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Thread: Electric Flying

  1. #21
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    Yes. And No.
    Yes, it is certainly possible to assemble a battery and motor to fit into the proposed 600kg microlight.
    If you want the power of a 912, you can have it. What you won't get is the endurance to make it a practical proposition for most owners.
    Pete T.

    "A closed mouth gathers no feet".

  2. #22
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    Nor, at present a cost that makes it viable although one or two outfits are making trainers with an hour's duration. Another fifteen minutes and four power packs and it could be possible but there is a long way to go.

  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by Ginge Sunley View Post
    It will be interesting to watch developements, both of Adrian Jones's electic Shadow project and the possiblities of the Pipistel. I hope for an undate on the Shadow project at the SSDR rally (please) and it is a sure bet that Deepak at London Airsports, already training with a Pipistrel, will have his eye on that ball.

    It'll be interesting, but I don't expect results for quite sometime, meantime back to the trusty 503
    The Pipistrel isn't doing that well under electric power, Registration: HB-SAA
    Category: Accident
    Location: 2,5 km from Ecuvillens Airport (LSGE) - Switzerland
    Phase: Initial climb
    Nature: Private
    Departure airport: Ecuvillens Airport (LSGE)
    Destination airport: Ecuvillens Airport (LSGE)
    Investigating agency: STSB Switzerland
    Narrative:
    Shortly after take-off, the aircraft's electric propulsion system experienced a power loss followed by an emergency landing in a field. The aircraft was severely damaged during the landing.

    Sources:

    https://www.sust.admin.ch/inhalte/AV...hte/HB-SAA.pdf

    Date: 13-OCT-2018
    Time: 12:50 LT
    Pipistrel Alpha Electro
    Registration: I-D057
    Aircraft damage: Written off (damaged beyond repair)
    Category: Accident
    Location: Vosseberg, near Stadskanaal Airfield (EHST) - Netherlands
    Phase: Approach
    Nature: Private
    Departure airport: Drachten Airfield (EHDR)
    Destination airport: Stadskanaal Airfield (EHST)
    Narrative:
    The Pipistrel Alpha Electro, an electric plane, crashed under unknown circumstances in a field along the road N975, about 2 km from Stadskanaal Airfield in the Netherlands. There was a post-impact fire. The pilot was fatally injured.

    Date: 16-NOV-2017
    Time:
    Type: Pipistrel Taurus Electro ( not the Alpha, samepowerplant though )
    Registration: ZK-GEL
    Aircraft damage: Substantial
    Location: 3.2 km west of Kaikohe Aerodrome NZKO - New Zealand
    Phase: En route
    Nature: Private
    Departure airport: Kaikohe NZKO
    Destination airport: Kaikohe NZKO
    Narrative:
    The glider took off in the afternoon to fly in the local area.
    At 5:30 pm it was declared overdue, and the wreckage was found by a searching helicopter 3.2 kilometres
    west of the airfield. The 72-years-old pilot was found dead.

    Not entirely sure the Pipistrel electro engine is a safe option yet.
    Barry C.

  4. #24
    additional thought on this topic:

    an electric engine is not the only electrical drain for an aircraft.
    I have a radio - ok so it is small and requires little power, but others run transponders, or GSP units either fitted or tablets plugged into the 12v socket all of which will be powered by the same source as is running the engine....!

  5. #25
    Not necessarily Peter, all those are a matter of choice, aside from the transponder all the others are available self powered. Indeed, my own favoirite aircraft is not fitted with any kind of battery at all, ok we have no transponder but all the others are no problem at all.

    As far as the transponder is concerned for conspicuity there are now multiple other types of kit available and many of these can be self powered. With modern batteries in small devices the weight gain is minimal.

  6. #26
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    It may be difficult for those unfamiliar with electric propulsion to appreciate the scale of relative power consumption.
    The electric motor for a single seat microlight, equivalent to a modest 40hp engine output, consumes 30kW. This is 30,000 Watts
    If your 12V socket has a maximum 15A output (it will probably be much less than this) then you could consume 180W from it.
    180W is 0.6% of 30,000W.
    Using the maximum output of a 12V socket would reduce your 1 hour endurance by 22 seconds.
    Pete T.

    "A closed mouth gathers no feet".

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Twissell View Post
    Using the maximum output of a 12V socket would reduce your 1 hour endurance by 22 seconds.
    Excellent point Peter!

    And that 22s could probably be reclaimed by flying accurately with the ball in the middle (I'm speaking for myself here
    Martin Watson
    Microlights in Norfolk
    Fixed Wing Instruction - Exams and GSTs - Revalidations
    07805 716407

  8. #28
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    There are difficulties with Lithium batteries at low temperatures. Drawing current helps to keep them warm but I'd think twice before using them in a motorglider!

  9. #29
    all good points

    Ginge - absolutely agree, all i have in a radio, which could be battery powered but for ease isn't. But i know others run plenty of other items, as mentioned a transponder and tablets/phones for SatNav/GPS positioning

    Pete - with those maths it shows the gapping hole of my understanding - 22 seconds seems reasonable to manage.

  10. #30
    I would suggest that we are too accustomed to a very high power- weight ratio, thinking back to older machines that were very capable on much lower power than is now commonplace.
    The aircraft that most springs to mind is the first microlight that I flew, the Chevvron. A two seater equipped with a 32hp engine, ok it didn't spring into the air and climb rate was not sparkling but it was, in many ways, a delightful little aircraft and as stated a two seat machine.

    https://www.pilotmix.com/chevvron-2-32c

    It just shows what can be done with low power

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