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 ")

Elon Musk's Traffic Tunnel Challenge Is Boring
'The car vibrated... threading the maze of local tubes.' - Jack Vance, 1954.

HVSD, Kitty Hawk's Electric Plane
Very quiet commuter plane offers VTOL service.

Skai Air Taxi Costs The Same As Uber
'The air-taxi found its way past and around other ground-cars...' Isaac Asimov, 1988.

Asimov and Musk - Boring Company Tunnel vs. Street Race
'There was almost no sound, just a steady velvety whirr as the taxi sped along.' - Isaac Asimov

 

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

Via Virtual Reality, Mother Encounters Deceased Daughter
'But that barrier was going to melt away someday soon. The transhumanists had promised...'

Clothes That Do Photosyntheisis
'Clothes are no longer made from dead fibers of fixed color and texture...'

Stratuscent Electronic Nose
'It's picking up diphenyl compounds and tetra hydrocarbons.'

CIMON Companion Robot For Space Station Astronauts
'... in some departments their power is absolute.'

Qbit Robot Bartender Also Makes Coffee
'...he sipped the cognac that the robot bartender handed him.'

Moving Desks Not SciFi After All
'Charged with hope, he zipped from stack to stack...'

Cruise Autonomous Car Drives Aimlessly For An Hour
Convincing video shows progress (and limitations).

Fast Charging A Bus In 20 Seconds
'... in almost every town and village.'

Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
'The speech patterns you actually hear decode the brainwave matrix which has been fed into your mind by your Babel fish.'

Biotech Firms Raised $Millions For Anti-Agathics (Longevity Drugs)
'Against Death doth no simple grow.'

Out-Of-Work Blue Collar Robots Need Your Help
'His legs relaxed with a rattle as he cut off all power below his waist... and ran his eye down the Help Wanted - Robot column...'

The Dawn Of Orbiting Manufacturing In 2020?
'It can be mass-produced only in the orbiting factories.'

Smart Contact Lenses Charges With 3D Printed Antenna
'He realized that it was not quite a clear lens.'

Segway S-Pod Fulfills Dire 1928 SciFi Prophecy
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

Physicist Inspired By SciFi And Seeing Back In Time
'Here is the chronoscope... Scansion depends upon a special curved field...'

Airbnb Has AI Psychiatrist Looking At Your Facebook
'It's illegal to hold back information during a psyche test.'

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.