We will need lighter structures to achieve better fuel economy, but what if the structure could also be part of the power system in a vehicle? That seems to be one of the possibilities in this fascinating breakthrough in material science. Graphenes are one-atom thick layers of carbon, and are the lightest, strongest structure yet achieved. Not only is this material the strongest yet found, but the nano material has tremendous promise in electronics and solar PV devices. Consider that if it could be used to store and transmit current, a structure could be self-powering. To what extent could this be borne out in actual graphene structures?
I’ve been asked by Dr. Brien Seeley to host the blog for the CAFE Foundation, a great honor, and one which I will attempt to serve with the same kind of dedication and intelligence the Foundation board members provide in their service to aviation. Because these postings will reflect the goals and aspirations of the Foundation, I feel a need to be as objective as possible, and to report on things that have value and benefit to people interested in finding solutions for the matters that concern all of us – aircraft efficiency, new powerplants and fuels, climate change, and possibly even things such as structural concepts and techniques that can contribute to meeting the outcomes we seek. In return, I ask for constructive criticism and respectful arguments, from all and addressed to all. We are able to find truth in considerate dialogue, and if one remembers the Socratic method of teaching, perhaps we will all learn something along the way. …
Dr. Seeley has shared this link, which reports on the requested goal of achieving 35.5 miles per gallon fleet averages for cars sold in the US by 2016. Because this effort starts in 2012 under President Obama’s plan, car manufacturers will have to perform rapid shift in their product lineups to achieve these goals. As stated in the NY Times story, “The president’s decision will also accelerate the development of smaller cars and engines already under way.” This is in harmony with goals of the CAFE Foundation, and could lead to some useful engines for high-efficiency future lightplanes.
The CAFE Foundation is very pleased to offer a new array of important reports on extreme body drag reduction in its PAV Technology Library. These reports include work on Goldschmied propulsion that should prove valuable to any team planning to compete in the NASA Centennial Challenge flight competition.
CAFE has just arranged for Len Scumann and Steffen Geinitz from the University of Stuttgart, Germany to come to EAS III to present their exciting work on the new Hydrogenius fuel cell 2 seat aircraft.