Why battery-powered aircraft will never have significant range

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Rhino

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Pretty movie. Now let's talk current reality, even if in a lab, not something based on a future battery.
And I'll also echo what I said before. Even the reality won't count until it's officially approved and the market widely adopts it so the investors thus get a return on their investment. Too many people simply assume that the buying public will just buy any new gizmo that comes on the market. That's never been true, and it's even less so in aviation.
 
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Victor Bravo

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I'm so !*!*#* tired of hearing about disrupting this and disrupting that. How about simple repairs to the big boring issues that are wrecking the existing world before you charge off with a halo around your head and build a new world?

The $100 toilet in the ten-generation family farmhouse is broken, so we're just tearing down the entire house and building a $500K new 3D printed house without a %(@*$ scrap of character in it... why aren't all of you cheering?

Sorry, off-topic. Cancel my TV show.
 

Dan Thomas

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I'm so !*!*#* tired of hearing about disrupting this and disrupting that.
I remember the big hoopla 20 years ago about "it" coming and changing the way we moved around. "Bigger than the internet," they said. The Segway. And how big did that go over? Finally died last year. I'm either living in some remote part of the world, or there were never many takers for it. Other than in videos, I've seen them used exactly once, a group of four or five being rented by tourists.

Hoopla. Hype. We all fall for it until we get old and experienced enough to spot baseless claims and start being skeptical. At least most of us reach that point. Some can be fooled endlessly.
 

Dan Thomas

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DennisK

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I remember the big hoopla 20 years ago about "it" coming and changing the way we moved around. "Bigger than the internet," they said. The Segway. And how big did that go over? Finally died last year. I'm either living in some remote part of the world, or there were never many takers for it. Other than in videos, I've seen them used exactly once, a group of four or five being rented by tourists.

Hoopla. Hype. We all fall for it until we get old and experienced enough to spot baseless claims and start being skeptical. At least most of us reach that point. Some can be fooled endlessly.
lol, that had to be one of the most overblown marketing campaigns of all time. I actually got to ride on one at a Seattle Robotics Society meeting one time. It is fun, but offers little advantage over legs, and a lot of disadvantages. Particularly the fact that it falls into the category of too cumbersome to bring inside stores and such, but light enough for a couple of brutes with a pickup truck to steal if you ever let it out of your sight (or one brute with a small car in this case).

I do look forward to the day when >1kWh/kg batteries are available. There have been so many hype announcements for so many years that one is bound to make it sooner or later, but it really is pointless to get excited about any of them until they have an actual product for sale.
 

blane.c

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While I support electric in aviation on one hand on the other hand I think 2 place aircraft to have any significant range will be the size of 4 or 6 place aircraft in order to haul all the batteries. Or magic.
 

blane.c

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It is that when you have something that compared to fossil fuels has pathetically low energy density ... a 5% to 7% increase annually of pathetically low energy density is still pathetically low energy density. So you have to have a lot of it to make up the difference and it requires physical space as well as lift area to support it. So for significant range the craft will need to be way oversized in comparison to a fossil fuel craft. Or magic.
 

blane.c

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In the perfect scenario a electric craft would be zero carbon footprint, construction, materials, and utilization so it would not matter how big it was or how much it weighed as it would be zero carbon footprint anyway. Of course we are way off from a perfect scenario.
 

Vigilant1

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These guys have developed some coils to power tiny electronic devices using WiFi signal energy. NUS engineers harvest WiFi signals to power small electronics

Well, there's the answer for electric flight. Slurp up the RF energy from cell phone towers to directly run the motors and charge batteries. You might need to orbit the towers for a few hours to charge up a little, but it is FREE, CLEAN, energy that is available 24/7 in all populated areas of the developed world.

Most cell towers (charging stations) are already depicted on sectional charts, we just need to add symbology to distinguish cell towers from other antennas/masts.

There, that's the idea. Some small matters of implementation left to the reader.
 

erkki67

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Certainly over the top for a homebuilt, but the Solar Impulse flew for several days on battery power and Eric Raymond’s flyer too!
But as long as an Airbike or similar craft is not able to stay aloft on battery power for 3 h it’s not worth the hassle.
 

speedracer

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lol, that had to be one of the most overblown marketing campaigns of all time. I actually got to ride on one at a Seattle Robotics Society meeting one time. It is fun, but offers little advantage over legs, and a lot of disadvantages. Particularly the fact that it falls into the category of too cumbersome to bring inside stores and such, but light enough for a couple of brutes with a pickup truck to steal if you ever let it out of your sight (or one brute with a small car in this case).

I do look forward to the day when >1kWh/kg batteries are available. There have been so many hype announcements for so many years that one is bound to make it sooner or later, but it really is pointless to get excited about any of them until they have an actual product for sale.
Segway, huh? How about the Onewheel? (Google it). I have over 1,500 miles on mine.
 

bmcj

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Too many people simply assume that the buying public will just buy any new gizmo that comes on the market. That's never been true, and it's even less so in aviation.
Ummmm, I beg to differ... PM disproved this statement with the Raptor.
 

bmcj

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I think I mentioned this before (here or elsewhere) but scientist were looking at making safe radioactive diamond batteries from spent carbon reactor fuel rods. Their concept was super small watch or pacemaker batteries, but based on some rough numbers I saw, I think they may be scaled up to compete with Li-ion batteries on about the same current per pound basis. The only difference is that your duration would be measured in terms of half-life instead of half-hour.
 

EzyBuildWing

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"Extra 500" 6-seater looks to be the absolutely ideal airframe for MagniX to electrify.....extra-smooth, composite, retractable. Should be able to raise some venture-cap to do it.
As an aside, a "Ludicrous" acceleration button was used in the 1987 SpaceBalls movie.....maybe the Tesla-button has it's Genesis in "SpaceBalls"? ...........you can see the SpaceBalls button being used here:
 

Rhino

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Ummmm, I beg to differ... PM disproved this statement with the Raptor.
Whoever PM is, one person buying one truck (assuming you're talking about the truck and not the plane) hardly qualifies as the public buying any new gizmo that comes to market. Lots of people bought pet rocks too, but you don't see too many around these days.
 
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