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Introduction to electric flight


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As environmental and economic reasons drive us towards sustainable transport solutions, Aviation is no different. This presentation introduces you to the reasons, history and technology behind the exciting and fast paced world of E-Flight.

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Introduction to electric flight

  1. 1. Emerging Technologies: Electric Flight [ 68 Slides ] By Ade Pitman Aug 2017
  2. 2. Objectives • What is Electric Flight ( E-Flight); • Reasons for E-Flight; • Brief history of E-Flight; • Recent E-Flight Developments; • The Future of E-Flight?
  3. 3. It will never work! RC Aircraft Growth in Brushless Electric Why? Less maintenance. Less noise. Cheaper to run.
  4. 4. It will never work! “Throughout history ground breaking technologies have faced ridicule and disbelief.”
  5. 5. It will never work! “Throughout history ground breaking technologies have faced ridicule and disbelief.”
  6. 6. Why should we bother with E-Flight? The Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe, (ACARE), set goals for air transportation to be achieved by 2020. • 50% reduction of CO2 emissions by reduction of fuel use; • 80% reduction in NOX emissions; • 50% reduction in external noise. E-Flight addresses all of these issues.
  7. 7. Why should we bother with E-Flight?
  8. 8. • Heathrow Airport receives a noise complaint on average every five minutes; • Figures for January to October 2016 show 84,000 complaints, one for every five take-offs and landings; • Campaigners believe the planned third runway will result in more complaints and called for the airport to vary flight paths; • In a report, the airport said a total of 2,218 people made 25,200 complaints between July and September 2016. Environmental Impact: Noise Pollution Of those, 12,312 - just under half the total - were said to have come from the same 10 people
  9. 9. • Small regional airfields also have noise problems; • Survey made during a student’s dissertation (2017) of a small London airfield, (Elstree) highlighted 17 complaints that year; • These issues don`t help regional airports facing closure. Environmental Impact: Noise Pollution Airfields operate ‘Noise Abatement Procedures’ to lessen impact.
  10. 10. Environmental Impact: Noise Pollution
  11. 11. Environmental Impact: Noise Pollution
  12. 12. Environmental Impact: Fuel / Pollution • Aviation industry uses around 1.5 billion barrels of Jet A-1 fuel annually; • Fuel usage is one of the major environmental impacts as the emissions released from fuel combustion in aircraft engine contributes to global warming; • Not only pollution, but PRICE. Highly likely that fuel prices will rise.
  13. 13. “The current low price of fuel will not last for ever, so we should look to the future both for economic and environmental reasons.” Environmental Impact: Fuel / Pollution
  14. 14. Oil production has peaked, and if no new source is found it WILL run out. Environmental Impact: Fuel / Pollution
  15. 15. Reduction in Green House Gases • According to many scientists Global Warming is a danger unless CO2 levels can be reduced; • Some scientists state that we have more fossil fuel reserves than we can afford to burn, to avoid an irreversible rise in global temperature.
  16. 16. Fuel Power Vs E-Power • Typically GA piston engines require overhaul at around 2000hrs; • E-Flight motors have a far greater TBO (10,000 hrs +* ); • Currently, a typical E-Flight system weighs more than a fossil fuel solution; • Like cars, E-Aircraft are about 25% more expensive than fossil fuel aircraft.** Electric Drive IC Drive
  17. 17. E-Aircraft to mirror E-Cars “E-Aircraft technology will advance as E-Car technology advances. Prices will fall as sales increase.”
  18. 18. Why should we bother with E-Flight? E-Flight = • Less Environmental Impact • Cheaper Flight • Sustainable, long term • Perpetual flight?
  19. 19. What is E-Flight? • Electric propulsion for flight is at its infancy but development is accelerating in pace; • Supported by key ‘players’ in the Aviation Industry, & Academia; • E-Flight technologies include: • Battery Powered Aircraft; • Solar Powered Aircraft; • (Hydrogen) Fuel Cell Powered Aircraft; • Hybrid Powered Aircraft.
  20. 20. What is E-Flight? Battery Power • Familiar Technology, battery stores electricity which turns a motor via a speed controller; • Power determined by motor size, duration by battery capacity; • BIG drawback is duration of flight; • Current issues are ‘energy density’ ( Kw / Kg ) and charging times.
  21. 21. What is E-Flight? Battery Power • Batteries can be ‘swapped out’ in a few minutes ; • Charging time down to 45 minutes; • Using ‘Dual Chemistry’ in the batteries, designers can cherry pick battery attributes; • Life cycle of around 10,000 charges; • Batteries can be charged by solar power = FREE FLIGHT.
  22. 22. What a typical E-Flight battery setup looks like. What is E-Flight? Battery Power
  23. 23. • Familiar technology; • Photovoltaic cells (solar panels) charge a battery using the sun`s energy; • First solar powered aircraft flew in 1978. What is E-Flight? Solar Power
  24. 24. • Introduce Electric Flight ( E- Flight); • Battery powered • Solar Powered • Hybrid What is E-Flight? Solar Power Solar Powered Hybrid Aerial Vehicle (HAV)
  25. 25. • A Fuel Cell is a device that converts chemical energy to electricity; • Typically Hydrogen and Oxygen used to produce electricity; • Electricity can be used to charge batteries or power a motor; • By-product is only water. What is E-Flight? Hydrogen Fuel Cells
  26. 26. “The best bet for Future Narrow Bodied Airliners” What is E-Flight? Hybrid Power
  27. 27. • Typically a fossil fuel engine drives a generator that charges batteries; • Familiar technology, Nissan Leaf car etc.; • Piston or Gas Turbine engines used; • Current challenge the size of the generator and efficiency. What is E-Flight? Hybrid Power
  28. 28. History of E-Flight: MB-E1 • In October 1973 a converted HB-3 airframe made the first E-Flight in Linz, Austria; • Flight powered by a Bosch 10kW electric motor and Varta batteries giving a power output of 13hp; • MB-E1 flew over 9 minutes.
  29. 29. History of E-Flight: QinetiQ Zephyr • Flagship for UK-developed technology claims 3 world records including absolute flight endurance of 14 days, 22 minutes and 8 seconds in 2010; • Flew to over 70,000 ft; • Used solar power to recharge its batteries; • Weight just 50 kg.
  30. 30. History of E-Flight: Airbus E-Fan • On 10 July 2015, the Airbus E-Fan successfully crossed the Channel, from Lydd Airport in Kent to Calais. • The E-Fan plane was airborne for around 40 minutes.
  31. 31. • Powered by lithium-ion polymer batteries and 60kw ( 80 HP) dual electric motors; • E-Fan 2.0 and 4.0 aim for E-Fan production, and long- term goal being a hybrid-electric regional airliner. History of E-Flight: Airbus E-Fan
  32. 32. E-Flight Current Challenges • Consumer perception; • Energy Density of batteries ( KW/Kg); • Aircraft Generator Performance, 1MW generators being trialed. (Honeywell); • Control Electrics Performance.
  33. 33. Recent Developments
  34. 34. Airbus E-Fan
  35. 35. Airbus E-Fan • Airbus cancels the E-Flight project less than two years after making successful cross channel flight, ( July 2015); • Airbus points out that the E-Fan project started three years ago with two 30kW electric motors. • Siemens, its partner in the project, is flying an Extra 300LE aerobatic aircraft with a 300kW electric motor, a progression of 10x magnitude in three years.* “Today we’re evaluating if we could fly an E-FAN X in the next three years that would have a 2 Mega Watts motor, so another 10x step change.” [ Stefan Schaffrath, media spokesman for Airbus. ]
  36. 36. • World leader in E-Flight motor technology; • SP260D motor setting records in its Extra 300LE test bed aircraft; • 260 KW ( 350 HP), 50 kg, 2500 RPM; • Siemens motors power the Pipistrel and Diamond E-Aircraft ranges. Siemens E-Flight
  37. 37. Siemens E-Flight World Record E-Flight Climb Nov 2016. 3000m in 4 mins 22 sec. Climb of 11.5 m/s ( 37 ft / sec)
  38. 38. Siemens E-Flight World Record E-Flight Speed March 2017. 340 km/h ( 211 mph)
  39. 39. First E-Aerotow The nearly silent aerotow took a glider up to a height of nearly 2000 ft in only 76 seconds. Friday, March 24, 2017 at the Dinslaken airfield in Germany: the Extra 330LE powered by a Siemens motor became the world's first electric aircraft to tow a glider into the sky.
  40. 40. Electric Flight: Pipistrel WATTsUP
  41. 41. • The WATTsUP is powered by an 85 kW (114 HP) Siemens electric motor, that weighs just 14 kg; • The initial climb rate is 1,000 ft/min; • The motor can be fully charged in about one hour; • Flight endurance of about one hour, with a 30-minute reserve; • Motor acts as a generator during the approach, where as much as 13 % of the energy is recuperated; • Propeller designed to act for thrust and windmilling / generator operation, called a Prop-Mill. Electric Flight: Pipistrel WATTsUP
  42. 42. Battery Power instruments on the Alpha Electro Pipistrel WATTsUP: Instrumentation
  43. 43. Pipistrel ( Battery ) E-Range Alpha Electro (85 KW) Taurus Electro ( 40 KW)
  44. 44. • Pipistrel & Siemens ‘Project HYPSTAIR’ developed a hybrid representing state of the art of E- Flight propulsion; • The drive motor, delivering 200 kW take off power and 150 kW continuous. (268 HP / 200 HP ). [ Feb 2016 ] Pipistrel / Siemens
  45. 45. • Displayed their first Hybrid motor-glider at the Paris Airshow, 2011; • Powered by a 70 KW Siemens motor powered by a generator driven by a Wankel engine; • Additional power for takeoff and climb comes from a battery system provided by EADS. Diamond Aircraft
  46. 46. Aurora Project: XV24A Hybrid
  47. 47. • VTOL project for the US Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA); • 24 electric ducted fans in the wing and tail driven by electricity; • Powered by Rolls-Royce 6,000 shp AE1107 turbo-shaft, ( same as the V-22 engine), linked to a gearbox driving three 1MW-class electric generators; • 1/3rd scale demonstrator built, with full-sized prototype scheduled to fly by Autumn 2017. Aurora Project: XV24A Hybrid
  48. 48. Aurora Project: XV24A Hybrid
  49. 49. Sun Flyer • Established in Feb 2014, Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation (AEAC) created to produce the two seater ’Sun Flyer’; • Solar cells fitted to the composite wing skin produce electric power that is combined with Lithium Ion batteries to run the electric propulsion system.
  50. 50. Sun Flyer • Powered by a 100 KW (135 HP) electric motor; • Flight endurance expected to be in the region of 3 hours. Motor tests carried out Nov 2016; • Solar cells alone should completely charge a depleted set of batteries in 2 -3 days. FREE Flight? • 65 Sun Flyers have already been sold.
  51. 51. Electric Flight: Solar Impulse 2
  52. 52. Electric Flight: Solar Impulse 2 Solar Impulse is a Swiss long-range experimental solar- powered aircraft project that circumnavigated the world from March 2015 to July 2016. During the longest leg of the journey from Japan to Hawaii the aircraft's batteries experienced thermal damage and had to be repaired. The aircraft flew: • Over 26,000 miles (42,438 Km); • Average speed of 47 mph; • At up to 29,114 ft; • A total flight time of 558 hrs, 7 mins. (23.25 days).
  53. 53. Electric Flight: Solar Impulse 2 117 hrs 52 mins 71 hrs 8 mins TOTAL: 558 hrs 7 mins. 22, 915 NM
  54. 54. MoD Buys Solar Powered Drones
  55. 55. • Aug 2016, MoD purchased it`s third Zephyr-S solar powered drone; • Built at Farnborough, Part of a £13M contract with Airbus Defense and Space (ADS); • Will operate at an altitude of 65,000 ft, for up to 45 days; • Prototype flew for 14 days and max altitude of 70,000 ft; • Can provide communications relay or surveillance functions; • An MoD statement said: ‘Referred to as a High Altitude Pseudo Satellite (HAPS), it performs more like a satellite than a conventional UAV.’ MoD Buys Solar Powered Drones
  56. 56. MoD Buys Solar Powered Drones
  57. 57. HY4: Hydrogen Fuel Cell • Two 9kg hydrogen storage tanks distributing power to four low temperature Proton Exchange Membrane modules behind the propeller; • These modules convert the hydrogen and oxygen into electrical energy and water; • Two fuselages, four seater;
  58. 58. • Hydrogen cells provide the continuous power during flight; • Lithium battery subsidises power shortfall during take-off; • Depending on speed, maximum range of 1,500 km (930 ml); • Maximum speed 124 mph; • Cost to run, about £10 / hour. HY4: Hydrogen Fuel Cell
  59. 59. Dubai Air Taxi
  60. 60. “Small enough to fit into a car parking space when folded, the one-seater passenger drones made by Chinese company Ehang are set to start picking up passengers in July 2017, according to Dubai's Road and Transport Authority.” CNN. March 2017 Dubai Taxi:
  61. 61. • Max load 100kg; • Battery powered; • Driverless; • 30 min Endurance; • Speed 100km/h; • Max design altitude, 1600 ft; • Currently testing ( May 2017). Dubai Air Taxi
  62. 62. • Vahana (literally ‘that which carries, that which pulls’); • Joint venture between Airbus and Uber to produce a driverless electric aerial taxi; • Flight testing expected by Autumn 2017. Project Vahana
  63. 63. Where Next? The Future of E-Flight
  64. 64. Siemens E-Flight Roadmap The Future of E-Flight:
  65. 65. • E-Flight aircraft outsell fossil fuelled aircraft in GA? • 1 MW generators become the norm? • Perpetual flight drones? • E-Aerial taxis the norm? The Future of E-Flight: 10 Years
  66. 66. • Hybrid Narrow Bodied Airliners? • First aircraft constructed using Molded Batteries? • Fuel Cell powered aircraft becoming the norm? • Solar powered Hybrid Aerial Vehicles emerging? The Future of E-Flight: 20 Years
  67. 67. • Hybrid Wide Bodied Airliners? • Solar powered HAVs become the norm ? • E-aircraft built entirely from molded batteries? • Fossil fuel powered aircraft outlawed for GA? The Future of E-Flight: 50 Years
  68. 68. NOW do you think it will work? Exciting times for Aviation