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 ")

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

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.

 

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

North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'

Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'

Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'

Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'

Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'

BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.

Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.

DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'

I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'

Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'

Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'

Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'

Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!

TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.

Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'

Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?

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.