratio speed for this glider.
Max speed would be somewhere around 280kph I think but cant find any specs on this particular model.

Interestingly Schemp-Hirth in collaboration with 2 other companies have made a 2 seater electric glider called the Arcus E.

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Post by Richo » Thu, 18 Nov 2010, 20:59

Ok good that fixes the speed issue.
But now these particular gliders don't meet the 44' max wingspan.
They can be folded as long as they are less than 13' high or 23' backwards.

So one of those gliders would be good, just chop the wing tips.
Get a crappier glide ratio but increase the prop power which should be ok.

At 250km/hr they should blitz the spec!
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Post by bga » Sat, 20 Nov 2010, 03:17

These things go in trailers, hence the 4-piece wing. The shorter wing types have 2-piece wings and may be longer in the trailer. It is likely that the trailer is 10m long.

The Arcus E specs omitted the glide ratio, but the other electric self launcher had a useful polar curve, indicating a glide ratio of 47 at 170kph.

The pylon and prop are interesting. the pylon is very draggy with two uprights. I suspect that the motor doesn't fold back because the fuselage looks too narrow for it. The retract mechanis must be interesting.
I would say that there is no way to cruise with it out, so a different design is needed for the contest. The spec sheet on the other indicated a 100 mile battery range.

Flying only at 100mph would benefit from shoter wings, reducing the drag at that speed

I'm thinking 150-250K euro for these gliders.
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