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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The European airline industry has seen the future of aviation. It’s sleek and organic, carries a sextet of turbines, and its powertrain works a lot like the Chevrolet Volt.

"So like Chevrolet has done with the Volt, EADS will use a relatively small jet engine as a generator to power the fans and charge up the batteries during cruise. With power reduced during the descent, the windmilling electric fans could recharge the batteries on the airplane, providing a small amount of regenerative energy — or in car terms, “regenerative braking” similar to how hybrid-electric cars recoup energy when braking."

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/07/eads-ethrust-hybrid-airliner/
 

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There is no such thing as "windmilling electric fans"! The correct term is to invert the circuits of the fan motors and become air turbine-generators to recharge the batteries (regeneration). The author Jason Paur has no technical training!

Please, never use "windmills" in any air powered electrical generating terms! The real windmills are old devices to mill wheat. Is that what this plane will do in the air, then it is "flour powered"!
 

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There is no such thing as "windmilling electric fans"!
I suspect he was using a term that the average person would understand. He could have used the correct terminology with an example to explain what it meant, but likely chose brevity instead.

I just like the fact he used the Volt as another short-hand description for the power-train.
 

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As a technology fan, a teacher, and expert (I an an EE since 1974), my duty is to educate the correct terms, explaining the reason. Now I have to correct my wife who is watching the news of the Boeing 777 that crash landed in San Francisco yesterday. She is asking about the "black boxes". I told her that they are flight and voice recorders, and were always a bright orange, never black.

I hate when the news gives wrong information! Many people prefer to accept what reporters give them instead of investigating more and learning the truth (remember the Volt fires)!
 

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There is no such thing as "windmilling electric fans"! The correct term is to invert the circuits of the fan motors and become air turbine-generators to recharge the batteries (regeneration). The author Jason Paur has no technical training!

Please, never use "windmills" in any air powered electrical generating terms! The real windmills are old devices to mill wheat. Is that what this plane will do in the air, then it is "flour powered"!
In the aviation industry, "windmilling" refers to jet engine fans turning due to air blowing through them (rather than expanding fuel exhaust). So the term *does* make sense in the context of regenerative descent/deceleration.
 

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The European airline industry has seen the future of aviation. It’s sleek and organic, carries a sextet of turbines, and its powertrain works a lot like the Chevrolet Volt.

"So like Chevrolet has done with the Volt, EADS will use a relatively small jet engine as a generator to power the fans and charge up the batteries during cruise. With power reduced during the descent, the windmilling electric fans could recharge the batteries on the airplane, providing a small amount of regenerative energy — or in car terms, “regenerative braking” similar to how hybrid-electric cars recoup energy when braking."

http://www.wired.com/autopia/2013/07/eads-ethrust-hybrid-airliner/
On first glance, I can see that the excessive weight of a series hybrid system and the catastrophic failure mode of a single engine are fatal flaws. Fans buried in the wing roots create a maintainability challenge, a heck of a lot of noise and vibration in the cabin, a safety hazard (no engine separation due to excessive 'blade-out' vibration), and they lose the bonus lift of the high pressure area under the wing root (that is created by conventional 'under the wing' engines).

That doesn't mean that concepts such as this are not worth studying. The quest for higher efficiency never ends. But what actually ends up in service will likely look far different as the technology matures. So, I would advise taking the marketing hype with a grain of salt.
 

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come on peeps.. people are wayyy too sensitive about terminology around here...

the average joe understands windmilling and "black boxes.." as well as "charger" for our volts.. lughten up!!!

this plane sounds feasible but only if we can get batteries to be much lighter.. i could also envision certain types of supplemental solar to be used to perhaps power avionics, cabin comfort, electronics, etc.. a fusilage and wing-tops covered in solar esp at high altitudes where the sun can be strong and temperatures cool might provide some actual gains...

obvipusly the higher cokplexity brings with it the question of how reliable is it?.. would there be multile or a single standard engine to run the electrics.. and what are the weight concerns of backup systems...

and as mentioned the extra lift from underwing engines..

at this point in time the "watts per pound" of fuel is a lot higher than that of batteries.. even with re-gen under descent taken into consideration...

now if we reach a point where batteries and solar reach a point where the solar can possibly fly the plane at cruise altitude during the peak day hours.. I think we see real possibilities of extreme aviation efficiency..
-Christopher
 

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Not our fault...

...Now I have to correct my wife who is watching the news of the Boeing 777 that crash landed in San Francisco yesterday.
We were doing the tourist thing and sightseeing in San Francisco that morning and had passed the airport at maybe 10:00 AM. We were either cruising down Lombard Street or the crossing the Golden Gate at the time of the accident and weren't listening to the radio so we didn't hear about it until later.

I got blamed (and rightfully so) a lot of things as a kid, so I called my Mom when I heard about the crash to get my side of the story submitted. She absolved me of all blame (I think) probably with fingers crossed behind her back.:cool::rolleyes:
 
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