Electric Jet Planes With Superconducting Generators

Are electric jet planes possible? In a recent paper, CA Luongo and PJ Masson have written a paper with their colleagues that posits that superconducting machines are the only viable way to get the power densities needed for electric aeropropulsion.


(Aircraft electric drive - electrical ducted fan [pdf])

Relentless growth in air traffic poses the question of how to achieve a more sustainable way of keeping humankind flying without further environmental damage, and especially in a fuel-efficient manner... Superconducting rotating machines (motors and generators) are destined to play a key role in this conversion as the enabling technology that will allow this conversion to electric propulsion within the very stringent weight and volume constraints imposed by an airborne application. Through our multi-disciplinary collaboration we were able to assess, for the first time, the feasibility of non-conventional aircraft architectures based on superconducting electric propulsion.

...superconducting machines have already achieved power densities comparable to turbine engines. To fully enable electric flight however, power densities need to improve even further, which is only possible with all-superconducting machines. We developed design concepts for revolutionary aircraft using superconducting machines for propulsion and showed that with further development in superconducting and cryocooling technologies, all within reach, superconductivity- enabled flight could be a reality within the next 20 years.


(Two views of a sixteen-fan hybrid wing body [pdf]
aircraft and a cross section of one of the
superconducting-motor-driven fans in its duct)

John W. Campbell thought about the idea of an aircraft with electric propulsion in his 1930 novel The Black Star Passes. But even Campbell (as far as I know) didn't think that an electric generator could power a plane - he was thinking about solar-powered planes.

From Next Generation More-Electric Aircraft: A Potential Application for HTS Superconductors via Next Big Future.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/26/2009)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )

Related News Stories - (" Transportation ")

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag' - Philip K. Dick, 1955

Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'- John Jacob Astor IV, 1894.

Ford's Autonomous Cabs 'Transportation As A Service'
'He was glad to crawl into his autocab and close the cover.' - Robert Heinlein, 1951.

World's First Autonomous Tram In Germany
What's it like for autonomous trams when they're turned off at night?

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Wound Healing With Wearable Nanogenerators
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to ... erase the other internal-external damage.'

Flying Dragon Robot Transforms In Mid-Air
Terrific prototype video.

Negative Matter Fluid Theorized In New Paper
'Of course, being negative matter, when you push it, it comes toward you..'

Grow Structures Upon Planetfall - Myco-Architecture
'They'll also start pulling in gases and liquids from the local atmosphere...'

MXene Hydrogel Skin For Robots Flexes And Senses
'The plastex swam and whirled like boiling toothpaste...'

EXPLORER, The First Total-Body Scanner
'The object is built up of an infinite series of plane layers, at the focus of the ray...'

UK Police AI To Stop Criminals Before They Strike
'... the computing mechanisms that studied and restructured the incoming material.'

Sonitus Audio Interface Positioned Beyond The Noise
'... an instrument having relatively small bit pieces adapted to be gripped between the teeth.'

Volvo's Self-Driving Mining Trucks
'A procession of automatic ore carts was racing over the bleak slag'

Audi Pop.Up Autonomous Electric Flying Car
'The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics...'

Music Not Impossible (MNI) Vibrotactile Wearable Experience
Don't you want to experience the 'feely' effects?

Chinese Face Recognition Mistakes Bus Ad For Jaywalker
'... the imprint of her image on the telephoto cell.'

A Look Back At Apollo's Emergency Escape Vehicle
'A simple mechanism... it drove the iron ball through space like a ship.'

InMotion Glide 3 Electric Unicycle For The Last Mile
'...gyro-stabilized on a single wheel.'

China's Social Credit System - A Facebook-1984 Mashup
'Prestige, face, mana, repute, glory: the Sirenese word is strakh.'

Musk Declares Tesla Supercharger Capacity Will Double By Next Year
'Recharge the batteries... in almost every town and village...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.