# Why battery-powered aircraft will never have significant range

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#### tspear

##### Well-Known Member
Management of carb ice is the pilot's responsibility and he's supposed to be trained for it. Obviously, too many don't get the whole concept. The point is that it is not the fault of the ICE.
I view that as a failure in design. There is a simple solution for ICE, it is called a fuel injected engine.

Tim

#### Dan Thomas

##### Well-Known Member
I view that as a failure in design. There is a simple solution for ICE, it is called a fuel injected engine.

Tim
Of course. But here are two things:

1. Fuel injection is a lot more complicated than a carb, even the all-mechanical fuel injection used by airplanes. So it costs more to buy and and it costs more to maintain.

2. There are tens of thousands of carbed airplanes, most of them built a long time ago, that have carburetors. To STC a carbed engine into them would cost more than the airplane is worth, so it seldom happens. I did convert a 1970s 180 to an injected IO-550, but believe me, it wasn't cheap. (not mine; a customer's.) Some of the cost was the bigger engine, some was the injection, some was the cost of the STC itself (to cover the R&D & testing) and a lot was the labor to do it all. Most of us here could never afford even a simple carb-to-injection conversion, and even then the engine would need the injection ports in the heads. Many don't have them.
So, if you are on a limited budget (and who here isn't? Maybe a handful), you will buy and fly an old airplane that has a carb, and you'd better learn to manage it, or else. It's that simple. If you're a homebuilder and can afford nothing more than an O-200 or C-85 or O-320, again, learn about carb ice and its management or it could kill you.

A failure in design? Well, let's see. We could also apply that claim to standard transmissions, manual steering and brakes, points-and-condenser ignition, and a lot of other stuff. It reflects the technology of the time, not a "failure in design." Most pilots fly airplanes that are 40 to 70 years old. How many pilots drive cars that old unless they're vintage buffs? Cessna put fuel injection in all their 1996-on 172s and 182s Their 185s and 206s and twins left carbs behind long before that. In fact, they had fuel injection before most cars did. The only new airplanes that have carbs now are those designed for affordability and ease of starting: Citabrias, Aviat Husky, maybe a few others.

#### EzyBuildWing

##### Well-Known Member
All Electric Zenith CH750 Aircraft from the UK - EV Lithium Battery Tech - Nuncats

#### Bille Floyd

##### Well-Known Member
Bille, the "good news" is that today it's cheaper to just buy a 2 stroke paramotor engine and have the power, range, and flexibility of choosing how full/big to make the fuel tank. So toss in a gallon or two, fly, and if you want to "recharge" that is fast and relatively easy.
...
Yea -- I kinda thought the same ; but instead of buying a PG engine
one was gifted to me !! Heading to San Diego next week, to pick
it up . While i'm there , i plan to jump off Mt Laguna, with my Atos, and
try to get a bit Hypoxic, (at 14K ASL) ; if i only make it to 10 to 12K , I'll
still be Happy !!

Bille

I'm jealous.

#### opcod

##### Well-Known Member
Yep electric airliner will happen. Pratt will get in few days a uber load of $to develop an hybrid engine for within a 4 yrs timeframe. And same as with Bell helico with their 629 project. But for a full electric, motorglider do still rules big times. I even had few Rc electric like 20yrs ago.. but while the motor can lift a potato bag it was like 2k$ for 5min of runtime. Same potato bag as a C175 or c150, nothing aerodynamic, but put an electric engine on it and it will fly. Just the cost to swap those batt kit remain. And while 4yrs ago they start the research for the 10min charge up to 75%. Apple will put in place next year and Xiaomi also. But small or big batt are the same. The life reduce by 20% straight. So for the price of a Rotax912, you paid 2.5 time for it with batt. But with fast charge it will be like 3.5. Be in hurry have a price. And they all claim it's to be green.. what a joke.

#### tspear

##### Well-Known Member
@Dan Thomas

Regardless of the "best available at the time" or the cost to replace, I still consider it a failure of design.
And you allude to the largest factor that will slow the adoption of electric planes. Money. A huge portion of the owner fleet does not have the cash/capital to replace the existing fleet with electric.

Tim

#### Rhino

##### Well-Known Member
Yep electric airliner will happen...

#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
How is it a design failure if it's an improved, lighter, more reliable version of the old design? It's pre-WW2 technology. Carb ice was still a thing and reliable port fuel injection was secret stuff, and when first available, ( as usual ) too expensive for most consumers.

They didn't call them Silver Plate B-29s because they stripped guns out. They had fuel injection and the latest fixes.

You want to mock design fails AND lousy QC, pick on the Wright Duplex Cyclone!

It's a great example of a great design from the mind of the guy responsible for the R-2600, who was moved off the project, and they then changed many of the important features to make it cheaper. By the time they got done "fixing" the stupid they'd built in, by putting back the original design choices, piston airliners were obsolete.

And more crews of B-29s had died from engine fires and failure than by enemy action.

#### Bille Floyd

##### Well-Known Member
I'm jealous.
It's only got 15-hp ; it should get me in the air , here
in Las Vegas, but King Mt at 5500' ASL , it won't be
enough power. Gonna still need, a Bigger motor ;
probably 25hp minimum.

Now an E-motor, doesn't suffer as much , with that air density
problem ; only the prop suffers a bit with altitude.

Bille

#### Victor Bravo

##### Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
As for a simple solution to Carb Ice, my antique prehistoric O-300 had that figured out in the mid 1940's. Mount the intake manifold inside the warm oil, and mount the carburetor directly to the warm oil tank. Takes out 90% of the occurrences of carb ice as far as I know. Although the airplanes still have a carb heat system, it is almost never used, compared to the operators of A,C and O-200 series engines that have to use carb heat as a standard part of their the pre-landing checklist.

#### EzyBuildWing

##### Well-Known Member
Maybe cable-launch(winch, so no noise for nearby houses) this electric-soarer, then just use the electric-motor as a "sustainer"?

#### EzyBuildWing

##### Well-Known Member
Building an ICE....great vid!

#### henryk

##### Well-Known Member
Maybe cable-launch(winch, so no noise for nearby houses) this electric-soarer, then just use the electric-motor as a "sustainer"?

+ SINGLE WIRE LINE Electric Energy transmission ???

#### EzyBuildWing

##### Well-Known Member
Awesome single-wire power transmission.....hey, it really works.....really awesome......way out of the box......thanks for posting.
How about a dual-motor Tesla-automobile ground-tows up an eGlider (eGlider fitted with a 20 hp "eSustainer" motor)?
See interesting website below:

#### Topaz

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
Sustainer gliders were tried extensively in the 1980's with the small ICE engines available at the time.

They proved to be a less-than alternative, sharing the worst parts of both pure- and self-launching sailplanes. It's one of those concepts that seems wonderful on paper, but isn't so great in the real world.

#### henryk

##### Well-Known Member
Awesome single-wire power transmission....
=30 kW via 8 micron thungsten "wire" !

(or carbon thin line...
or laser ionised air beam !)

PS=

PS2= iff ballon filled H2 or CH4 + H2O filled containers with electric winch

=cheap and realible systems for electric enegy gravitational storage...?

-in place of=

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#### Aesquire

##### Well-Known Member
They proved to be a less-than alternative, sharing the worst parts of both pure- and self-launching sailplanes. It's one of those concepts that seems wonderful on paper, but isn't so great in the real world.
Yep. Go big or go home. Half functional equals doesn't work.

Bottom line is a good tow setup is a multi person way to launch gliders that works fine. If you're rich, or can share costs and labor with others and launch multiple gliders.

A motor glider allows a single person or a pilot & passenger, to setup, preflight, and fly away. IC or Electric or Antimatter, it's a convenient concept with it's own costs and compromises.

And, yes, I know guys that thought long and hard about automating towing so one person can do it all... They ended up building powered craft instead of automatic flailing death machines. ( once you've cut loose, that falling tow line might need supervision to prevent taking out landscaping, pets, children... )

Remember that great line from Jurassic Park? "...so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."

I'll point out, that gravity power storage is how the Wright brothers launched.

Also the Medieval trebuchet could toss big rocks over 300 yards, or one adrenaline addict to an uncertain fate into a giant net. Ditto medieval cranes to build castles and cathedrals, although the Pharohs and Babylonians may have been using the technique millennia earlier.

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