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Old 8th July 2021, 02:07 AM   #1121
ZeeGerman
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We have our new PHEV since April. Due to the artificial noise it makes up to 30 km/h my wife and I call it Hui Buh which was a children's book character (a little ghost) when we were young. The car is also white, but not exactly little.
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Old 8th July 2021, 06:21 AM   #1122
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The US rental car situation being a bit strange lately, they say due to the lack of chips, but on a recent trip your pick any car you choose at National, turned into take the next one available, so I wound up with the first electric rental out of Philly.

Car was fine, quite sporty as a compact, wound up poaching electricity from a Hampton Inn, another misdemeanor not on the books.

I think I would consider buying one, when its my turn to choose the family car.

But it's never my turn.
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Old 9th July 2021, 07:39 AM   #1123
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So, some people here have electric cars (or want to get one)....

But how many of you plan to buy an electric plane?

From: Electrek.co
After Eviation unveiled the prototype of its Alice aircraft back in 2017, the company attracted a lot of attention and comparison with Tesla...Now, a few years later, Eviation is unveiling the production version of the Alice electric aircraft with a few more details:
"Alice, a nine-passenger, two-crew member aircraft, produces no carbon emissions, significantly reduces noise, and costs a fraction to operate per flight hour....The single-volume, high-energy density Alice battery system is made from currently available battery cells and is not reliant on future advancements."
...
Eviation is planning to hold an inaugural flight later this year, but the certification process is going to take a while, and Alice is not expected to go into service until 2024.


They did downgrade the expected range a little since the initial announcement, but even at ~400 nautical miles, it would still work as a short-range commuter jet.
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Old 9th July 2021, 07:47 AM   #1124
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Seems like the power/weight ratio of batteries is going to be a MUCH bigger deal for planes than it is for cars.

A Tesla S's batteries weight about 1,200 pounds, with one or two 70 lb motors.

The V6 in a BMW M3 weights less than 400 lbs, the transmission another couple of hundred, a full gas tank about a hundred at most.

So the whole "Make it go" parts of an electric car are almost double the weight.

That's workable for a car, but a plane? I'll believe, absent a major leap in battery tech, a practical version of it when I see it.
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Old 9th July 2021, 07:59 AM   #1125
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One of the good things about the battery in a car is that you can place it low in the car between the axles and it can actually have better performance than a lighter car where the weight is higher off the ground and mainly over one axle or the other. In cars the packaging flexibility of electric vehicles can offset the weight penalty somewhat.

I’m not aware of similar advantages in planes.

Maybe some remote short hop operations could reduce costs by removing a remote fuel depot and replacing it with electric charging facility. But that seems like a very niche application at best. It sounds like it will be more of a limited application aircraft with some green bragging rights. If it works well enough I guess some small airport in a very chic area may pass sound limits that preclude most non-electric planes, but only if it works well for their primary customers.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:00 AM   #1126
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
Seems like the power/weight ratio of batteries is going to be a MUCH bigger deal for planes than it is for cars.
...
So the whole "Make it go" parts of an electric car are almost double the weight.

That's workable for a car, but a plane?
Well, there are all-electric planes in production right now. (Granted these are smaller planes rather than commercial aircraft.)

From: Quartz
For $140,000, you can fly your own electric airplane. The Slovenian company Pipistrel sells the Alpha Electro, the first electric aircraft certified as airworthy by the Federal Aviation Administration...European regulators granted another of Pipistrel’s aircraft, the Velis Electro, the world’s first electric “type certification,”

Then there are also hybrid planes... (electric engines, but with a gas generator assist)... one of them has made a flight of over 300 miles.

I know with new technology like this, that there will be many failures and setbacks. Some companies will go bust without producing anything viable, other companies will have extended delays getting to market. But, it does look like it might work.
Quote:
I'll believe, absent a major leap in battery tech, a practical version of it when I see it.
Not sure if it needs a "major" leap...

From the first article I posted:
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has revealed having his own design for a VTOL electric plane, says that such a system becomes possible once battery energy density reaches over 400 Wh/kg, while his Tesla vehicles are believed to be currently powered by battery cells with 250 to 300 Wh/kg. Battery technology is improving at a rapid pace, and many prototype battery cells have claimed to have reached the 400 Wh/kg barrier.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:05 AM   #1127
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Yeah the whole "new battery tech" and/or "magical tipping point in capacity squeezed out of current tech" has been coming any day now for about 20 years.

At the end of the day Teslas, even the upcoming Roadster super-ultra-mega-ultimate-hypercar, are still powered by Lithium-Ion batteries, same as a budget laptop from 2003.

We've had dozen "next big thing" in battery tech since the late 90s that got around to actually happening.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:43 AM   #1128
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
I’m not aware of similar advantages in planes.
Don't think the issue is so much a design advantage, but more of a lower fuel costs/lower maintenance issue.
Quote:
Maybe some remote short hop operations could reduce costs by removing a remote fuel depot and replacing it with electric charging facility. But that seems like a very niche application at best.
The thing is, there are a lot of those routes that fit into the "short hop" category.

I am originally from a small city (~50,000 people) that is slightly under 400km from the largest central airport. Decades ago, they had jet planes providing service, later downgraded to turboprops, then canceled all together. A plane like the previously discussed 9-seater electric plane would be ideal...comfortably within range, lower cost to make it economically feasible, and not enough business to justify using larger commuter jets.

You also have the spectre of increased carbon taxes and more regulations. (For example, there were proposals in France to ban short-haul air routes where fast rail transport was available.)


There is a rather interesting documentary on youtube that talks about the business case for electric planes... it points out several locations and airlines where such short-hop travel dominates.

ETA: They also give an example of a small regional commuter operating in the New England area... they estimated that, based on lower fuel and maintenance costs, an all-electric fleet would increase their per-passenger profit from around $1 to over $100 (even with the high initial capital costs associated with buying new planes).

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Old 9th July 2021, 08:47 AM   #1129
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Going back to the original post, I am not sure there is a "topic focus" here, outside of EV's in general.

Anyway, I think electric is awesome.

But, I don't care about environmental reasons. I like the idea of something I can "refuel" at home. I don't have a big commute.

I also love the performance potential. I have enjoyed a pretty decent racing hobby, and what the Tesla's can do, while remaining "civilized", is amazing. To me, anyway.
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Old 9th July 2021, 09:23 AM   #1130
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ah, the conversation had moved on. Deleted
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Old 9th July 2021, 11:11 AM   #1131
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Don't think the issue is so much a design advantage, but more of a lower fuel costs/lower maintenance issue.

The thing is, there are a lot of those routes that fit into the "short hop" category.
Yeah, that may be the space where this technology finds a foothold.
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Old 9th July 2021, 12:54 PM   #1132
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Don't think the issue is so much a design advantage, but more of a lower fuel costs/lower maintenance issue.

The thing is, there are a lot of those routes that fit into the "short hop" category.

I am originally from a small city (~50,000 people) that is slightly under 400km from the largest central airport. Decades ago, they had jet planes providing service, later downgraded to turboprops, then canceled all together. A plane like the previously discussed 9-seater electric plane would be ideal...comfortably within range, lower cost to make it economically feasible, and not enough business to justify using larger commuter jets.

You also have the spectre of increased carbon taxes and more regulations. (For example, there were proposals in France to ban short-haul air routes where fast rail transport was available.)


There is a rather interesting documentary on youtube that talks about the business case for electric planes... it points out several locations and airlines where such short-hop travel dominates.

ETA: They also give an example of a small regional commuter operating in the New England area... they estimated that, based on lower fuel and maintenance costs, an all-electric fleet would increase their per-passenger profit from around $1 to over $100 (even with the high initial capital costs associated with buying new planes).

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You would think...but maybe not.

About 15 years ago, my wife worked for an airline at one of those small regional airports. She worked for a small airline that subcontracted the regional flights for a major airline. (This is typical.) Her job was to check people and their luggage in, guide the plane into the terminal (You know, the people with the batons?), load the luggage, clean the plane between flights, call the refueling service, and take boarding passes as they loaded the plane. Oh, she was also the one who de-iced the wings in the winter. (Generally, there were two to three people working on a given shift, so it wasn't like she had to do it all for every flight.)

Anyway, generally, a plane is turned around for the next flight in something like 20 minutes. There isn't a fleet parked at regional airports, and barring mechanical issues, the planes don't overnight there. (The pilots and crew want to go home.)

The current model of how airlines work would not allow charging between each flight. I think you would at least need to be able to make a round trip on a single charge.
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Old 9th July 2021, 01:24 PM   #1133
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Originally Posted by TomB View Post
Anyway, generally, a plane is turned around for the next flight in something like 20 minutes. There isn't a fleet parked at regional airports, and barring mechanical issues, the planes don't overnight there. (The pilots and crew want to go home.)

The current model of how airlines work would not allow charging between each flight. I think you would at least need to be able to make a round trip on a single charge.
I don't think charging time is the real barrier here, because airlines can avoid the biggest problem cars have with swapping batteries.

For cars, people have suggested swapping out batteries at service stations. But that's a bad idea, because batteries are a major capital cost for electric cars. You don't want to be swapping a battery you paid good money for for a battery of unknown quality. Various suggested workarounds have been proposed, but they're all bandaids on the problem of who owns the battery if you're swapping it, and how to handle the owner and the user possibly being different.

But airlines don't have that problem. You're staying on a fixed route. You aren't swapping your batteries for some unknown batteries from some unknown user. You are taking one of your batteries out, and putting back in one of your batteries. They're all still your batteries.

I'm still not optimistic about electric planes simply from an energy density perspective. I don't think battery performance is good enough. But the charging time problem is probably solvable.
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Old 9th July 2021, 02:01 PM   #1134
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Originally Posted by TomB View Post
You would think...but maybe not.

About 15 years ago, my wife worked for an airline at one of those small regional airports.
...
Anyway, generally, a plane is turned around for the next flight in something like 20 minutes.
...
The current model of how airlines work would not allow charging between each flight. I think you would at least need to be able to make a round trip on a single charge.
Depending on the route, that might not be a problem.

One of the examples provided in the video I referred to used a route between Boston and Rockland, ME. The distance by car between the 2 is roughly 184 miles. So a round trip on a single charge is certainly within the 460 mile (400 nautical mile) range of the Alice electric plane, with roughly 100 miles to spare.

That's also assuming 1) they don't try any sort of battery exchange, and 2) They don't spend the 20 minutes on the ground doing at least a little extra top-up of the batteries. (Not sure how fast charging times are, but you'd probably get at least a little extra range from 20 minutes of charging. Probably not enough to fully charge, but enough to add at least a few extra miles of range.), and 3) it assumes that an airline would keep to a 20 minute turn-around. (They may find that the greater cost savings in fuel/maintenance might make it economical to alter their schedule to allow more charging time, even if it does mean perhaps 1 less flight per day.)

I also have to wonder how common a 20 minute turn around is. The video I saw suggested 3-6 flights a day for that particular airline. If its a 1 hour flight, and the airline runs for ~12 hours/day, that would give them ~1 hour charge time between flights.
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Old 9th July 2021, 03:35 PM   #1135
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Originally Posted by Segnosaur View Post
Depending on the route, that might not be a problem.

One of the examples provided in the video I referred to used a route between Boston and Rockland, ME. The distance by car between the 2 is roughly 184 miles. So a round trip on a single charge is certainly within the 460 mile (400 nautical mile) range of the Alice electric plane, with roughly 100 miles to spare.
No, this is wrong. Airplane ranges are not like car ranges. The energy required to take of and climb to altitude means a 400 mile trip is not equivalent to two 200 mile trips. The latter will take significantly more energy than the former.
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Old 9th July 2021, 04:23 PM   #1136
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
No, this is wrong. Airplane ranges are not like car ranges. The energy required to take of and climb to altitude means a 400 mile trip is not equivalent to two 200 mile trips. The latter will take significantly more energy than the former.
And no regenerative braking.

I do wonder how much range they can dump into a partially depleted battery when they can tailor the charging infrastructure to the battery and only need a few chargers, relatively speaking.

Plane arrives with battery at 60% and they want to have 80% before take off. Might that be doable in half an hour? That seems like a pretty good goal, at least.
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Old 9th July 2021, 04:55 PM   #1137
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
And no regenerative braking.
There is no need for regenerative braking since you are not likely to encounter stop-and-go traffic in an airplane. :-)
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Old 9th July 2021, 05:21 PM   #1138
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
There is no need for regenerative braking since you are not likely to encounter stop-and-go traffic in an airplane. :-)
All that work to climb and no way to recover any energy as you come down. Such a bummer. At least when you see an electric car climbing a pass you know they will be getting some return on the backside. Not an argument, just a major difference in operational parameters. The plane needs most of its power just to get off the ground, as zig points out. Range has to be looked at quite differently.

Maybe no stop and go traffic, but multiple short flights really skewer expectations.
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Old 9th July 2021, 06:07 PM   #1139
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Hmm...

One of the rules of flying, is that you can always convert height to speed, or speed to height.

I'm thinking that you could use auto-rotation of the prop/s to generate charge back into the battery when you want to descend or slow down.

Or is that what you were thinking?

For me, a solar electric glider could be the go.

(Electric motor to climb to altitude, solar panels to keep charging while you're up there, but mainly glide from A to B)

Electric gliders are already a thing:
https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/a...aurus-electro/

I'm not sure if solar panels would add anything meaningful, or if they'd just add weight...
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Old 9th July 2021, 06:21 PM   #1140
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Quote:
Depending on the route, that might not be a problem.

One of the examples provided in the video I referred to used a route between Boston and Rockland, ME. The distance by car between the 2 is roughly 184 miles. So a round trip on a single charge is certainly within the 460 mile (400 nautical mile) range of the Alice electric plane, with roughly 100 miles to spare.
No, this is wrong. Airplane ranges are not like car ranges. The energy required to take of and climb to altitude means a 400 mile trip is not equivalent to two 200 mile trips. The latter will take significantly more energy than the former.
True, I hadn't really factored in the amount of energy used in take offs. And 2 short trips will use more energy than 1 long trip.

But, I don't think that will make much of a difference.

If I remember correctly, roughly 1/5th of the fuel in a conventional plane is used during take offs and landings. (I'll defer to any actual pilots, but google and find a few forums that gave the same sort of answer.) Remember, I said it would have ~100 miles of range to spare in the round trip (which is approximately 1/5th of its energy.)
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Old 9th July 2021, 06:27 PM   #1141
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Originally Posted by Dr. Keith View Post
Plane arrives with battery at 60% and they want to have 80% before take off. Might that be doable in half an hour? That seems like a pretty good goal, at least.
According to the Wikipedia page:
Each hour of flight time is expected to require a charging time of 30 minutes.

(Admittedly, this is a wikipedia entry for a plane that hasn't even flown yet, so its possible that the charging times could be wildly different if/when it goes into production.)

If the plane cruses at 250mph, a 30 minute charge would add 250miles of range. A 15 minute charge (such as what they might provide during a short 20 minute stopover) would add over 100 miles of range.
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Old 9th July 2021, 07:08 PM   #1142
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Ziggurat already addresses the charging with the obvious solution, which is to change the batteries in a few minutes and recharge out of the plane. Not that it matters much, there’s minimum times for deplaning and boarding that covers any battery swap times.

You can’t swap fuel tanks, so it’s really pretty minimal down time.
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Old 9th July 2021, 07:38 PM   #1143
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Originally Posted by dirtywick
Ziggurat already addresses the charging with the obvious solution, which is to change the batteries in a few minutes and recharge out of the plane.
Is replacing batteries quickly going to be feasible? Ziggurat addressed the ownership/"chain of custody" issues, but do we know planes can be designed in a way that makes frequent replacement feasible? Constantly replacing a large component of the plane is not obviously a simple thing. Weight/strength and other requirements might make easy replacement hard to design for.

As you say, we can't replace fuel tanks. If the batteries have to be just as integrated for similar reasons it might be just as difficult to change batteries.

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Old 9th July 2021, 07:44 PM   #1144
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Is replacing batteries quickly going to be feasible? Ziggurat addressed the ownership/"chain of custody" issues, but do we know planes can be designed in a way that makes frequent replacement feasible? Constantly replacing a large component of the plane is not obviously a simple thing. Weight/strength and other requirements might make easy replacement hard to design for.

As you say, we can't replace fuel tanks. If the batteries have to be just as integrated for similar reasons it might be just as difficult to change batteries.

The challenge will be convincing some government to mint the two-meter-diameter coin needed to release the catch and pry open the plastic cover of the battery compartment.
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Old 9th July 2021, 07:57 PM   #1145
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Of course we can't know just how they'll do it, but I could imagine that not all the batteries on the plane would need to be replaced on the same schedule. They could have a battery bank to run vital services like flight instruments and the like, and another to run the engines. With the right kind of connections, it might not be so hard to swap in the main power source while leaving a secondary power source connected, which would be charged in place less often.

I would imagine the voltage requirements for instrumentation and the like might b quite different from those for engines anyway, and separate batteries might make conversion less of a headache.
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Old 9th July 2021, 07:58 PM   #1146
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It's the batteries to run the engines that we're talking about now. Those other batteries you are talking about are already accounted for.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:00 PM   #1147
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Originally Posted by novaphile View Post
One of the rules of flying, is that you can always convert height to speed, or speed to height.

I'm thinking that you could use auto-rotation of the prop/s to generate charge back into the battery when you want to descend or slow down.
Planes in the air always need to apply some forward thrust; they slow down by applying less of it. So the effect on your energy budget is not even a potential net gain but a decrease in your net rate of loss.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:10 PM   #1148
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Originally Posted by Delvo View Post
Planes in the air always need to apply some forward thrust; they slow down by applying less of it. So the effect on your energy budget is not even a potential net gain but a decrease in your net rate of loss.
How do gliders avoid that requirement? I don't think there is such a requirement. Planes keep the engines running during descent in case they need them. Planes using regenerative braking will use less of something else, like flaps.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:15 PM   #1149
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
Is replacing batteries quickly going to be feasible? Ziggurat addressed the ownership/"chain of custody" issues, but do we know planes can be designed in a way that makes frequent replacement feasible? Constantly replacing a large component of the plane is not obviously a simple thing. Weight/strength and other requirements might make easy replacement hard to design for.

As you say, we can't replace fuel tanks. If the batteries have to be just as integrated for similar reasons it might be just as difficult to change batteries.
I mean, why couldn’t they? Just quick disconnects and pick them out with a lift. I think it would be a simple process, batteries are easy to swap on other vehicles.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:23 PM   #1150
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They aren't easy to swap on other vehicles. Read this thread. Swapping the battery on a Tesla can be two days in the shop.

If the batteries on a plane have to be in the wings for design reasons then do you want to fly in the plane that has it's wings entirely opened up three times a day?
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:37 PM   #1151
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Well I guess you could design a plane where the batteries are hard to get at as easily as you could a car. You could also design it to be really easy. It’s a big heavy box with a positive and negative terminal. It’s electricity. Unlike a giant vat of liquid you can put it wherever you want.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:38 PM   #1152
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Sigh. Airplanes aren't cars.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:41 PM   #1153
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Lol you compared them to a car and your the one that wants to fill wings with batteries. I feel like I should be the one sighing
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:45 PM   #1154
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I didn't compare them to a car. Only place I mentioned cars was replying to your statement about "other vehicles". If you think it's simple, tell us where you can place batteries on plane that makes them easy to swap and satisfies all other design requirements a plane has.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:46 PM   #1155
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
I didn't compare them to a car. Only place I mentioned cars was replying to your statement about "other vehicles". If you think it's simple, tell us where you can place batteries on plane that makes them easy to swap and satisfies all other design requirements a plane has.
where the luggage is

-edit-

It's pretty likely the reason a Tesla battery takes a while to change is because it only needs to be done once a decade. If Elon Musk decided Tesla batteries needed to be swapped on a per trip basis the design would be changed and it would be easy. An iPhone battery takes a bunch of special tools and some time to change, an Android takes your fingers and a few seconds. If you want a plane with accessible batteries there's no reason it can't be engineered that way. It's electricity, you can get it to anywhere on the plane from anywhere on the plane.

Last edited by dirtywick; 9th July 2021 at 08:51 PM.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:48 PM   #1156
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So you've just sacrificed the design requirement that planes carry luggage. And you haven't actually demonstrated they would be easy to swap or would satisfy weight/balance and other requirements.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:53 PM   #1157
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Originally Posted by RecoveringYuppy View Post
So you've just sacrificed the design requirement that planes carry luggage. And you haven't actually demonstrated they would be easy to swap or would satisfy weight/balance and other requirements.
lol ok man you can have this one. If you don't think that can be done you can continue to think that.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:55 PM   #1158
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Originally Posted by dirtywick View Post
If you want a plane with accessible batteries there's no reason it can't be engineered that way.
I'd like to know this, not assume this. Just repeating it is possible in your opinion is not the least bit interesting. I'd like to understand it.
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Old 9th July 2021, 08:56 PM   #1159
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https://news.cgtn.com/news/2020-08-1...oEE/index.html

put that in the bottom of the plane lol it's a battery bro

Also, kind of squashes some other EV battery swapping arguments imo
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Old 9th July 2021, 09:01 PM   #1160
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That is just too stupid. Cars aren't airplanes. Fuselages need integrity, they try to minimize openings in them. Applying that idea directly to a plane might have the entire bottom half of the plane being opened up on each turn around. If you're not willing to put some thought in to this why not stop posting??
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