‘The big education for me is that civilisation is fragile and can be destroyed in a heartbeat' - Jeremy Brade, former peacekeeper in Sarajevo.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Electric aircraft: you couldn't make it up

The spoof (from last month's BOM)
The reality: EADS E-Fan (source)
Turns out it wasn't a joke, after all. There really is a potentially commercial electric plane being developed - and it's not the first to fly. Though short-flight, it recharges quickly (about an hour) and fuel costs are allegedly one-third that of conventional flying.

I'm not sure how that cost claim stands up in the accounting - the electricity is generated elsewhere and ultimately implies a vast web of economic activity, so it would be an interesting challenge to compare the work achieved/costs of conventional and electric air transport in purely energy terms, say along EREOI lines.

But there could also be an exercise on relative disbenefits - noise and air pollution (including the high-altitude water vapour that I think has some effect on weather and climate) - and the economic costs of same. (Electric might spike the guns of the chemtrail conspiracy people.)

Here's the video of this new creation:

Cheaper than windmill-powered?


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1 comment:

A K Haart said...

What we need around here is an electric police helicopter. The thing sounds like an old sky tractor. Criminals can probably hear five miles away.