Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane business

Things that fly
Post Reply
User avatar
MitchJi
1 GW
1 GW
Posts: 3195
Joined: Jun 02, 2008 8:09 pm
Location: Marin County California

Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane business

Post by MitchJi » Mar 22, 2017 4:42 pm

https://electrek.co/2017/03/22/electric ... red-plane/
Battery-powered air travel is not currently commercially viable simply because the energy storage capacity of batteries has yet to compensate for their heavy weight. A lot of companies are eyeing the possibility as energy density is improving and we have seen some progress with Airbus’’ E-Fan being the first electric plane to successfully fly across the English Channel.

Now a new startup is trying the more ambitious goal of building a battery-powered 150-seat plane to compete with 737-size aircrafts in the market for short-haul trips (under 300 miles).

The new company called Wright Electric stepped out of stealth mode this week at Y Combinator Demo Day.

Considering flights under 300 miles consist of 30% of flights and that Boeing and Airbus sold close to 1,000 of those regional airplanes for about $90 million each last year, it’s definitely a huge market. Even if the starting price is higher, the cost of fuel is such a significant portion of the operating cost for airlines that the return on investment could be quick if the batteries are recharged with cheap electricity.

https://techcrunch.com/2017/03/21/wrigh ... ic-planes/
Gas is the biggest cost for airlines. The easiest way to reduce these costs? Don’t use gas at all. That was the pitch from Wright Electric, a startup building a commercial passenger plane that runs on batteries and can handle flights under 300 miles. These short-haul trips make up 30 percent of all flights and is a $26 billion market.

Today Wright Electric gave its first preview to the world at Y Combinator’s Demo Day, where Silicon Valley’s most prestigious startup accelerator puts its new companies in front of investors. Wright Electric announced it’s building a 150-seat plane to disrupt the 737 market. It’s struck a partnership with budget British airline EasyJet, which could put its design in the air. And it even showed off its own electric plane in the parking lot.

“This is one of best hard tech teams I’ve seen,” said Michael Seibel, the head of Y Combinator’s accelerator program. Wright Electric hired a team that had been previously funded by NASA to investigate the potential for electric planes, which its co-founder Jeff Engler says puts the startup years ahead of the competition.

https://weflywright.com/
Customer Progress on Electric 150 Seater!
For the past few weeks, and largely thanks to the tenacity of you fantastic weporters, Team Wright has been speaking with airlines about our electric 150-seater concept.
Good news: we’re excited to report we have a potential partnership with one airline. Also: a high-net-worth-individual wants our electric 150-seater as his fifth private jet. Woo hoo!
It’s all very new and fragile, but it’s like what startup guru Andy Swan says about walking on ice: “When it’s slick, a tiny bit of momentum is all you need.”

Doable approach. Our design intentionally doesn’t require beyond-the-pale technology assumptions.
Aero. We’re not inventing new wings or fuselage formats. Our airframe is designed to comply with existing FAA regulations. The aero team has decades of experience at places like Boeing Phantom Works and Cessna. They’ve received numerous grants from NASA focusing specifically on electric planes. If anyone can design a feasible plane, it’s these folks.
Batteries. As Bart wisely suggested, we’ve designed our battery strategy to be robust to different battery futures.

If batteries don’t get dramatically better in the next decade, we design our plane as a hybrid with electric motors, like a Volt. It still has great cost savings as compared to today’s planes, and it doesn’t require massive battery advances.
If batteries do get a lot better in the next decade, our plane is fully-electric and has fantastic cost savings. See chart #2 below; a near-future jump to a chemistry like Li-Metal doesn’t seem beyond the realm of possibility.
Best Wishes!

Mitch


The best quality batteries and lowest priced batteries for DIY EV's are tier 1 OEM Quality Cells from salvaged (wrecked) EV packs. Two examples are Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf packs.

Nissan Leaf Module specs are here
Chevy Volt Pack Info - Salvage 16kwh Packs Under $2k here
The cells are rated conservatively by GM at 7.8C, Yabert's tests of Volt packs on the DiyEv car forum suggest a higher C rate, 15+ C!.

$1,400 plus $360 freight. Still over $1k less than new lead!

User avatar
liveforphysics
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 14497
Joined: Oct 29, 2008 1:48 am
Location: Santa Cruz, CA, USA

Re: Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane busine

Post by liveforphysics » Mar 22, 2017 4:58 pm

That's great Jeff got some funding. I wish his team the best of luck with is project!
Each carcinogen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for cancer.

Each mutagen vapor exposure includes a dice roll for reproductive genetic defects in your children.

Each engine start sprays them into a shared atmosphere which includes beings not offered an opportunity to consent accepting these cancer experiences and defective genetics life experiences.

Every post is a free gift to the collective of minds composing the living bleeding edge of LEV development on our spaceship.

User avatar
LockH
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 13321
Joined: Jul 09, 2013 11:06 pm
Location: Ummm.. Started out in Victoria BC Canada, then started to move around... Oh oh.

Re: Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane busine

Post by LockH » Mar 26, 2017 4:11 pm

Image
(They say:)
Energy Alternatives India (EAI) was formed to provide Consulting, Research, Promotion,and Marketing support to the fast growing Renewable Energy and Cleantech industry in India.
Full Electric Plane to Connect London And Paris In a Decade:
http://www.eai.in/360/news/pages/18192

Starts:
Wright Electric is developing an electric aircraft that they hope will be operational within a decade. It isn’t going to be a replacement for all jets. They plan on flying short distance routes to begin, and their design offers some amazing capabilities.
So, if all goes well, in the next decade Wright should have regular air service... Sorta like Germany did about a century ago.

(ES Bible "Search found 83 matches: +zeppelin"...)
(Seen on a stop in Montreal, CANADA in 1930:
Image
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 15&t=60564

User avatar
spinningmagnets
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 10749
Joined: Dec 21, 2007 10:27 pm
Location: Ft Riley, NE Kansas

Re: Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane busine

Post by spinningmagnets » Mar 26, 2017 6:45 pm

I think there will come a time when fuel prices double and even triple. When that happens, short haul plane routes will suddenly be very cost effective to go electric. Even if you don't go into production, an E-plane prototype needs to be made and continuously upgraded.

Turboprops have been designed to be smaller and smaller, to take over routes that are normally run by single or twin engined turbo 6-cylinder piston engines. The turboprops are more expensive to buy, but they cost less to run due to the TBO (time before overhaul). Which brings us to electric motors running propellers...what is their TBO? My guess is hundreds of thousands of flying hours between motor swaps. Reliability? ...please...(SMH)

Developing a new plane would take a few years to get FAA approval, and in a couple of years we will have SSB's, solid state batteries. Low fire risk, half the weight per energy. So...RIGHT NOW is the time to start the development of E-planes for travel business.

I never thought battery-pack swaps would ever catch on for cars, but...a short-haul business of E-planes? I think a battery swap is definitely the way to go. Slide low battery out, slide-in charged battery and go...

User avatar
LockH
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 13321
Joined: Jul 09, 2013 11:06 pm
Location: Ummm.. Started out in Victoria BC Canada, then started to move around... Oh oh.

Re: Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane busine

Post by LockH » Mar 26, 2017 7:34 pm

"Problem" w/air travel maybe? Weight. So some may favour lighter-than-air gas support + long/"big" air props spun w/"slow" RPMs where prop tips move considerably "faster". :)

Forum thread "Zeppelin propeller - or maybe not..":
http://woodenpropeller.com/forumvB/show ... hp?p=12930
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 15&t=60564

User avatar
spinningmagnets
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 10749
Joined: Dec 21, 2007 10:27 pm
Location: Ft Riley, NE Kansas

Re: Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane busine

Post by spinningmagnets » Mar 26, 2017 8:07 pm

I've seen some airship prototypes that were a flat oval, in order to reduce the side profile. If its the classic "hot dog" 3D shape, the side winds can push it around. The flatter the shape, the less it will struggle against the wind, and the more control you will have. solar panels on the roof of the airship can top off the light SSB batteries?

I am also reminded of the hybrid "hot air" balloon that finally broke the world record for time aloft. If you use helium or hydrogen (H2 is flammable, helium is not but is expensive) it cools at night and expands during the day. This causes the balloon to rise and fall, so there needs to be a method to change the buoyancy. Bleeding the gas off to sink when needed is wasteful and expensive, and refilling the balloon from a pressurized cylinder of H2 or helium is limited as to how much you can do that.

Hot air balloons can use propane for short trips, and longer-range airships might use a propane pilot flame and burn kerosene to get better range for producing heat. The balloon skin sheds heat to the atmosphere, so it continually needs to be replenished.

The hybrid balloon had a balloon inside a balloon. The kerosene-heated air bladder was in the inside, so the outer helium balloon created an insulating layer to slow the heat-loss, increasing the range of the limited kerosene weight they could carry.

User avatar
LockH
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 13321
Joined: Jul 09, 2013 11:06 pm
Location: Ummm.. Started out in Victoria BC Canada, then started to move around... Oh oh.

Re: Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane busine

Post by LockH » Mar 26, 2017 10:46 pm

^^ EG, a Lockheed Martin Hybrid Airship-like?

Image
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 15&t=60564

User avatar
LockH
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 13321
Joined: Jul 09, 2013 11:06 pm
Location: Ummm.. Started out in Victoria BC Canada, then started to move around... Oh oh.

Re: Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane busine

Post by LockH » Mar 26, 2017 10:50 pm

So. Will the Wright "airSHIPS" have a dining room like on the Graf Zeppelins?
Image

:wink:
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 15&t=60564

User avatar
LockH
100 GW
100 GW
Posts: 13321
Joined: Jul 09, 2013 11:06 pm
Location: Ummm.. Started out in Victoria BC Canada, then started to move around... Oh oh.

Re: Wright Electric unveils commercial electric plane busine

Post by LockH » Mar 26, 2017 11:00 pm

Here's me trying to interest my neighbours in Zeppelin-like tourist trips:
http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/threads/fl ... fit.20465/

:mrgreen:
ES changed my life (for the waaaaay better).

Eff. June, 2014 Phoenix Ebike Promotions

(Current ride? High speed lawn chair.)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... =3&t=57408

Phoenix Ebike Promotions conversion kit (work in progress. More drink holders, etc etc)
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 15&t=60564

Post Reply