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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just like the hobbyists and tinkerers preceded the major car companies in developing Electric Cars, a new group of enthusiasts are adapting batteries and electric motors for flight. These are very early days and the steps are fairly small, but the demands of flight are sure to accelerate the development of lighter and more energy-dense batteries, smaller and more efficient motors and, most importantly, more sophisticated control software. Just like cars, the simplicity and robustness of electric propulsion is very alluring to aviators.

Here is one example, a Rutan LongEZ modified to fly on batteries that has captured a number of Electric Flight Records, including the speed record at 216 MPH (Click the photo below for a video of a test flight.)



The plane is even equipped with a mid-air recharging probe to allow longer flights. Click on the photo below for more details about the records captured by Chip Yates and his modified LongEZ.




These are all very exciting developments that give me hope about the future of electric propulsion in all forms.
 

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Because we don't use mufflers, the noise in the cabin of private airplanes can reach 95 db. It would be unbearable except for the Bose-type noise-cancelling headsets most of us use. Also we don't use Emission Control systems so we're raining pollution down on everything we fly over.

EV for GA would be fantastic.
 

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Because we don't use mufflers, the noise in the cabin of private airplanes can reach 95 db. It would be unbearable except for the Bose-type noise-cancelling headsets most of us use. Also we don't use Emission Control systems so we're raining pollution down on everything we fly over.

EV for GA would be fantastic.
Not to mention AvGas still contains Lead. Sometime soon Lead will be prohibited and Electricity is a viable alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Because we don't use mufflers, the noise in the cabin of private airplanes can reach 95 db. It would be unbearable except for the Bose-type noise-cancelling headsets most of us use. Also we don't use Emission Control systems so we're raining pollution down on everything we fly over.

EV for GA would be fantastic.
Not to mention AvGas still contains Lead. Sometime soon Lead will be prohibited and Electricity is a viable alternative.
Not to mention the inherent simplicity of an electric engine vs. an ICE or jet engine which would mean a lot fewer in-flight mechanical problems. Also, E-Planes can recover electrical energy on decsent, basically a super-sized Hill mode, which ICE-powered planes waste.
 

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Not to mention the inherent simplicity of an electric engine vs. an ICE or jet engine which would mean a lot fewer in-flight mechanical problems. Also, E-Planes can recover electrical energy on decsent, basically a super-sized Hill mode, which ICE-powered planes waste.
And at some point it'll be cost-effective to incorporate solar cells on top of the wings of production aircraft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Of course if your flying in the day time. ;-)


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Not necessarily. Solar Impulse is an example of electrically-powered aircraft that uses batteries charged with solar cells. It can fly on stored energy long enough until the sun comes back up to charge them again. Click on the image below for the Solar Impulse web site and videos.

 

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Yeah, but it's really slow at 43 mph and it can't carry more than one person. However, all the same, it's an impressive start.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yeah, but it's really slow at 43 mph and it can't carry more than one person. However, all the same, it's an impressive start.
These guys' first couple of flights were not particularly impressive either but they got better at it with practice:

 
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