Bjorn’s Corner: The challenges of Hydrogen. Part 2. Ecosystem.

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 31, 2020, ©. Leeham News: In our series on Hydrogen as an energy store for airliner use we begin by looking at the needed ecosystem that can produce and distribute Hydrogen.

When I was skeptical about hydrogen as a means to propel our airliners three years ago, the main problem was the lack of this ecosystem. That year, in 2017, 13 transport and energy companies formed the Hydrogen Council, to create this ecosystem. Today the council has 81 members, with 22 joining in the last year, Figure 1. The list reads as Who’s Who in the transport and energy sector.

Figure 1. Members of the Hydrogen Council. Source: Hydrogen Council.

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France to invest 15 billion Euro in its aeronautical industry

By Bjorn Fehrm

June 10, 2020, ©. Leeham News: France presented a 15 billion Euro support plan for the French aeronautical industry yesterday, to help the industry overcome the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plan has three focus areas:

  • safeguard the employment of the 300,000 employed in the French aero industry
  • transform the supplier network to a more robust structure
  • and perhaps most interesting, set the direction for the industries’ next aircraft projects

The French Finance Minister announces the plan. Source: France 24.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment, Part 17. High hanging fruit.

April 10, 2020, ©. Leeham News: We have since December 13, discussed why e in ePlane should not stand for electric and covered a lot of areas explaining why electric aircraft or hybrids are not the best way to environmentally friendly air transport.

We now recap what we learned and then wrap the series.

Figure 1. The Gartner hype cycle. Source: Wikipedia.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment, Part 13. Serial Hybrid.

March 13, 2020, ©. Leeham News: In this week’s Corner, we address an often forgotten aspect of Electric and Electric-Hybrid aircraft design.

The battery as an energy source, as the only or assisting source, has the same weight during the whole flight. A fuel (alternate, fossil, or hydrogen) consumes during the flight. You gradually fly a lighter aircraft. Let’s see how this affects the aircraft’s efficiency.

Figure 1. Embraer’s E175-E2, a latest-generation 88 seater jet used for our example. Source: Embraer.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment, Part 12. Battery risks.

March 6, 2020, ©. Leeham News: We use this week’s Corner to discuss the safety hazards a change to an Electric or Hybrid-Electric airliner introduces.

The trigger is two battery fires in six weeks for the electric aircraft prototypes which are now flooding the market.

Figure 1. Eviation’s Alice battery-driven prototype. Source: Eviation

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment, Part 11. More electric aircraft.

February 28, 2020, ©. Leeham News: We now look at technology developments that make sense, and can deliver real improvements in the near future.

We start in this Corner with what more electric aircraft and engines can bring.

Figure 1. Boeing’s 787, the first more electric airliner. Source: Boeing.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment, Part 7. Efficiency of cars versus airliners.

January 31, 2020, ©. Leeham News: We now look at ways to increase the fuel efficiency of our airliner and by it, improve the CO2 situation for our environment.

Let’s start with understanding where we are with the efficiency of our present air transport system. To get a feel for where we are we will compare it to our road transport system.

Figure 1. A principal view of a two-spool airliner turbofan. Source: Wikipedia.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment, Part 5. Distributed propulsion.

January 17, 2020, ©. Leeham News: We continue our series why e in ePlane shall stand for environment and not electric, where we now examine the gains with electric/hybrid distributed propulsion systems.

We started last week with the type of boundary layer ingesting aft fans shown in Figure 1. Now we continue with wing mounted distributed propulsors.

Figure 1. Boundary-Layer Ingestion aft fans, driven by electric motors. Source: JADC.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment. Part 1. Hype versus reality.

December 13, 2019, ©. Leeham News: The first all-electric commercial aircraft, a Harbor Air DHC-2 Beaver, flew over the Fraser River near Vancouver in the week (Figure 1). It was powered by a magniX electric engine fed with energy from batteries.

Despite this progress, this Corner series is about why the e in our future ePlanes should stand for environment and not electric.

Figure 1. Harbour Air seaplane flying with a magniX electric engine feed by batteries. Source: magniX.

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The new focus in aircraft development, the production

By Bjorn Fehrm

October 17, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Over the last decades the focus for new airliner projects has been technological advancements in aerodynamics, structures, engines, and avionics. This has offered 15% efficiency gains for the new airliners over the aircraft they replace. While still important, the next airliner projects have an additional focus which has moved to the top of the list. The production phase and how to improve its many parts.

The parts include development for automation, efficient partnering/sourcing and how to reduce the expensive learning phase of the production. We will cover this change in a series of articles around the 9th Aviation Forum, an up-and-coming Munich conference that focuses on these themes.

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