Why battery-powered aircraft will never have significant range

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Geraldc

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If you can fit enough solar panels to your airplane to supply cruse power then your battery only needs to be large enough for takeoff and getting above clouds.
 

daveklingler

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I don't expect these to be manufactured next week, but there are very deep pockets behind the research. It's an existence proof that nothing's set in stone.

 

Bille Floyd

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battery with an energy density over 500 wh/kg

That is a Lot of energy / for the weight !!!

Bille
 

tspear

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I don't expect these to be manufactured next week, but there are very deep pockets behind the research. It's an existence proof that nothing's set in stone.


This is over three times the density I have seen posted for Pipitrel Elektro. That would be a game changer for endurance. At that point, the questions become cost, cycle count, degradation rate over cycles.

Now comes the reality check: how far away this is from actual purchasable production. What the article did not say, and I did not see is if they have produced viable coin cell test units which can be sent out for others for verification. From what I understand, this is the first major step to production...

Tim
 

raytol

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This is over three times the density I have seen posted for Pipitrel Elektro. That would be a game changer for endurance. At that point, the questions become cost, cycle count, degradation rate over cycles.

Now comes the reality check: how far away this is from actual purchasable production. What the article did not say, and I did not see is if they have produced viable coin cell test units which can be sent out for others for verification. From what I understand, this is the first major step to production...

Tim
Time to climb to 3000 meters was done recently by a wankel powered Harmon Rocket. See Paul Lamar's blog. Come on Lithium/Air!!!
 

Tiger Tim

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I’ve been wondering, what would a ‘practical’ electric cross country two-seater look like? To be practical I’ll arbitrarily say it has to be able to go 1000 miles between sunrise and sunset and has to be able to fly when I want, not having to wait for ideal conditions (thunderstorms and icing notwithstanding).

Does current battery tech mean it would be the size of a ten seater but only seat two, or is there sort of a ‘tyranny of the rocket’ thing going on where the more batteries you carry the more batteries you have to carry?
 

Dan Thomas

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Does current battery tech mean it would be the size of a ten seater but only seat two, or is there sort of a ‘tyranny of the rocket’ thing going on where the more batteries you carry the more batteries you have to carry?
That's pretty much the description of the electric Beaver and the electric Caravan. Mostly batteries for really short flights.
 

tspear

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I’ve been wondering, what would a ‘practical’ electric cross country two-seater look like? To be practical I’ll arbitrarily say it has to be able to go 1000 miles between sunrise and sunset and has to be able to fly when I want, not having to wait for ideal conditions (thunderstorms and icing notwithstanding).

Does current battery tech mean it would be the size of a ten seater but only seat two, or is there sort of a ‘tyranny of the rocket’ thing going on where the more batteries you carry the more batteries you have to carry?

The spec you provide is what most pilots claim; but never fly :D
And using current battery tech, likely true.

I think what is going to happen is the trainer market will switch first (best bet is Pipistrel which still has two issues, cost per hour is still above gas and battery still to short on power), and maybe some E-A/B that realize pilots actually fly a lot less farther and accept those limitations. Once those show the way, people will switch.

e.g. Look at the Cirrus SF50, people slammed it as short ranged, once you bought it, you would switch away immediately.... Very few have made such a trade after getting one, people have realized it is short legged, but it does the mission for 99% of the time.

Tim
 

blane.c

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BOOM! This just blew things the other way...


I think to use these Lithium Air batteries safely you need to put them in kind of an air "Barge" and tow it around with an aircraft "Tug". The barge could be partially buoyant with Hydrogen gas no more potentially hazardous than the Lithium Air and besides the "Tug" can just release the "Barge" and fly away.
 

Jay Kempf

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BOOM! This just blew things the other way...

Uh, yeah, NO! Sorry. Lab experiment.

If you haven't ever looked up Lithium and air's constituents on the periodic table there might be a problem. When these things come out of the lab and someone tries to implement them IRL there is always some show stopper.

We only have one periodic table. People keep trying to move the blocks around to their advantage. Never pans out.
 

Dan Thomas

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Uh, yeah, NO! Sorry. Lab experiment.

If you haven't ever looked up Lithium and air's constituents on the periodic table there might be a problem. When these things come out of the lab and someone tries to implement them IRL there is always some show stopper.

We only have one periodic table. People keep trying to move the blocks around to their advantage. Never pans out.
Exactly. By now, anyone over 40 should be skeptical of ANY big claims in aviation. If they're not, they face a lifetime of disillusionment.

Build it, fly it all day every day, prove its safety, THEN try to get people interested. Leave us alone until then. We're getting tired of vaporware.
 

Dan Thomas

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So, you both want old technology, not new technology...
I want new technology. I don't want hollow promises of new technology.

I got my IFR ticket flying the old "steam" gauge panels. That takes a lot of brainpower, interpreting needles and numbers to create a picture in your mind as to where you are and where you are going and what the airplane is doing. When I flew the Garmin glass G1000 stuff, with it all drawn out for you, the workload went way down. Really nice, really expensive, really bad if it quits and you got your ticket on it and now you have to fly the standby gauges.

Fuel injection sure made the engine smoother, too, and eliminated carb ice. LED landing and nav lights made the jobs of both the pilot and mechanic a lot easier. Modern multigrade oils with their anti-scuffing additives sure made the engine last longer and over a wider temperature range.

I'm old enough to have learned to fly in some airplanes that still used vacuum tubes in their radios. Still had generators that didn't generate below 1200 engine RPM so that your lights and radios drained the battery before you got off the ground at night. Navigation was by ADF and VOR instead of GPS. None of that was any fun and I don't miss any of it.

The difference is that they built this stuff, made it work, and sold it to us. They didn't make big promises and make us wait decades for it.
 

J.L. Frusha

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They built new stuff, rushed it to market and had cell-phone batteries exploding.

GPS is so good people have died on obscure roads, or going over incomplete bridges.

Aluminum/Air batteries are light enough and powerful enough, but they have to be completely recycled.

No idea about these Lithium/Air batteries, but the potential exists, as long as big money doesn't buy the rights and bury them.

Sometimes you can't win for losing.

That said, you're still griping, demanding proven technology...
 

BJC

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No idea about these Lithium/Air batteries, but the potential exists, as long as big money doesn't buy the rights and bury them.
Yup, just like the carburetor in the 1970’s that, when installed on any 8 cylinder, got 120 miles per gallon. Never available because the gasoline companies bought it and hid it. Yup, just like that.


BJC
 
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blane.c

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It is one thing to get into an airliner with tons of jet fuel aboard, and quite another to get aboard one with tons of Lithium aboard ... well at least in my mind it is.

For part 103 lithium is fine if you insist on batteries because you are in direct control of how they are maintained and used. But I think you are better off with a registered EAB motorglider than a 103. The weight limitation of 103 makes it undesirable to me there is no room for time aka fuel/power/batteries even lithium air batteries are only going to double the time you can be aloft. I think there is more freedom with the glider really.
 
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