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 ")

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

Arizona Luddites Attack Self-Driving Vehicles
'Trucks don't drive by themselves...' Or do they?

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

 

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

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'

Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'

Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.'

Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.'

Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

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.