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Thread: Electric Beaver

  1. #81
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Looks good, but I can tell you the 31% number is sales hype by the tracker salesman. Yes, the array will be aimed directly at the morning and late evening sun, BUT the sales guys for trackers forget to mention that the sun, when lower in the horizon, is shining thru more atmosphere, so the output is less. More like 15 to a max of 25%. Then when we pencil out the cost of the tracker, and with solar at less then $1.00 per watt (less then .50 actually), it is not a good time to be in the tracker business!

    For 30 years I had a side biz of small scale off grid solar, that evolved into grid tie, until more and more regulations, driven largely by insurance companies, made it impractical to dabble in it, I found it more trouble then it was worth to keep up, so officially got out last year. Being in the crane biz also, I of course found a way to tie the 2 together, and it goes without saying the plane always was part of the deal. I built, delivered and set, over 50 of what came to be my standard array size, roughly 10'x20', so as much as 3.8 KW. This size was my sweet spot, very little waste using stock steel lengths, when trucking them (thru Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho) just an over width permit but not a pilot car needed), and also just right for handling them in my shop.

    I'd fab the frames, paint them (Rustoleum red primer, great stuff) install the panels and pre wire and test them, all in my spare time at my at home shop, between my main money making crane work. A sweet deal.....even though many of the projects were in remote areas, requiring flying out and finding a place to land to meet with my customers, tough duty but someone had to do it.

    I'd advise them as to what size pipe, how deep, how much concrete, etc., they'd get it all ready, and then when I trucked the arrays out there it was a few minutes work to set them into place with my 22 or 30 ton boom truck. This maximized my time spent "out" and gave my customers the best bang for the buck. I sold the crap out of them, especially after they would check into a more traditional solar supplier, I was undercutting them by half and still making real good bucks, all in my spare time. Plus large quantity purchases meant cheap gear for myself.

    But this IS a flying forum, and one of the best stories I have is when an old boy in Warren ID. wanted a few smaller panels, (two of them, my profit maybe 50 bucks) and as my ad said "free delivery", I did so, clear across the Frank. Not a good business decision, but a great flying one. A month later he wanted 2 more, so I did it again. So I'm out of it now, except fly overs to all my old customers in the remoter areas, (which just happen to be some of the best flying areas ) just to make sure everything is working OK, heck I don't even bill them for this service, go figure!
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  2. #82
    SJ's Avatar
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    Now why aren't some of those shots in the calendar? Pretty cool!

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywalker View Post
    YouTube has a video of a vulture lazily circling until a tip comes down on it. The tip speed on a 60rpm, 200ft dia prop is hard to believe. I get 400mph.
    Pponk's tip speed calculator says 428 mph (.56 mach) on a standard temp day.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  4. #84

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    Pussy in the hangar, Electric Beaver..............what direction is this website going
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  5. #85
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  6. #86
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    Don't look for electric powered aircraft any time soon..............

    https://www.youtube.com/embed/wDOI-uLvTnY
    "Sometimes a Cigar is just a Cigar"
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  7. #87

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    Bata Technologies in Burlington VT has just go there electric plane flying, stupidest looking thing I have see. There first long cross country was from Plattsburg NY to Rutland VT a few weeks ago. About a 35min flight.
    A year or two ago they put in charging stations, one for aircraft and a few for cars. Big azz transformer needed, it is at least 4X what poweres the full airport and businesses.
    Before the flight a truck had been sent down, it had batteries in back to test the charging station since if it did not work the airplane would have needed to be dismantled to truck out. It worked.
    Last week I read they flew out to Ohio, The plane needed to be charged 7 times to make the flight. Never read about the return.

  8. #88

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  9. #89

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    These things are all junk the Moller Skycar was first and the best. With all the decades of experience Moller's Skycar will dominate electric fright. Actually Moller was a chump he was collecting a few bucks from pilots here and there, these new age electric flyers are getting big investors to throw big bucks at them. It'll be good for the helicopter industry when the potential customers realize they can just buy an R-44 and get the job done.

  10. #90
    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlieN View Post
    Bata Technologies in Burlington VT has just go there electric plane flying, stupidest looking thing I have see. There first long cross country was from Plattsburg NY to Rutland VT a few weeks ago. About a 35min flight.
    A year or two ago they put in charging stations, one for aircraft and a few for cars. Big azz transformer needed, it is at least 4X what poweres the full airport and businesses.
    Before the flight a truck had been sent down, it had batteries in back to test the charging station since if it did not work the airplane would have needed to be dismantled to truck out. It worked.
    Last week I read they flew out to Ohio, The plane needed to be charged 7 times to make the flight. Never read about the return.
    That plane flew all the way to Arkansas from Vermont a week or so ago and landed at our airport here (many stops to recharge) - along with a whole host of other interesting flying and driving machines. Remember - a lot has happened in a 100 years of aviation and none of us would jump in one of the original contraptions given the choice now. These new fangled things are the Wright flyer compared to what will eventually evolve. Pretty interesting stuff if you ask me.

    sj
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  11. #91
    SJ's Avatar
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    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  12. #92

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    Does the Beta prototype even hover? It's cruising around without the vertical shaft motors. They're doing intfrastructure stuff as if the hover is a given. Probably waiting for better batteries. Strange how the big customers are placing their bets.
    What's a go-around?

  13. #93
    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skywalker View Post
    Does the Beta prototype even hover? It's cruising around without the vertical shaft motors. They're doing intfrastructure stuff as if the hover is a given. Probably waiting for better batteries. Strange how the big customers are placing their bets.
    Not the one they had here. I think he stopped every 100 miles to recharge. Certainly unpractical, but they said it took $18 worth of electricity to fly from VT to AR.

    When I was younger, I always assumed all of this stuff would be nuclear powered - look at the submarines running for 25-50 years on small reactors. I still think nuclear will play a role in powering the future, but I probably won't be around to see it.

    sj

    P.S. Yes, just like unstable battery technology, there are issues to work out with nuclear containment.
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  14. #94
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    .... they said it took $18 worth of electricity to fly from VT to AR.
    How much is their idle time worth while waiting for the recharge?
    N1PA

  15. #95
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Hybrid plugin makes more sense, like my plug in Prius, love that car. 74 mpg last tank, don't care if it's girly! I have a 1 ton flatbed and a crane truck to keep me manly.
    Last edited by courierguy; 06-13-2022 at 10:15 AM.

  16. #96
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    This was funny to me.
    2,013 Miles. No Gas. Many Hassles.
    Our reporter drove from New Orleans to Chicago and back to test the feasibility of taking a road trip in an electric vehicle. She spent more time charging it than she did sleeping.Ithought it would be fun. That’s what I told my friend Mack when I asked her to drive with me from New Orleans to Chicago and back in an electric car. I’d made long road trips before, surviving popped tires, blown headlights and shredded wheel-well liners in my 2008 Volkswagen Jetta. I figured driving the brand-new Kia EV6 I’d rented would be a piece of cake.If, that is, the public-charging infrastructure cooperated. We wouldn’t be the first to test it. Sales of pure and hybrid plug-ins doubled in the U.S. last year to 656,866— over 4% of the total market, according to database EV-volumes. More than half of car buyers say they want their next car to be an EV, according to recent Ernst & Young Global Ltd. data.Oh—and we aimed to make the 2,000-mile trip in just under four days so Mack could make her Thursday-afternoon shift as a restaurant server.Less money, more timeGiven our battery range of up to 310 miles, I plotted a meticulous route, splitting our days into four chunks of roughly 7˝-hours each. We’d need to charge once or twice each day and plug in near our hotel overnight.The PlugShare app—a user-generated map of public chargers— showed thousands of charging options between New Orleans and Chicago. But most were classified as Level 2, requiring around 8 hours for a full charge.While we’d be fine overnight, we required fast chargers during the days. ChargePoint Holdings Inc., which manufactures and maintains many fast-charging stations, promises an 80% charge in 20 to 30 minutes. Longer than stopping for gas—but good for a bite or bathroom break.The government is spending $5 billion to build a nationwide network of fast chargers, which means thousands more should soon dot major highways. For now, though, fast chargers tend to be located in parking lots of suburban shopping malls, or tethered to gas stations or car dealerships.Cost varies widely based on factors such as local electricity prices and charger brands. Charging at home tends to be cheaper than using a public charger, though some busion nesses offer free juice as a perk to existing customers or to entice drivers to come inside while they wait.Over four days, we spent $175 on charging. We estimated the equivalent cost for gas in a Kia Forte would have been $275, based on the AAA average national gas price for May 19. That $100 savings cost us many hours in waiting time.But that’s not the whole story.Charging nuancesNew Orleans, our starting point, has exactly zero fast chargers, according to PlugShare. As we set out, one of the closest is at a Harley- Davidson dealership in Slidell, La., about 40 minutes away. So we use our Monday-morning breakfast stop to top off there on the way out of town.But when we tick down 15% over 35 miles? Disconcerting. And the estimated charging time after plugging in? Even more so. This “quick charge” should take 5 minutes, based on our calculations. So why does the dashboard tell us it will take an hour?“Maybe it’s just warming up,” I say to Mack. “Maybe it’s broken?” she says.Over Egg McMuffins at McDonald’s, we check Google. Chargers slow down when the battery is 80% full, the State of Charge You-Tube channel tells us.Worried about time, we decide to unplug once we return to the car, despite gaining a measly 13% in 40 minutes.When ‘fast’ isn’t fastOur real troubles begin when we can’t find the wall-mounted charger at the Kia dealership in Meridian, Miss., the state’s seventh-largest city and hometown of country-music legend Jimmie Rodgers.When I ask a mechanic working an SUV a few feet away for help, he says he doesn’t know anything about the machine and points us inside. At the front desk, the receptionist asks if we’ve checked with a technician and sends us back outside.Not many people use the charger, the mechanic tells us when we return. We soon see why. Once up and running, our dashboard tells us a full charge, from 18% to 100%, will take 3-plus hours.It turns out not all “fast chargers” live up to the name. The biggest variable, according to State of Charge, is how many kilowatts a unit can churn out in an hour. To be considered “fast,” a charger must be capable of about 24 kW. The fastest chargers can pump out up to 350. Our charger in Meridian claims to meet that standard, but it has trouble cracking 20.“Even among DC fast chargers, there are different level chargers with different charging speeds,” a ChargePoint spokeswoman says.Worse, it is a 30-minute walk to downtown restaurants. We set off on foot, passing warehouses with shattered windows and an overgrown lot filled with rusted fuel pumps and gas-station signs. Clambering over a flatcar of a stalled freight train, we half-wish we could hop a boxcar to Chicago.Missed reservationsBy the time we reach our next station, at a Mercedes-Benz dealership outside Birmingham, Ala., we’ve already missed our dinner reservations in Nashville—still 200 miles away.Here, at least, the estimated charging time is only an hour—and we get to make use of two automatic massage chairs while we wait.Salesman Kurt Long tells us the dealership upgraded its chargers to 54-kW models a few weeks earlier when the 2022 Mercedes EQS-Class arrived.“Everyone’s concern is how far can the cars go on a charge,” he says. He adds that he would trade in his car for an EV tomorrow if he could afford the $102,000 price tag. “Just because it would be convenient for me because I work here,” he says. “Otherwise, I don’t know if I would just yet.”A customer who has just bought a new BMW says he’d consider an EV one day—if the price drops.“You remember when the microwave came out? Or DVD players?” says Dennis Boatwright, a 58-year-old tree surgeon. “When you first get them the prices were real high, but the older they are, the cheaper they get.”When we tell him about our trip, he asks if we’ll make it to Chicago.“We’re hoping,” I say. “I’m hoping, too,” he says.A giant chickenAfter the Birmingham suburbs, our journey takes us along nightmarish, dark mountain roads. We stop for snacks at a gas station featuring a giant chicken in a chef’s costume. We lean heavily on cruise control, which helps conserve battery life by reducing inadvertent acceleration and deceleration. We are beat when we finally stumble into our Nashville hotel at 12:30 a.m.To get back on schedule, we are up and out early, amid pouring rain, writing the previous day off as a warm-up, an electric-car hazing.For the most part, we are right. Thanks to vastly better charging infrastructure on this leg, all our stops last less than an hour.In the parking lot of a Clarksville, Ind., Walmart, we barely have time for lunch, as the Electrify America charging station fills up our battery in about 25 minutes, as advertised.The woman charging next to us describes a harrowing recent trip in her Volkswagen ID.4. Deborah Carrico, 65, had to be towed twice while driving between her Louisville, Ky., apartment and Boulder, Colo., where her daughter was getting married.“My daughter was like, ‘You’ve lost it, Mom; just fly,’ ” the retired hairdresser says. She says she felt safer in a car during the pandemic— but also vulnerable when waiting at remote charging stations alone late at night. “But if someone is going to get me, they’re going to have to really fight me,” she says, wielding her key between her fingers like a weapon.While she loves embracing the future, she says, her family has been giving her so much pushback that she is considering trading the car in and going back to gas.Smiling at gas pricesAt another Walmart, in Indianapolis, we meet Bill Stempowski as he waits for his Ford Mustang Mach-E to charge. A medical-equipment operations manager, 45, he drives all over the Midwest from his home in LaGrange, Ohio, for work.In nine months, he says, he’s put 30,000 miles on the car and figures he’s saved thousands on gas. “I smile as the gas-sign prices tick up,” he says. That day, his charge comes to about $15, similar to what we are paying to fill up.We pull into Chicago at 9 p.m., having made the planned 7˝-hour trip in 12 hours. Not bad, we agree.‘What if we just risk it?’Leaving Chicago after a full night of sleep, I tell Mack I might write only about the journey’s first half. “ The rest will just be the same,” I predict, as thunder claps ominously overhead.“Don’t say that!” she says. “We’re at the mercy of this ******* spaceship.” She still hasn’t mastered the lie-flat door handles after three days.As intense wind and rain whip around us, the car cautions, “Conditions have not been met” for its cruise-control system. Soon the battery starts bleeding life. What began as a 100-mile cushion between Chicago and our planned first stop in Effingham, Ill., has fallen to 30.“If it gets down to 10, we’re stopping at a Level 2,” Mack says as she frantically searches PlugShare.We feel defeated pulling into a Nissan Mazda dealership in Mattoon, Ill. “How long could it possibly take to charge the 30 miles we need to make it to the next fast station?” I wonder.Three hours. It takes 3 hours. I begin to lose my mind as I set out in search of gas-station doughnuts, the wind driving sheets of rain into my face.Seated atop a pyramid of Smirnoff Ice 12-packs, I phone Mack. “What if we just risk it?” I say. “Maybe we’ll make it there on electrical fumes.”“That’s a terrible idea!” she says.‘Charge, Urgently!’Back on the road, we can’t even make it 200 miles on a full charge en route to Miner, Mo. Clearly, tornado warnings and electric cars don’t mix. The car’s highway range actually seems worse than its range in cities.Indeed, highway driving doesn’t benefit as much from the car’s regenerative- braking technology— which uses energy generated in slowing down to help a car recharge its battery—Kia spokesman James Bell tells me later. He suspects our car is the less-expensive EV6 model with a range not of 310 miles, as listed on Turo, but 250. He says he can’t be sure what model we were driving without physically inspecting the car.“Factors such as average highway speed, altitude changes, and total cargo weight can all impact range, whether derived from a tank of gasoline or a fully charged battery,” he says.To save power, we turn off the car’s cooling system and the radio, unplug our phones and lower the windshield wipers to the lowest possible setting while still being able to see. Three miles away from the station, we have one mile of estimated range. “Charge, Urgently!” the dashboard urges. “We know!” we respond.At zero miles, we fly screeching into a gas-station parking lot. A trash can goes flying and lands with a clatter to greet us. Dinner is beef jerky, our plans to dine at a kitschy beauty shop-turned-restaurant in Memphis long gone.Then we start to argue. Mack reminds me she needs to be back in time for her shift the next day. There’s no way we’ll make it, I say.“Should we just drive straight through to New Orleans?” I finally ask desperately, even as I realize I’ve failed to map out the last 400 miles of our route.To scout our options, Mack calls a McDonald’s in Winona, Miss., that is home to one of the few fast chargers along our route back to New Orleans. PlugShare tells us the last user has reported the charger broken. An employee who picks up reasonably responds that given the rain, she’ll pass on checking.Home, sweet $4-a-gallon homeAt our hotel, we decide 4 hours of sleep is better than none, and set our alarms for 4 a.m.We figure 11 hours should be plenty for a trip that would normally take half as long. That is, if absolutely everything goes right.Miraculously, it does. At the McDonald’s where we stop for our first charge at 6 a.m., the charger zaps to life. A Chevy dealership employee in Brandon, Miss., unlocks a charger for us at 10 a.m.We pull into New Orleans 30 minutes before Mack’s shift starts— exhausted and grumpy.The following week, I fill up my Jetta at a local Shell station. Gas is up to $4.08 a gallon.I inhale deeply. Fumes never smelled so sweet.


    This was an all-too-familiar sight by the end of our road trip. Massage chairs at a Mercedes dealership improve the wait.

    Fuel for the drivers.

    Running on empty.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  17. #97

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    Add an anxious wife and screaming kid with a dead iPad to the mix and licking the end of a gun barrel might not seem so bad after all.
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  18. #98
    courierguy's Avatar
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    That article highlights all the disadvantages of a pure EV, kind of like doing a flight review of a new Cirrus by taking it into Mile Hi. The car comes off bad, but used for someone's daily commute it'd come off much better. Charging my plug in Prius is never an issue, takes a bit over an hour on a 120 v. circuit, and at home anyway it's free, of course I only have a 10-13 mile range. Just filled the tank yesterday ($4.98 G, regular) another 74 mpg. Over driving my 1 ton Silverado (18 mpg) that saved me about $100.00 at todays prices. I'll take all the ribbing over driving such a girly car for those kind of savings. Meanwhile, my new elctric dirt bike, a Sur Ron, is a perfect match for my usual 2-3 hr at most trail rides, super torquey and a blast to ride when it's bad flying weather. Similar to what Mike Patey hangs off the wings of his exp., TWO of them.

  19. #99
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Your Prius with it's combination gas/electric makes much more sense than a full electric. Much more practical.
    N1PA

  20. #100
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    Does the gas saved justify the cost of two vehicles, insurance etc or is it just something you want. I have run the numbers of an electric car and can't make it work out cost wise. My wife's car is 13 years old and my truck is 11 and I think an electric car would not last that long without costly battery replacement.
    Steve Pierce

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  21. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Does the gas saved justify the cost of two vehicles, insurance etc or is it just something you want. I have run the numbers of an electric car and can't make it work out cost wise. My wife's car is 13 years old and my truck is 11 and I think an electric car would not last that long without costly battery replacement.
    I'm curious what the differential between normal combustion engine service over time and battery replacement is. Might be less than you think.

    sj
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  22. #102
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    Our Toyotas are 120-180k miles. 1 water pump, 1 starter, 1 radiator and that has been about it. I have heard the batteries are $4-6k but haven't verified that. My shop Tacoma and Lee's Tacoma have 220k plus but when I got them they were 180k and 200k so not sure what was done before we got them.
    Steve Pierce

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  23. #103
    SJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Pierce View Post
    Our Toyotas are 120-180k miles. 1 water pump, 1 starter, 1 radiator and that has been about it. I have heard the batteries are $4-6k but haven't verified that. My shop Tacoma and Lee's Tacoma have 220k plus but when I got them they were 180k and 200k so not sure what was done before we got them.
    How much did it cost when I was trying to drive it to Dallas with the Englerths that one time?

    sj
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  24. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    How much did it cost when I was trying to drive it to Dallas with the Englerths that one time?

    sj
    Luckily that was an emission problem that they covered under warranty.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
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  25. #105
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    This is sitting out from of the FBO right now on its way to Wichita. One hour of flight time - they use them as trainers in Florida apparently. It's a very long cross country if you have to have a 30 minute reserve...

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    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  26. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by SJ View Post
    This is sitting out from of the FBO right now on its way to Wichita. One hour of flight time - they use them as trainers in Florida apparently. It's a very long cross country if you have to have a 30 minute reserve...
    Do they carry the charger on the aircraft for a ferry flight or is it moved by a ground support crew?

    With that flight duration wouldn't it be quicker to pull the wings and move it by road?

    I had a close look at the Antares electric self launch glider soon after the first one came to USA. That must be well over 20 years ago. I was not convinced the battery reserve after self launch was practical but, at that time, there was an expectation that battery technology would improve.

  27. #107
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    Quote Originally Posted by frequent_flyer View Post
    Do they carry the charger on the aircraft for a ferry flight or is it moved by a ground support crew?

    With that flight duration wouldn't it be quicker to pull the wings and move it by road?

    I had a close look at the Antares electric self launch glider soon after the first one came to USA. That must be well over 20 years ago. I was not convinced the battery reserve after self launch was practical but, at that time, there was an expectation that battery technology would improve.
    So this plane arrived in a trailer originally. It is flying away. The charger is carried in a Bonanza for this ferry flight. Totally impractical of course, but proof of concept.

    sj
    "Often Mistaken, but Never in Doubt"
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  28. #108
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    Hmmmm, “Electric Beaver”…….sounds like a great name for a rock group…..

    MTV
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  29. #109
    courierguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Inkom, Idaho
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    Regen for braking sure is nice, reminds me of the Jakebrake in my crane, original brakes at 99K miles, in mountain country. The few tenths of a mile in free range every time I hit a red light is nice also. As is the auto shutdown when stopped. All seamless in use, Toyota engineers are awesome.

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