Why battery-powered aircraft will never have significant range

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Pops

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The problem in my area is they also cut all the hardwoods and replace with fast growing Pine. My daughter's farm hasn't been timbered since about 1890-1900. Has some of the most beautiful trees you have ever seen, Red Oak, White Oak, Maple, Walnut and Poplar.
 

Vigilant1

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The problem in my area is they also cut all the hardwoods and replace with fast growing Pine. My daughter's farm hasn't been timbered since about 1890-1900. Has some of the most beautiful trees you have ever seen, Red Oak, White Oak, Maple, Walnut and Poplar.
True. And probably a lot of wildlife in those hardwood areas. The areas planted in commercial pine have very few animals, or much of anything else, really. It's just like a crop of giant corn.
 

Dan Thomas

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Many of those trees are crops just like any other crop (they just take about 30 years before final harvesting). The carbon they contain came out of the atmosphere (as CO2). When the wood is burned, the carbon goes back into the atmosphere. No net increase in atmospheric carbon compared to if the trees had never existed (or if the land had been used for a different crop).
In nature, as in forestry, trees temporarily store carbon. In nature, the carbon in the trees goes back into the atmosphere as CO2 or CO when it burns or CO2 or methane when it decomposes.
But isn't the point a reduction in emissions? Leaving those trees standing would be wiser, or at least use them for lumber to build housing.

Coal comes from plant matter compressed and heated. The carbon in it came from the air, too. But burning it is politically incorrect, while "biomass" is OK. I don't get it. There's a lot of fuss over the carbon emissions from wildfires, but no fuss over biomass.
 

Pops

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True. And probably a lot of wildlife in those hardwood areas. The areas planted in commercial pine have very few animals, or much of anything else, really. It's just like a crop of giant corn.
Yes, a large amount of wildlife. About everything and the biggest black bear I ever saw. They were scooping up barrels of acorns to feed the pigs. Talking about free ranging them. They will not leave where the food is located. Grandson didn't make it out their private road the other day with his 4 wheel drive truck, we had a good 9" of snow here and north on the mountain ridge they get more. Snow came on top of the freezing rain. Back of the truck slid over in a deep ditch going up the mountain and its still there. Have to wait until some snow and ice melts and put the chains on the MF farm tractor and pull it out.
Daughter is ready to tap some of the maple trees before long. Her mountain Ponderosa.
Cities are a false environment for mankind.
 
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J.L. Frusha

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Biomass is recently stored CO2, while Coal and Oil are deep-storage. Difference is that biomass is considered short-term and recycles back into plants, while Coal and Oil have been locked away for thousands, even millions of years. Along come humans, burning Coal and Oil, releasing that stored CO2 into the atmosphere...
 

Dan Thomas

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Biomass is recently stored CO2, while Coal and Oil are deep-storage. Difference is that biomass is considered short-term and recycles back into plants, while Coal and Oil have been locked away for thousands, even millions of years. Along come humans, burning Coal and Oil, releasing that stored CO2 into the atmosphere...
CO2 is CO2 whether it comes from live trees or fossilized stuff. I'm not an AGW pusher; I just dislike the hypocrisy in so much of this stuff. "Biomass" is a euphemism used to hide the fact that they are burning wood and emitting CO2.

CO2 is the stuff of life; plants die without it. We die without the plants. They eat CO2 and release the oxygen to the atmosphere for animals and us, and they retain the carbon and turn it into the stuff we eat. Even your steak comes from plants; they're just run through a cow first.
 

J.L. Frusha

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AGW is one thing, Climate Change is another.

Man made Climate Change is evident in the changing ecosystems, where man has made changes. Entire Ecosystems wiped-out for farming, forests stripped for lumber, firewood and more farming, dams retaining water and drying up watersheds, rivers rerouted, cities as thermal hot spots changing wind and weather patterns, runoff polluting and creating anoxic zones in the seas,... This is man made climate change.

AGW, man made global warming, IMHO, is hokey 'science' at best. The planet has had much higher CO2 levels, been both hotter and colder repeatedly. How is warming going to cause record freezing weather?

"Oh, it's a solar minimum causing record cold weather..." Hasn't in the past 100 years.

Maybe it's all video game and tv violence...
 

Sraight'nlevel

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NASA and other agencies that do satellite photography tell us that the planet is greening due to the raised CO2 levels. More trees are growing, and growing bigger. Crops are giving bigger harvests. Places that were marginally desert are showing greening.

Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds

We could help by stopping the cutting of trees for "biomass" electrical generation. What an abomination that is. We're even sending wood to Europe for them to burn in their generating plants. Cutting down trees and turning them into CO2. Idiocy.
Chinese have planted billions of three in the edge of the Gobi desert. Hardly natural.

Rain forest have 36 % left intact of the lungns of the world.

 
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Sraight'nlevel

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NASA and other agencies that do satellite photography tell us that the planet is greening due to the raised CO2 levels. More trees are growing, and growing bigger. Crops are giving bigger harvests. Places that were marginally desert are showing greening.

Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds

We could help by stopping the cutting of trees for "biomass" electrical generation. What an abomination that is. We're even sending wood to Europe for them to burn in their generating plants. Cutting down trees and turning them into CO2. Idiocy.
Yes, a large amount of wildlife. About everything and the biggest black bear I ever saw. They were scooping up barrels of acorns to feed the pigs. Talking about free ranging them. They will not leave where the food is located. Grandson didn't make it out their private road the other day with his 4 wheel drive truck, we had a good 9" of snow here and north on the mountain ridge they get more. Snow came on top of the freezing rain. Back of the truck slid over in a deep ditch going up the mountain and its still there. Have to wait until some snow and ice melts and put the chains on the MF farm tractor and pull it out.
Daughter is ready to tap some of the maple trees before long. Her mountain Ponderosa.
Cities are a false environment for mankind.

Cities are a chance, but often runned by demolition/construction companies with short sighted aims.
 

JRC

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FEI - Join FASTA USA - we are working on developing and testing inflight aerial charging systems.
Future Air & Surface Transportation Alliance ( FASTA ) FMI text 813-784-4669
 

Saville

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Many of those trees are crops just like any other crop (they just take about 30 years before final harvesting). The carbon they contain came out of the atmosphere (as CO2). When the wood is burned, the carbon goes back into the atmosphere. No net increase in atmospheric carbon compared to if the trees had never existed (or if the land had been used for a different crop).
In nature, as in forestry, trees temporarily store carbon. In nature, the carbon in the trees goes back into the atmosphere as CO2 or CO when it burns or CO2 or methane when it decomposes.


That's true when you burn the tree. But when a tree grows, absorbs carbon, then falls over dead and decays the carbon goes back into the earth.

Net reduction of atmospheric carbon. But personally I don't think the increases in CO2 we see mean anything at all.
 

Vigilant1

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That's true when you burn the tree. But when a tree grows, absorbs carbon, then falls over dead and decays the carbon goes back into the earth.
The carbon doesn't just build up in the earth. Decomposition continues and the carbon eventually cycles back into the atmosphere. The duration of the cycle varies by the type of forest were talking about (an average individual carbon atom might be "sequestered" for only a few years in a tropical rainforest, or an average of about hundred years in a typical temperate arboreal forest). Still, the system reaches homeostasis. It's not like the soil just keeps accumulating more and more carbon.
The same thing happens in the ocean.
Sure, small share of carbon will get entombed long term to become coal in millions of years. The timescale of that makes it irrelevant to this topic.

Edited to add: Here's an article on the fast carbon cycle and the slow carbon cycle (rocks, millions of years). A LOT more carbon moves through the fast cycle than the slow cycle every year, but it all eventually cycles through the atmosphere.
The Carbon Cycle. At the extreme ends of current estimates, each year about 100 to 10,000 times more carbon moves through the fast carbon cycle. So, in rough terms, just 1% to .01% of the carbon in that decaying tree, on average, gets into the long carbon cycle.
 
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speedracer

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It sure did. A motorglider, in the summer, that takes advantages of the various types of atmospheric lift. It didn't not rely entirely on its batteries and motor. That isn't going to work for the average PPL.

I towed gliders in the 1970. Well-acquainted with ridge (orographic) lift, thermal lift, and lift near storms. I had to drag the gliders around to find the best lift, and circle in it until their pilots were satisfied and released. Some of that lift can be mighty powerful. Rough, too. I once took off, and within about three miles, at 70 MPH, less than three minutes, I had gained 3500 feet. That tug, pulling the glider, could never climb like that on its own. Unpowered gliders often fly hundreds of miles on cross-county flights.
The world distance record for hang gliders is 474 miles. Out and return, 222 miles. Also the fatality rate for hang glider pilots is an average of three per year. Think about that.
NASA and other agencies that do satellite photography tell us that the planet is greening due to the raised CO2 levels. More trees are growing, and growing bigger. Crops are giving bigger harvests. Places that were marginally desert are showing greening.

Carbon Dioxide Fertilization Greening Earth, Study Finds

We could help by stopping the cutting of trees for "biomass" electrical generation. What an abomination that is. We're even sending wood to Europe for them to burn in their generating plants. Cutting down trees and turning them into CO2. Idiocy.
My sawmill owning uncle liked to say "Trees belong in a sawmill, not the side of some stupid mountain". Also "Sure, I believe in wilderness areas. Everything above 6,000 feet" (timberline in the PNW). BTW, he died at 97 and many of his replanted clearcuts are ready for harvest (again).
 

Jay Kempf

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Ca we get back to solving the how-to of getting electric aircraft with reasonable flight times?
We really can't because we keep talking about this supposed revolutionary battery technology that doesn't and isn't going to exist. This is the problem with this whole subject. People say things like model airplanes are almost all electric now so that is disruptive technology. Then they immediately say because of that we are going to have electric airplanes replacing dino juice drinking airplanes.

How many model airplanes carry even one person for an hour? How many can carry 250 PAX and baggage for 14 hours?

We have airplanes now that can carry the human equivalent of payload for a little more than an hour on batteries. But putting the human in jeopardy on the same platform is another problem to solve or even having the volume for the human or controls for the human to use.

Batteries aren't getting better by any revolutionary fraction any time soon, maybe even in my lifetime. So we work with what we have and we do proper FMEA to assess risk.
 

tspear

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We really can't because we keep talking about this supposed revolutionary battery technology that doesn't and isn't going to exist.

Never say never. Battery tech keeps making very solid gains every year, and battery research keeps making improvements every year. The number of battery tech announcements which occur on a semi-regular basis show we are moving from theoretical to the lab. It only then becomes a matter of moving from the lab to production; which is often measured in one or two decades. Not long at all compared to many other endeavors.

Tim
 
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