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View Diary: How Airliners Work - Propulsion (191 comments)

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  •  There are some light aircraft (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ice Blue, KenBee, kovie, BlackSheep1

    now flying with electric motors.

    I don't know if and when they'll be able to scale up the technology to something the size of an airliner.

    It raise some interesting problems. We currently land at a much lighter weight than at takeoff because of all the fuel we burn off.

    A battery powered plane would have the same landing weight as takeoff weight.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 10:43:47 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Unless a light, affordable and efficient (0+ / 0-)

      means of generating enough electricity through the consumption of some sort of fuel could be found that changed that, perhaps working in concert with more conventional batteries and solar. I'm talking way out of my league scanning the cover of the latest Popular Mechanics speculation here.

      Incidentally, I was just in a Radio Shack and saw that they had this battery-powered RC plane for around $40 that used these small ducted fans for power. So obviously this works, only on a very, very small scale.

      I just think that with fossil fuels becoming scarcer (and eventually completely depleted) and bad for the environment no matter how clean we make them, and synthetic fuels being expensive and also bad for the environment, even if less so, we're going to need a whole new means of propulsion eventually, and likely sooner than we want to believe.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 04:03:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so in a future diary could you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      compare / contrast JP-4/8 and, say, diesel? (Field expedient BUFF-grade diesel, please -- I'm pretty sure recycled french fry grease would not meet the need).

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Van Cliburn, Ike, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Tue Apr 02, 2013 at 08:49:02 PM PDT

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      •  It's a lot like kerosene. (0+ / 0-)

        The relevant performance metric is 'cetane' -- the energy released by burning it. The engines are not terribly picky about what they burn, as long as it generates a lot of heat.

        What does matter a lot is that it stays liquid at all the temperatures its used at, and it gets very cold at 40,000'.

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