Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 42. eVTOL range.

By Bjorn Fehrm.

October 21, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This is a summary of the article Part 42P, eVTOL range. It discusses the range of a typical eVTOL flying a feeder mission from a city center to an airport.

The 42P article details the energy consumption for each stage in the mission and the range we fly. We summarize the results here.

Figure 1. The Vertical Aerospace VX4 in an early rendering with similar looks to the eVTOL we discuss. Source: Vertical Aerospace.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 42P. eVTOL mission range. The deeper discussion.

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October 21, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This is a complementary article to Part 42, eVTOL mission range. It discusses the typical maximum range we can expect from a certified eVTOL by mid-decade.

We have described the vehicle and the mission data in the three previous Corners; now, we analyze the energy consumption for the mission and discuss the range we can achieve.

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Achieving net zero carbon is a promise you can keep: P&W’s Webb

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By Scott Hamilton

Sept. 26, 2022, © Leeham News: The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) is nearing the next step in support of dramatically cutting emissions by airlines and the aviation industry.

Graham Webb

“ICAO has been working for about the last three years on something called a long-term aspirational goal (L-TAG). That’s regarding a study that was conducted by a number of their scientists to determine if it is feasible for the aviation industry to reduce its carbon emissions specifically, to achieve a net zero standard. That’s what for a long-term aspirational goal is,” said Graham Webb, Chief Sustainability Officer for Pratt & Whitney. “At this point, the study has been completed and has been reviewed by 93 member states. It would appear that the initial motion of the language that is going to be put forward will pass.”

ICAO previously adopted the Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA). L-TAG is the next step, Webb said in an interview this month with LNA.

“Once that is in place, it will enable ICAO, much as it already is done with CORSIA, to establish policies that would then be enforced by all its member states in a common, in a related way as opposed to the concern that many people have had, where you would see a patchwork. You would see some countries, such as the United States, providing incentives through vendors’ tax credits. You would see Europe in the form of mandates and taxes. They have this Emissions Trading Scheme that they’ve been putting forward and running through the Parliament. The overall objective is to have this singular global aviation industry, regulatory body, ICAO, that would then set the guidelines for the industry.”

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 36. Battery Management.

By Bjorn Fehrm

September 9, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Over the last weeks, we have discussed the cells that make up the battery system for an eVTOL.

The battery system has 10,000 cells or more. All these must, on an individual level, be managed to ensure they operate inside their allowed values. The Battery Management System, BMS, has this responsibility. It’s one of the most critical safety systems in an eVTOL.

Figure 1. The Battery Management System and battery packs from EP Systems. Source: EP Systems.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 33P. eVTOL batteries. The deeper discussion.

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August 19, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This is a complementary article to Part 33, eVTOL batteries. It discusses the trickiest system on an eVTOL, the battery system.

While Lithium Ion batteries have come a long way since the electric flight ideas took off in 2015, the battery system is still the biggest challenge for eVTOL designers, not only for total energy content but for a range of parameters.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 33. eVTOL batteries.

August 19, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This is a summary of article Part 33P, eVTOL batteries. This article discusses the trickiest system on an eVTOL, the battery system.

The battery system supplies the energy to the VTOL, and given today’s and tomorrow’s battery technology; it’s a tight resource that needs a lot of pampering.

Figure 1. We use graphs in the Pipistrel spare parts catalog to show the battery system of the Pipistrel Velis Electro. Source: Pipistrel and Leeham Co.

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Airbus prepares contrail flight tests

July 21, 2022, © Leeham News at Farnborough Air Show: Airbus is converting two Arcus high-altitude gliders to check if the contrails produced by hydrogen combustion engines create an environmental problem.

The background is that experts can’t agree if the water vapor produced by hydrogen combustion (which merges hydrogen with oxygen to water) can cause global warming or not. The only way to resolve the dispute and gain fundamental knowledge is to fly and measure.

Figure 1. First flight with the Blue Condor program’s test aircraft. Source: Airbus.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 28. Vectored thrust VTOLs.

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 15, 2022, ©. Leeham News: We started the analysis of the market’s most prominent VTOLs with multicopters last week. Now we continue with vectored thrust VTOLs.

The most known exponent for vectored thrust VTOLs is Joby Aviation’s Joby S4 VTOL, Figure 1.

Figure 1. Joby S4. Source: Joby Aviation.

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Sustainability progress “depends on where you snap the line”

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By Scott Hamilton

July 11, 2022, © Leeham News: When it comes to sustainable aviation, what’s real and what’s greenwashing, “it depends on where you snap the line,” says a managing director at the consultancy Accenture.

John Schmidt heads up Accenture’s Aerospace and Defense Global Industry consultancy. Schmidt briefed LNA ahead of the Farnborough Air Show, which begins next week.

The background

John Schmidt

At the Annual General Meeting of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Boston last October, IATA adopted a 2050 timeline goal for meeting targets to reduce aviation emissions. Tim Clark, the president and COO of Emirates Airline was on the panel with Stan Deal and Guillaume Faury, the CEOs of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Airbus Group. The panel outlined goals for using Sustainable Aviation Fuel and reducing CO2 emissions, among other things. Clark, however, warned, “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

In a previous interview with LNA, Clark estimated the commercial aviation industry will need trillions of dollars to meet the 2050 goal. It’s money the industry doesn’t have. This begs the question: is there a certain amount of greenwashing going on?

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 26. VTOLs.

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 1, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Last week, we finished our discussions around Fuel Cell-based airliners using hydrogen as fuel.

We could see the technology has true zero emissions, but the maturity of the many parts needed (hydrogen tank and fuel system, multi-MegaWatt class aeronautical fuel cells, motors, and controls) are not there. We are in the crawling before walk stage with sub-MegaWatt systems to make their first flights over the next years.

Another area claiming Green credentials is the VTOL space. Because these are based on electric technology, VTOLs are claimed as environmentally friendly and a good way to transport people.

We will analyze this industry and its claims of being an efficient, environmentally friendly way of transportation.

Figure 1. Joby S4, the VTOL project that has come the furthest. Source: Joby Aviation.

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