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High Performance High Powered Electric 300+mph Racing Plane

MitchJi

Trying to learn kindness, patience & forgiveness
Jun 1, 2015
3,989
9,173
Marin County, CA
Elon and JB would love this!

This fully charged episode on electric planes is pretty interesting. There are even more advantages of electric over hydrocarbon in planes than in cars (e.g. electric doesn't require oxygen, not rotationally sensitive, etc.). It's amazing that his current prototype is designed get to 20K feet faster than a modern jet fighter.

youtube said:
Published on Jul 6, 2016
This remarkable project is still in its early stages but is clearly something we'll be following on Fully Charged.
A fully electric 300+mph racing plane.

Company site:
Home - Electroflight
"The impact of electric propulsion on the design and manufacture of future aircraft will be greater than that of the invention of the jet engine" is how one hugely respected aviation legend describes the importance of this development.

Electric propulsion will revolutionise passenger aircraft development and design as it has other means of mass transport such as rail and shipping.

With the automotive industry already embracing the technology, few if any commentators in the Aviation Business would argue that electric propulsion is far away.

High Tech
The propulsion system utilises the most power dense motors available to drive the contra-rotating propulsion system. Two fixed pitch propellers have been designed and engineered specifically to the rotational and torque characteristics of the motors, together with thrust and acceleration bearing assemblies that far exceed the loads presented during aggressive 10 G aerobatics and air racing.

The carbon composite airframe is fitted with a whole aircraft ballistic parachute system and incorporates a separate pilot safety cell, similar to that in F1 racing cars. The airframe has extremely low form drag and incorporates purpose designed compartments to carry batteries, controllers and electronic equipment. The result is a completely new type of race plane and technology demonstrator that is light, fast and capable of manoeuvres impossible for single propeller piston or gas turbine driven aircraft.

Facts
The single seat prototype aircraft is designed to demonstrate the advantages of pure electric flight.
  • All Up Weight (excluding pilot); 345 kgs.
  • Maximum Power (3400rpm): 225 kW
  • Thrust 500 Kgs
  • Maximum level Speed (sea level) 250 kts
  • Climb rate (vertical) 9,000 ft/min
  • Battery power (720 volts) 15 kW
Construction
The airframe is the result of three years of research and development and is an entirely ground up, all electric design.
  • The airframe contains no elements attributable to hydrocarbon driven types.
  • The fuselage and tail is constructed in two halves using advanced multi-ply carbon composite and honeycomb construction materials and vacuum assisted resin infusion methods.
  • The wings and tail plane are constructed in a similar two-part fashion by laying up into computer machined tooling.
  • The carbon assemblies are joined with proprietary methods in house.
  • The propulsion system is fitted directly to the airframe structure.
  • The only non-composite airframe elements are the canopy, undercarriage and fastenings.
Propulsion System
The propulsion system is a wholly new generation of an electric contra-rotating unit. The high torque of the electric motors allows the propeller shafts to be directly driven without gearing or other speed reduction devices and achieves simplicity unknown in non-electric forms of contra-rotating propeller propulsion. Except for the shaft bearings, the motor rotors, propeller shafts and propellers form the only two rotating assemblies in the system.

This allows for almost maintenance free operation for the life of the system. A unique feature of electric propulsion is the ability to apply full power almost instantly with no spool up or inertial lag time found in piston or turbine types. The system's thrust to take-off weight ratio is greater than one and allows the aircraft to accelerate vertically (vertical take-off) and to operate at extreme altitudes far above oxygen dependant engines in unpiloted conditions.
 
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Reactions: daxz and Pdub2015

swaltner

Active Member
Oct 13, 2012
1,643
1,696
Kansas, USA
That popped up on youtube for me shortly after it went live. Very interesting.

A plane for racing in the Red Bull Air Race is a great place to deploy an electric airplane. Their flight regime is very controlled. You takeoff, circle for a couple minutes before entering the race course, run at full power for 90 seconds, then land. Both this and air show aerobatic routines would be good ways to showcase electric powered aircraft and not worry about having a really heavy battery pack to run at power for 1-2 hours at a time.

Regarding the "beat a jet to 20,000' altitude", there was a little qualification there that was easy to miss. They were qualifying that stating that both aircraft were sitting on the ground with the engines off. The fighter jet would take a minute (I think they said 90 seconds) to get the engine started and the temps stabilized before it starts the takeoff roll. All that time, the Electroflight is gaining altitude. Many modern fighters have more than a 1:1 power to weight ratio while in full afterburner, and can accelerate going straight up. A propeller aircraft doesn't have a chance against that.

That doesn't take away from the impressive design. It will be great to see it when this aircraft has its maiden flight. Hopefully, they'll bring it to the EAA fly-in up in Oshkosh when it's flying. In recent years, more and more electric powered designs have been shown off at this event. Only two weeks to wait for this year!
 

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