ZeroAvia: 100 CRJ700 Motors to American

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, hydrogen, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Your Jet May Become a Prop Plane Bombardier’s (Commuter Regional Jet) CRJ700 has been in service for over 21 years, and may be about to receive a power system that will make it one of the cleanest alternatives in air travel. According to electric-flight.eu, “American Airlines plans to convert most of its CRJ700 fleet to environmentally friendly engines,” particularly ZeroAvia’s ZA2000 RJ drive train, electrified by hydrogen fuel cells. American, a shareholder in ZeroAvia, operates a fleet of CRJ 700s through its American Eagle regional airline subsidiary.  Converting the airplanes from their current General Electric CF34-8C1 to hydrogen-fueled ZA2000s will extend the lives of the planes and make them the cleanest things in the sky. Robert Isom, CEO of American Airlines, said: “To accelerate the transition of commercial aviation to a low-carbon future, investments in promising technologies, including alternative forms of propulsion, are required.” Val Miftakhov, CEO and founder of ZeroAvia, added, “At this early stage in our work together, …

Hold Your Hydrogen – GTL Does

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GTL. Gloyer-Taylor Laboratories Inc, is a specialist composite manufacturer and it validates LH2 composite dewar tanks for use in aviation.  Recently, they shared that, “In-depth results from the successful validation testing of its small, subscale composite vacuum jacketed dewar tank with liquid hydrogen (LH2).” Think of a dewar as a large thermos bottle and you won’t be far from reality.  “A cryogenic storage dewar (or simply dewar) is a specialized type of vacuum flask used for storing cryogens (such as liquid nitrogen or liquid helium), whose boiling points are much lower than room temperature. It is named after inventor James Dewar, who developed it for his own work. They are commonly used in low-temperature physics and chemistry.” (Wikipedia) The company explained, “Test results exceeded expectations regarding holding hard vacuum, heat load, rapid chill-down and hydrogen fraction goal, leading to flight prototype fabrication. “ The company reports, “When fully isolated, the dewar tank held hard vacuum at 2.8.e-6 torr (5.414e-9 psi) for …

DLR’s EXACT Future Dreams

Dean Sigler Batteries, Biofuels, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, hydrogen, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

DLR, the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt) predicts practical ways to achieve dreams of carbon neutral flight.  EXACT (Exploration of Electric Aircraft Concepts and Technologies Projects is not an exact depiction of aircraft on the drawing board, but a conceptual program for creating the craft and infrastructure of future flight. The EXACT project is developing a concept for climate-friendly flying in commercial aviation and takes into account the complete life cycle of an aircraft, its components and its fuel.  DLR looks beyond the aircraft designs themselves to include sustainable energy sources, powerplant types, and even flight route planning. Goals and Approaches The plan cites the following goals and approaches: “New DLR aviation strategy charts the research path towards emission-free flying. “The energy requirements of upcoming aircraft must be reduced to at least half by 2050. “The climate-neutral aviation of the future requires highly efficient aircraft configurations and an intelligent mix of alternative drive concepts. “Climate-optimized flight …

AutoFlight Celebrates Two Milestones

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AutoFlight, the Chinese firm founded by Tian Yu (Yuneec), celebrated two milestones, although maybe not “firsts” as described in the company’s press releases.  Both, however, are impressive and worthy of note. First Intercity Flight AutoFlight claims to have flown the first inter-city electric air-taxi demonstration flight between the southern Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai.  In an autonomous trip, AutoFlight’s five-seat Prosperity eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) aircraft flew the 50km (31 miles) route from Shenzhen to Zhuhai. The flight across the Pearl River Delta took just 20 minutes, a journey that would require three hours by car.  For those with the funds to make the flight the difference in time is incalculable. According to the company, “This marks the first public flight of an eVTOL aircraft on a cross-sea and inter-city route, spanning across the bay where the Pearl River meets the sea, connecting the two southern Chinese cities.”  In 2021, Australians flew a Pipstrel Alpha Electro …

Universal Hydrogen End-to-End

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In an “end-to-end” demonstration of its proprietary liquid hydrogen module, Universal Hydrogen Co. has successfully run a megawatt-class fuel cell powertrain.  “End-to-End,” in this case means “[the] demonstration of a hydrogen molecule moving from our filler/dispenser into our storage module and then into our powertrain is the first time that all the pieces of our product portfolio for regional aviation have come together,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen. “The next step is to upgrade our flight testbed to fly the powertrain fueled by our modules.” In a simplified interface for a complex process, the liquid hydrogen module “is the core of the company’s fuel services offering for aviation.”  Looking like any other intermodal freight and airport cargo handling equipment, each module contains 200 kilograms (440 pounds) of liquid hydrogen.  Capable of storing it for long periods without boiloff, the module’s internal systems convert the cryogenic H2 into a warm gaseous H2 consumed by the powertrain Designed …

Climate Impulse – Not at All Impulsive

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Born of the heritage of the Solar Impulse Foundation and taking it further, Climate Impulse wants to showcase concrete technologies that can revolutionize the aviation industry, and the mobility sector in general. Two Well-Travelled Partners We are all familiar with the exploits of Bertrand Piccard, which include the first circumnavigations of the globe in a balloon and more recently in a solar aircraft.  He comes from a family of explorers who have climbed the heights and plumbed the depths of our world.  We are probably less familiar with an equally intrepid adventurer, Raphael Dinelli. Dinelli attempted a solar circumnavigation of the globe as part of the 1996-1997 Globe Vendee competition.  He didn’t quite make it full circle, sinking in the Indian Ocean.  The Australian Air Force dropped a life raft to him and then he was pulled to safety by another competitor, Peter Goss.  According to Wikipedia, “He went on to sail with Goss in the 1997 edition of the …

ZeroAvia Cryo-Compresses Hydrogen

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ZeroAvia, already deploying hydrogen as a main part of its flight program, is exploring the use of cryo-compressor technology to deliver more energy dense H2 for longer flights. If we think of gasoline or Diesel fuel as “Cream of Energy Soups,” we might understand their preeminence as energy carriers.  A U. S. gallon (3.8 liters) of Gasoline for instance, contains about 33.4 kilowatt-hours of energy.  Compare this to a state-of-the-art lithium battery, which tops out at around 0.5 kW-hrs.  A Diesel engine might be able to convert 50 percent of that to useful work, with the rest going to waste heat.  A gasoline engine fares even worse, extracting perhaps 30 percent as work and 70 percent as waste heat. Electric Motors, however, are highly energy efficient, some extracting up to 97 percent of a battery’s stored energy.  If one uses hydrogen instead of batteries, one can reach parity with the amount of energy available to spin the propellers.  As early …

E9X: 90 Passengers, 480 Battery Miles

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What can carry 90 passenger 480 miles on battery power alone?  Such a query flies in the face of others’ efforts to hybridize medium-range flight, but may be answered by Delft-based Elysian Aircraft.  Their eight-motored, battery-powered E9X uses a backup turbogenerator only for reserves, putting a level of trust in the 365 Watt-hour per kilogram cells buried within the long, slender wing for safe transit. Graham Warwick’s Article Graham Warwick, writing for Aviationweek.com, explains that, “Breaking with traditional design principles, Delft-based Elysian says it has found design space where a large electric aircraft looks viable with near-term battery technology.”  That kind of range for that large an aircraft seems extreme, but the E9X’s developers are using currently-available batteries to achieve their goals.  Reynard de Vries, director of design and engineering at Elysian, explains, “If you want to make a significant impact on the sector as a whole, then you need to electrify flights up to 1,000 km [620 mi.]. Then …

Airbus and Perlan Check out Hydrogen

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Airbus, through its partnership with the Perlan Project, is investigating how to clean vapor trails from the high-flown paths traversed by airliners.  Through its pair of Blue Condor jet-powered sailplanes, Airbus and Perlan are working toward a contrail-measuring mission in 2024. Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, has been a rarity in the aviation world, other than in well-publicized events involving gas-fueled conflagrations.  (Whether the H2 carrying the Hindenburg aloft or the fabric skin covering the great ship’s frame caused the fire at Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1937 is still somewhat controversial.)  Regardless, the disaster brought about a deep mistrust of hydrogen that persists to this day.  Airbus, along with the Perlan Project, looks forward to exploiting H2’s advantages while overcoming its undeserved stigma and surprising issues. Perlan’s Greater Mission The Perlan Project has achieved an enviable string of record flights culminating in the 2018 altitude record of 76,114 feet.  Carrying CubeSats filled with science experiments developed by …