Yuneec Electric Aircraft at KCMA

Discussion in 'Hangar Flying' started by Tom Nalevanko, Jul 20, 2009.

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  1. Jul 20, 2009 #1

    Tom Nalevanko

    Tom Nalevanko

    Tom Nalevanko

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    This Chinese electric aircraft flew today at KCMA. Test pilot is Dave Morss, today it flew for one hour to 3600ft. Got better then 80 knots level flight! Going to fly again tomorrow
    then off to KOSH.

    Blue skies,

    Tom
     

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  2. Jul 20, 2009 #2

    Jman

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    I really like the way that plane looks. I wonder if those wings are meant for easy removal.
     
  3. Jul 21, 2009 #3

    PTAirco

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    That is one very odd propeller - I don't think I have ever seen a constant chord prop on anything other than a rubber band powered model.
     
  4. Jul 21, 2009 #4

    MadRocketScientist

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    Looks more like covers on the prop to me, maybe they are keeping it 'under wraps' ;););)

    Shannon.
     
  5. Jul 21, 2009 #5

    bmcj

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    They appear to be prop covers. Look at the third of four photos and you can see the drawstring.

    Bruce :)
     
  6. Jul 21, 2009 #6

    Tom Nalevanko

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    These are definitely prop covers. I was just over at the test hangar (AvantAir hangar) at KCMA and took some video and pictures. Will upload tonite...

    I met Tian Yu who is the young Chairman of Yuneec. The plane completed a flight as I visited. It is signed off by the local FSDO but FAA Oskosh surprised the team with a 20 hour experience requirement before flying at AirVenture. So Dave Morss is flying off with under 10 hours as of today noonish. My guess is that it will take them several days to fly off the time. They swap out the battery sets but still, I doubt that they can make more than 2 or 3 flights a day. That is just the nature of experimental flying. Dave Morss will be doing the flying also at Oshkosh.

    I will be going back tomorrow so ask any questions that you all may have and I will do my best to have them answered. The Chinese team is pretty open to pictures and questions and they are taking their own pictures of all the aircraft they can at KCMA.

    Remember you heard about it on HBA first! More later...
     
  7. Jul 21, 2009 #7

    Tom Nalevanko

    Tom Nalevanko

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    Oh, to answer an existing question... It took about one hour to mount the wings -- out of the crate and to flight condition.

    Blue skies,

    Tom
     
  8. Jul 21, 2009 #8

    bmcj

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    It looks like a very generous cockpit. What is the internal width at the shoulders? (in inches... don't want none of those newfangled millie-meter thingees)
     
  9. Jul 22, 2009 #9

    Tom Nalevanko

    Tom Nalevanko

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    Some pictures of a spare engine; techs readying batteries for swap; lead ballast sitting on the cardbox used in nose...
     

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  10. Jul 22, 2009 #10

    Tom Nalevanko

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    More pix...

    Mr. Yu, CEO Yuneec; Steve Kivo EAA Ch. 723 member and Dave Morss, test pilot, (in cockpit).

    Technicians push back plane for battery change.

    Next I will try to upload movies.

    Blue skies,

    Tom
     

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  11. Jul 22, 2009 #11

    Tom Nalevanko

    Tom Nalevanko

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    I put up an HD video of the [video=vimeo;5707019]http://www.vimeo.com/5707019[/video] .

    Enjoy,

    Tom
     
  12. Jul 22, 2009 #12

    Topaz

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    Sweet! What a neat airplane! What's the endurance on a charge? About 2h I think you said?
     
  13. Jul 22, 2009 #13

    bmcj

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    Just curious, does that 20 hours include taxi time? Avoiding excessive taxi time (in favor of using most of the available power in the air) would help expedite the process.

    Bruce :)
     
  14. Jul 22, 2009 #14

    Tom Nalevanko

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    I believe that time is start to stop. But taxi time is only a couple of minutes per cycle at KCMA. See the video for landing. Takeoff is even closer and they can just turn the engine off while holding short. It is not like they are idling while waiting during taxi. You can see this at the end of the video.

    Someone asked the cockpit width. Although there was no tape measure today ( I am a lousy reporter), Mr. Yu said 1 meter which is about 39.5 in.

    The FAA today disallowed the 2 flight hours in China so there will be a last flight this afternoon and then the plane goes in the crate, on the truck to Oshkosh.
     
  15. Nov 18, 2009 #15

    Tom Nalevanko

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    There is an interesting analysis of this plane on a French website. Cocyane

    The principals of this site created the InterAction web site which I believe is the best compendium of light aircraft information on the web. I have read a number of their studies and they are largely credible and I have no reason to doubt this one. There is no attempt to discredit this electric aircraft in any way. But they do point out several interesting observations.

    The basis for their study is from public information sources. You can read the report on the web site (we all took high school French, didn't we?) but to facilitate matters I will provide a summary of their findings.

    1. This electric aircraft could only fly for approx. 16 minutes at full power.

    2. For a 90 minute flight at 95 km/hr (59 mph); approx. 18% power is allowed. The range here is 142 km (85 mi.) At 90 mph, the flight could go 51 min. for a range of 77 mi.

    3. Aerodynamically, its drag ranks with the better LSAs but this is largely due to the lack of cooling drag.

    4. Given that it has no relatively heavy conventional motor, the weight is not outstanding and a suggestion is that the wings are relatively heavy.

    5. One could build a conventionally powered similar aircraft with the same gross weight and obtain the same results with a constant speed prop and a 9 HP motor for the 59 mph case and 16 HP for 90 mph case. The range however would be 22X that of the electric aircraft in both cases. Yes; that is 22X!

    6. There is about a 37% decrease in CO2 for the electric plane; this in France where much of their fuel is nuclear. In the US this decrease would be significantly less because we use more fossil fuels for electricity generation and you have to count the CO2 to make the electricity.

    7. Once you need to heat the pilot compartment, the electric aircraft economics go completely to hell as you have to use battery power for what is waste in the conventionally powered aircraft. (So it is a warm weather, low altitude aircraft; my observation).
    -----------------

    Blue skies,

    Tom
     
  16. Nov 18, 2009 #16

    vortilon

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    Interesting concept. The wings sure flex, note the dihedral on final verses the taxi.
     
  17. Nov 18, 2009 #17

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    Here's an off-the-wall thought...

    IIRC, the Rutan Voyager had an empty airframe weight of approx 900 lbs. Add to that another 900 lbs for supplies, fluids, avionics and engines. The bottom line is that, ready to fuel, it weighed approx 1800 lbs but had a fully loaded take-off weight of 9-10,000 lbs.

    Assuming you could probably make a similarly powered electric engine at not too great a weight, that leaves you a lot of battery carrying capacity. What kind of endurance and range might you get with this setup?

    Bruce :whistle:
     
  18. Nov 18, 2009 #18

    Topaz

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    Lots and lots. :)
     
  19. Nov 18, 2009 #19

    Nickathome

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    How much do the batteries weigh in that plane? Doesn't seem to be much of a feasible idea at present with only a 2 hr run time and 16 minutes at full power ratio......I'm sure if weight weren't a limitation, they'd probably be able to boost that time a bit.
     
  20. Nov 18, 2009 #20

    Tom Nalevanko

    Tom Nalevanko

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    As for the Voyager comparison, the advantage here is that weight continually decreased throughout the flight. With an electric aircraft, it would not but you may be able to pick up some power from solar cells during daylight in good weather.

    The report lists 3 battery packs at 26 kg each. That's 171.6 pounds total. Empty weight is 250 kg. while gross weight is 430 kg.
     

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