Bjorn’s Corner: Why e in ePlane shall stand for environment, Part 7.

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.

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, not electric. Part 1.

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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Airbus CEO says the airline industry must cut carbon emission with 50% by 2050

By Bjorn Fehrm 

June 18, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Airbus new management team has set the company ambitious targets for the future. These not only describe how to develop and produce new, more competitive airliners but also defines Airbus’ contribution to a sustainable aviation industry, contributing its part in the fight against climate change.

The new Airbus CEO, Guillaume Faury said at the opening of the Paris Air show “We must find a way to decarbonized aviation. This is for our generation to do. It’s expected of us by the flying public and by society”.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why hybrid cars work and hybrid airliners have challenges

By Bjorn Fehrm

June 14, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In last week’s Corner we discussed why aircraft with batteries as an energy source will be short ranged for decades to come. The battery energy density is too low and it won’t change appreciably over time.

Now we look at the challenges hybrid transport aircraft face when competing with today’s turbofan airliners.

The Zunum Hybrid electric airliner. Source; Zunum.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Why Electric Cars work and Airliners don’t

By Bjorn Fehrm

June 7, 2019, ©. Leeham News: In last week’s Corner I wrote: “The reason electric cars work and airliners don’t is the Sky lacks Stoplights“.

The discussion was part of my previous series on Electric aircraft, but it was in the comment section. Here is a more exhaustive run through of the main reasons.

Figure 1. The Tesla electric car is a functioning replacement for a combustion engine car. Source: Tesla.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Electric aircraft, the first fall on the Hype curve

Bjorn’s Corner

May 31, 2019, ©. Leeham News: Last week the new Airbus CTO, Grazia Vittadini, said we should not expect electric aircraft anytime soon when presenting at Airbus Innovation days. What is realistic is hybrid developments, not battery-based designs.

After having made the basic checks about Electric aircraft in my Corner series 18 months ago, this was music to my ears. Finally, someone was curbing expectations.

Figure 1. The Gartner technology hype curve. We are somewhere in the first peak.  Source: Gartner.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Airbus about Urban Air Mobility: Stop dreaming, Start making

By Bjorn Fehrm

May 24, 2019, ©. Leeham News: “Stop dreaming, Start making” was the angle of Airbus responsible for Urban Air Mobility (UAM), Eduardo Dominguez Puerta, presenting during Airbus Innovation days in Toulouse this week.

He also said, over 90% of the present UAM projects will not make it into a certified operational platform. Here’s why.

Figure 1. The motivation for Urban Air Mobility is strong. Source: Airbus.

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Electric aircraft builder announces new engine option

By Bryan Corliss

April 22, 2019, © Leeham News:  Electric aircraft motor builder MagniX will celebrate Earth Day today by announcing it has been chosen as one of two powerplants for Eviation Aircraft’s proposed nine-seater Alice passenger plane.

“We have been successfully testing the MagniX system with our Alice aircraft propeller for quite some time now with great results,” Eviation Chief Executive Omer Bar-Yohay said in a statement.

The MagniX motor has more than 1,500 hours on a test stand, according to Roei Ganzarski, who is CEO of the suburban Seattle engine-builder.

The Alice is a clean-sheet electric aircraft design developed by Eviation, an Israeli company that has established a testing/production facility in Prescott, AZ. Eviation has announced plans to fly the Alice at Le Bourget this summer.

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