Archive for October, 2010

Electric take-off from the passenger’s seat

October 6, 2010

Several readers have asked for a detailed description of an electric take-off from a passenger’s perspective. What would it feel like to climb to 40,000 feet without the roar of conventional jet engines? Here’s a step-by-step account of an electric take-off: You would go to the airport and board a conventional plane such as a […]

Posted in Applications, Design Comments Off

What is the point where this becomes economically feasible?

October 4, 2010

A reader sent the following questions regarding the economics of the electric take-off system. I have looked at the design spec and high level costings you have supplied in support of the theory. To me the weak point is that you need to have a plane circling 24 hours a day supporting a cable. How […]

Posted in Economics Comments Off

Why isn’t Boeing or Richard Branson already working on this?

October 4, 2010

We received the question below from one of our readers. I read your blog and as an idle speculation, it seems quite plausible. But if the savings are really as big as you say they are, why is an unknown California blogger the only person talking about this? I did a Google on the subject […]

Posted in Design, Economics, Government Comments Off

Could this work for the A380?

October 4, 2010

It is hard to imagine towing a giant aircraft like the A380 to 40,000 feet. In principle, the electric take-off design should be scalable to a payload of this size. It will be possible to attach multiple tow aircraft and gliders to a single cable to increase the lifting capacity. There would be no power […]

Posted in Design, Economics Comments Off

Why not use a ground based catapult or winch instead?

October 3, 2010

After learning about the electric takeoff design, people often ask about building a ground based catapult instead. Aircraft carriers use steam based catapults to launch jets from the deck. Gliders are launched by ground based winches. Couldn’t we build larger versions of these devices for commercial aviation? Ground based launch systems have severe limitations to […]

Posted in Design Comments Off