Showing posts with label Aviation Week. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Aviation Week. Show all posts

Monday, March 14, 2016

Battery powered airliners.

NASA is funding research into them.  The idea is to carry batteries and an electric motor to drive (or assist driving) the fan section of a turbofan engine to produce thrust.  The greenies love the idea because it sounds so green, which is why NASA is spending money on the paper studies.  I wouldn't care to ride on one. 
   The artist's conception sketches show a fairly ordinary looking airliner with two big jet engines slung under the wings. 
    The article does admit that the idea doesn't really work until the batteries get about five times better than they are today.  Current lithium batteries store 150-200 watt hours per kilogram.  Everyone admits that the idea needs  batteries that can do 1000 watt hours per kilogram, five times better than today.  That is gonna take a while. It took 50 years to go from NiCad batteries to lithium for a maybe three times improvement.  At that rate of  progress it will take another fifty years to get to 1000 watt hours per Kg.
  Same issue of Aviation Week carries an article explaining that the International Civil Aviation Organization banning the shipment of lithium batteries on passenger airliners because of the fire hazard. 
   Your tax money at work.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Whither the F-35 (Joint Strike Fighter)?

Budget cutting and sequestering is sniffing around the massive F-35 program.  F-35 is supposed to be THE jet fighter for the entire free world, for the next 25 years.  It's computerized, it's stealthy, it's almost operational.  And it costs like crazy.
   F-35 has three versions, F35A is the regular air force version, designed to operate off concrete runways.  F35B is the vertical takeoff version for the Marine Corps, and F35C is the carrier version for the Navy, essentially the Air Force version beefed up to survive carrier landings and catapulting.
   Aviation Week suggests saving money by cancelling the Marine Corps and Navy versions, and concentrating on the Air Force version.  The Navy could get by using  the F/A 18 Hornet (currently in service) and the Marines could keep flying their Harrier VTOL fighter.  In short, new fighters for the Air Force and let the Navy and Marines suck hind teat. 
   I don't know how this will fly in Congress, but the Navy and Marine viewpoint is not hard to imagine.