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Old 07-08-2013, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Look! Up in the sky!

It's a hybrid airplane: Once a Joke, Battery-Powered Airplanes Are Nearing Reality | MIT Technology Review

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Last month Siemens and EADS demonstrated a new gas-electric vehicle capable of carrying two people and their luggage 900 kilometers—roughly the distance from New York to Detroit—between refuels and recharges. The prototype was not a car, but a small two-seater airplane.

The hybrid plane is similar to the Chevrolet Volt in that it relies on an electric motor and uses a gas engine as backup. The airplane matches the performance of some private airplanes already on the market, but it has two distinct advantages: it’s remarkably quiet, and uses about 25 percent less fuel.

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Old 07-08-2013, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very cool!
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Airport PA says "...ALL FLIGHTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO CLOUDY WEATHER..."
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Tele man View Post
Airport PA says "...ALL FLIGHTS HAVE BEEN CANCELLED DUE TO CLOUDY WEATHER..."
Did it say that it was solar?

Would it take off under battery or fuel? Quiet airports would be revolutionary!
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The article implies, but does not state explicitly if this is a serial hybrid? If so, what details do we know about the ICE portion of the system? What is the capacity of the battery pack, and what is the output of the generator?
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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All I know about it is in the article. Some of the links are interesting, too.

I do notice one mistake in the article, at the end, about making it possible to eliminate lead from avgas. The real problem is the number of existing aircraft that under FAA regulations can't have their engines modified or replaced with a different engine without going to the great expense of obtaining an STC.
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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STC = Supplemental Type Certificate from FAA.
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Old 07-08-2013, 04:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
All I know about it is in the article. Some of the links are interesting, too.

I do notice one mistake in the article, at the end, about making it possible to eliminate lead from avgas. The real problem is the number of existing aircraft that under FAA regulations can't have their engines modified or replaced with a different engine without going to the great expense of obtaining an STC.
Are new private aircraft built with ICEs that can handle lead-free fuel? If so, I'd be surprised that the airports don't offer both fuel types. Admittedly, I'm not all that knowledgeable about private aircraft...
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Let's stay down to earth, it's a motorized glider design ...
Those don't need much of an engine anyway.
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Old 07-08-2013, 06:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NachtRitter View Post
Are new private aircraft built with ICEs that can handle lead-free fuel? If so, I'd be surprised that the airports don't offer both fuel types.
Generally, yes. Or you can get an STC for many of the the more common models: my Piper Cherokee has one, and runs just fine on premium from the gas station.

Mainly it's a supply & demand thing. Aviation gasoline is a pretty small market, so few refiners produce it, and most airports only sell 100LL (100 octane, low lead). Some of the older warbirds take up to 115/145 octane.

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