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Battery-powered electric plane quietly takes to Australian skies for the first time



 
 
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Old July 11th 18, 09:18 PM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Default Battery-powered electric plane quietly takes to Australian skies for the first time

https://newatlas.com/electric-aircra...stralia/52846/

Battery-powered electric plane quietly takes to Australian skies for
the first time

AIRCRAFT

Rich Haridy
January 7th, 2018

14 PICTURES
Electro.Aero plans to use the battery electric plane for new pilot
training(Credit: Electro.Aero)

VIEW GALLERY - 14 IMAGES

Pipistrel's Alpha Electro took to the skies in Australia recently,
marking the first time an electric light sport aircraft was certified
and flown in the country. The plane has been expressly designed to be
an efficient and cheap pilot training craft and this successful first
test flight marks a new frontier for electric aircraft in Australia.

Pipistrel is an aircraft manufacturer based in Slovenia
The company is currently mass-producing the Alpha Electro for sale
around the world

The plane can fly for up to one hour on a single battery charge
The plane is powered by two lithium ion batteries

The test flight was spear-headed by Australian sustainable aviation
company Electro.Aero. The company is at the forefront of electric
aviation technology in the country after obtaining certification for
the Alpha Electro by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority in
late 2017.

The plane, developed by Slovenia-based manufacturer Pipistrel, is a
two-seater, single-propeller light aircraft, powered by two
llithium-ion batteries. A single charge can reportedly keep the plane
in the air for up to one hour, with 30 minutes of extra power in
reserve.

The plane can fly for up to one hour on a single battery charge
Perhaps the most common comment reported by onlookers witnessing the
test flight was how quiet the plane was, and it is this very feature
that both Pipistrel and Electro.Aero are suggesting will make the
aircraft highly sought after.

"This is the start of the next revolution in general aviation," says
Richard Charlton, finance director of Electro.Aero. "We are already
fielding enquiries from airports located in major cities where noise
complaints have become their number one concern."

The simple electric motor is significantly quieter than fossil
fuel-powered engines, meaning the plane can fly...
The plane's batteries are easily replaceable for quick flight
turnovers or can be fully charged in just under one hour. Charlton
also points out that the simplicity of an electric engine means
significantly cheaper running and maintenance costs when compared to a
traditional fossil fuel-powered engine.

"The electric engine is really simple," says Charlton. "It has one
moving part, it's a very small piece of equipment and it is a
solid-state motor."

Sources: Pipistrel, Electro.Aero
http://electro.aero/index.php/en/new...sport-aircraft

Pipistrel has developed a fast-charging station for its planes
allowing the batteries to be charged in...
The simple electric motor is significantly quieter than fossil
fuel-powered engines, meaning the plane can fly...
The test flight launched out of an airport in Perth, Australia
The plane has an extra 30-minute reserve of power on top of the
60-minute flight time...
VIEW GALLERY - 14 IMAGES

COMMENTS
POST A COMMENT
VincentWolfJanuary 7th, 2018

The future of all transportation is electric. Eventually batteries
with 10 times the energy density and weighing even less will power
planes like this for 12+ hours or 1500 miles. That spells the end of
small jet planes since electrics can go over 350 mph if designed right
and that's plenty fast.

CAVUMarkJanuary 7th, 2018

Bravo. Australia needs general aviation. Such a large country with no
GA is ironic. The government charges for landing and movement fees
which stifles aviation and the passion which many Australians have.
Making training less expensive is the start.

michael_dowlingJanuary 8th, 2018

These aircraft are good for short hops,but long haul flights will
still depend on liquid fuels,ideally carbon neutral biofuels.

notarichmanJanuary 8th, 2018

there is solar panels produced by Nanosolar that are very thin, light
that could be applied to the wings, etc. to charge the batteries. i
suggest pipistrel contact them to try out the idea. could possibly get
one airplane covered for free as an experiment and then make a deal
for the future.

christopherJanuary 8th, 2018

It's actually the prop which makes almost all the noise, so 90%+ of
the praise for the "quietness" is actually nothing to do with the
electric motor, and all to do with their selection of the prop blades.

Martin HoneJanuary 8th, 2018

Chris is right. The prop is usually the source of most noise,
especially the old Harvard T-6 trainer. In this case, the prop is
probably pitched up ( coarse) to slow it down and suit the torque of
the electric motor.

Tom Lee MullinsJanuary 8th, 2018

I think that is both cool and green. I doubt neighbors would hear that
plane and won't have a reason to complain about the 'noise' it makes.

I think a fuel cell would extend the range of the airplane and give
extra power when needed. I have some really small fuel cells that
could provide power; ones that are already powering cars and
motorcycles.

F. TuijnJanuary 9th, 2018

Build the batteries into the wings which enables you to select a high
aspect ratio. Electro motors are reliable so use multiple motors to
have good airflow over extended flaps for take off and landing. Use
direct drive from motor to propeller. Use coaxial propellers. These
give some 10% more thrust at low and high speed for the same power.
Use a larger front propeller than rear propeller so the tips of the
rear propeller do not cut the tip vortices from the front propeller (
see An-70 transport aircraft ).

JonStronJanuary 10th, 2018

@Chrisrtopher, i can hear a piston banger from miles away, the prop
noise is distinctly different from the loud piston noise and ICE
engine produces. Nothing compares to the quietness of an electric
motor, nothing !
 




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