Michael Russer
Seriously? This is the best of what we have to look forward to in air transport in 2050? Guess where flyers will flock to given the choice between super / hypersonic travel vs. slow-boat, yet highly efficient, electric air travel. We should be shooting for speed and efficiency, not one or the other.
Waa,.. integrated wing ideas slowly starting to come to the viable front. Some of these designs are gorgeous.
I won't be surprised if this concept is a dead end. It looks more like EADS needs to show it's shareholders something to keep them happy. Turbo fan jets are amongst the most efficient petro-chemical engines available. Putting further energy conversion points (electric generators to power electric motors) in the propulsion chain is going to cost efficiency not enhance it.
The Creator
@Michael Russer What about efficient ALL electric AND hypersonic? Elon Musk thinks it can be done.
Michael Mantion
@KushSmoka sorry but if Elon Musk thinks all electric planes are viable then you shouldn't listen to Elon Musk. Hypersonic or not electric planes are toys and nothing more. There is no and will never be a chemical or mechanical battery to allow an all electric passenger plane. Perhaps you could generate a large amount of electricity with a hydrogen fuel sell, although unlikely it is possible, that really isn't an "all electric" idea. Regardless the pictures are good for a laugh, thank you gizmag and EADS for commercially mocking the future of air travel. One last thing why do people seem to assume that electric motors are somehow super efficient? Including a storage system their power to weight ration is horrible. Heavier plains require more lift, more lift creates more drag, more drag equals slower, less efficient flying. Hydrocarbon fuels are and will be the power souce of choice until a new unheard of fuel/energy source is created. Nuclear rockets and Ion Thrusters are more realistic than an electric fan.
Someone should check the EADS' Distributed Electrical Aerospace Propulsion (DEAP) project and fire the ones responsible for it. This type of series hybrid is heavy and the expected advantages are hard to realize, only Fisker Karma was using it with lukewarm results. An on the ground the weight is a smaller issue, than on air. Common sense not required.
Wow! those are some pretty negitive comments. In order to move forward with new engineering concepts you must explore every avenue. This isn't only about speed or the most efficient engine. We are faced with an emissions problem. These concepts are at least a step toward addressing that. If you think it's nuts, just look at F1 where and electric system is used for a horse power boost and it works.
The Creator
@Michael mantion, yeah and airplanes and space travel will never exist... oh wait, they do. How do you know what future battery/energy storage technologies will exist, lithium/air, battery/capacitor hybrids, etc. Also there are things at play besides the energy storage, some of which Elon Musk goes into here, www.youtube.com/watch?v=uegOUmgKB4E&t=38m6s Why would you even compare nuclear rockets and ion thrusters to electric fans? first 2 are for spacecraft, last one is for airplanes.... "apples and oranges."
@Michael Russer If the public is given a choice between super / hypersonic travel vs. slow-boat, yet highly efficient, electric air travel, then the bulk of them will choose the most affordable option. "Show me the money!"
The idea of a battery powered airliner is ludicrous. The batteries would have to achieve an energy density not merely equal to kerosene but exceed it by at least on order of magnitude. Batteries that weigh no more than the reserve fuel that an airliner of the size would carry has to power the whole flight because batteries do not get lighter when the power is used; tanks of liquid hydrocarbons do. By the time you have increased the strength of the landing gear to land the airliner loaded with cargo and a full fuel load thy weigh so much that the plane will never leave the ground. The Boeing 747 has a fuel tank that holds as much as an Olympic sized swimming pool, THAT THEY DO NOT FILL for a mere transatlantic hop; check out the size of the battery in the model. powering a plane by unicorn farts is a more practical idea. All you have to do is genetically modify the horses and capture and process their flatulence. re; KushSmoka420 His word choice saw poor but a jet is an air breathing rocket and flight weight atomic powered jets have been built. Also there is theoretical basis for an ion airplane engine, the Ionic Breeze works on the same principal.