Pipistel Alpha Electro

Talk about airplanes! At last count, there are 39 (and growing) FAA certificated S-LSA (special light sport aircraft). These are factory-built ready to fly airplanes. If you can't afford a factory-built LSA, consider buying an E-LSA kit (experimental LSA - up to 99% complete).

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HAPPYDAN
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Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby HAPPYDAN » Tue Sep 29, 2015 2:59 pm

The future appears to be here! Check this out:
http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All- ... c_sect=tts
This is a plane I would really like to see, and fly if possible. I am firm in my belief that dino oil will be depleted before the end of this century. It is apparent the technology works, and in time will no doubt see vast improvements. How about an electric Icon A5? Now that would get some real attention!

SportPilot
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby SportPilot » Tue Sep 29, 2015 4:19 pm

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Last edited by SportPilot on Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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FastEddieB
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:31 pm

SportPilot wrote:They are going to have to do better than 1 hour endurance.


Or supply a REALLY long extension cord!
Fast Eddie B.
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Nomore767
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby Nomore767 » Tue Sep 29, 2015 6:48 pm

SportPilot wrote:They are going to have to do better than 1 hour endurance.


I think the article said maybe 1.5 hours but as a training airplane then not too bad although still limited. Power pulled back the windmilling engine does recharge but not very much.Takes about an hour to recharge.

It's a start but batteries are heavy and have low endurance.

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FastEddieB
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby FastEddieB » Tue Sep 29, 2015 8:06 pm

I think the key will be affordable and flexible solar cells - the tops of the wings would be a perfect place for them.
Fast Eddie B.

Sky Arrow 600 E-LSA • N467SA

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MrMorden
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby MrMorden » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:04 pm

FastEddieB wrote:I think the key will be affordable and flexible solar cells - the tops of the wings would be a perfect place for them.


Until the battery tech or solar cell tech improves, that won't help very much. Charging those honkin' batteries with 100Wh of solar cells is going to take a couple of days of good sunlight.

An electric plane needs 2.5hrs run time (2hrs plus reserve) and ability to charge in ten minutes off of regular 110/220V AC power to really be viable, IMO.
Last edited by MrMorden on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
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2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

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dstclair
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby dstclair » Tue Sep 29, 2015 9:53 pm

And that 2.5hrs is going to take a lot of weight for the near term. The Tesla-S is the current state of the art for electric powered vehicles with a range of around 420 miles with a battery weight of 1200 lbs. Maybe a two seater Cessna 182 could handle that....
dave

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MrMorden
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby MrMorden » Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:33 am

dstclair wrote:And that 2.5hrs is going to take a lot of weight for the near term. The Tesla-S is the current state of the art for electric powered vehicles with a range of around 420 miles with a battery weight of 1200 lbs. Maybe a two seater Cessna 182 could handle that....


True, but remember you can delete the entire weight of an engine AND fuel! :shock:

An electric motor for a light single can probably weigh only 20-30lb. Assuming a Rotax install, for that you save 120-140lb of engine and 120-200lb of fuel. That's a net weight savings of 210-310lb that can go toward batteries.

If you are not looking for blistering performance, but just say 80kt cruise speed and 500fpm climb rates, I think it can be done with careful airframe and wing design. The recharge rate problem is still a tough nut to crack though. If you are not in a hurry, Eddie's solar cells or a standard charger will work. But if you want to fly multiple legs with full charge per day, some innovations are needed.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

SportPilot
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby SportPilot » Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:32 am

.......
Last edited by SportPilot on Sun Mar 20, 2016 7:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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MrMorden
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby MrMorden » Wed Sep 30, 2015 12:36 pm

SportPilot wrote:I'll wait on the nuclear powered version.


Bah, they can totally do this now, and in fact they do for high-endurance drones:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator

But most folks are a bit freaky about da nukes.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

HAPPYDAN
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby HAPPYDAN » Wed Sep 30, 2015 1:40 pm

Yeah, but just remember what cellular phones looked like in 1995! And how did we ever get around before GPS?

HAPPYDAN
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby HAPPYDAN » Sun Nov 15, 2015 12:10 pm

Looks like this baby may be dead already. It seems competition for the first electric-plane crossing of the English Channel may have killed it.

http://www.aopa.org/News-and-Video/All- ... -or-airbus

Not a technical issue, apparently. But it smells like big business and deep pockets killed it. Neither the E-Fan nor Cri-Cri are viable, marketable electric prototypes, whereas the Pipistrel Alpha Electro was or soon would have been. American GA manufacturers, here's your big chance. Don't wait for China to win this one!

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drseti
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Re: Pipistel Alpha Electro

Postby drseti » Mon Nov 16, 2015 2:01 pm

If I were looking to produce an electric LSA, I'd first be lobbying hard for FAA to remove "single reciprocating engine" from the definition. Since I've not seen an NPRM on that topic, I assume no manufacturer (Chinese or American) is interested.
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