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Thread: Electric Nieuport?

  1. #11
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dana View Post
    That full scale Nieuport won't do well on 85HP unless the motor is turning the same low rpm and spinning the same huge prop as the original Le Rhone. Many replicas with fast turning modern engines, even with several times the HP, have had marginal performance.
    Good point. I wonder, though, if that 85 HP electric motor *could* turn an original LeRhone prop at the appropriate RPM. Electric motors have scads of low-end torque, and that is what it'd take.

    Reminds me of Boeing's 50th anniversary back in the '60s. They hired a company to build a full-scale replica of the B&W, Boeing's first airplane (Pete Bowers helped with the research). The original had a Hall-Scott engine of 125 HP, and the replica builders installed a Lycoming GO-435 of 170 HP. But the Lycoming had a teensy, skinny prop, and I understand that the replica could barely get out of its own way.
    Name:  B&W Boeing Props.jpg
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    Seattle's Museum of Flight sells a nice little model of the B&W. But it's got the teensy prop of the Lycoming-powered version.....

    Ron Wanttaja
    Last edited by rwanttaja; 05-30-2021 at 10:04 AM.

  2. #12

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    Well, the Graham Lee Noop is 7/8ths scale and tube-and-gusset, so weight of the airframe isn't the problem. My Airdromes Noop is heavier by design, and even with my overly enthusiastic painting went 492 pounds empty.

    The problem, as Ron pointed out, is CG. The motor and the PSRU isn't the issue; the batteries are. To get a decent flight time (say an hour, as that seems to be the naturally duration of a flight, at least for me), the plane is going to be too heavy over all, and there's just not a lot of room to put the batteries.

    In rebuilding mine, I went for the maximum depth of the fuselage of 36 inches - but that's sort of misleading, as the bottom lines are that of a curve; the sides of the firewall are only twenty seven, and she sweeps up towards the tail pretty darned quickly.

    @Dana - I'd agree if these planes were replicas. They're not. They're representational, meaning they may look like a Nieuport 11, but that's about it.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    The problem, as Ron pointed out, is CG. The motor and the PSRU isn't the issue; the batteries are. To get a decent flight time (say an hour, as that seems to be the naturally duration of a flight, at least for me), the plane is going to be too heavy over all, and there's just not a lot of room to put the batteries.
    I think it depends on what battery architecture is possible.

    We tend to think of "batteries" as discrete units; the silver cylinders we stick in our remote controls, or the big black things that tuck under the hoods of our cars. But the car batteries are just a convenient way of assembling six cells, and even the remote controls take two separate AAA cells.

    I've already mentioned an annular battery to go under the rotary engine cowl. Obviously, any additional battery capacity needed could be packed elsewhere in the airplane. And that could mitigate, to a great extent, the CG issues...though not, necessarily the total weight issues. And the massive cables needed for connection of these items are left as an exercise for the student.

    Let's take another look at an electric Fly Baby. Based on the Pipistrel example, it'd need about 280 pounds for the battery, and another 45 for the motor itself. That's about 325 pounds.

    Pretty damn steep, when you look at the ~210 pounds or so an O-200 might weigh (with all its exhaust, generator, starter, etc. that won't be needed).

    The electric version is 115 pound heavier? Not so fast, pilgrim. Remember we're *getting rid of the liquid fuel*. I've got a 15-gallon tank in my Fly Baby...which means the penalty would be only 25 pounds for the electric version.

    THAT'S more in the ballpark. The builder of my Fly Baby ended up with a plane weighing about 125 pounds heavier than stock. So a decently light airframe with an electric conversion could come out lighter than my C85-powered version.

    Certainly, the infrastructure isn't there...nowhere to get a quick charge on a cross-country. But for going out searching for whales and shooting some touch and goes... quite possible. Mind you, it's tougher for you guys in Kansas.....

    Ron Wanttaja

  4. #14

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    We're agreeing in different ways, if you get my drift.

    A Fly Baby sounds like a much better candidate than a Graham Lee Nieuport.

    325 pounds for motor and batteries on an aircraft that weighs less than 500 ready for flight is huge.

    The bug engine weighs around 130 pounds (oil and accessories), and removing the ten gallon fuel tank gets one another 60 pounds. 115 pounds more might not sound like much, but one is going to reach diminishing returns pretty quickly on flight performance.

    Not to say it couldn't be done - there are just better candidates for electrification, IMHO.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    We're agreeing in different ways, if you get my drift.

    A Fly Baby sounds like a much better candidate than a Graham Lee Nieuport.

    325 pounds for motor and batteries on an aircraft that weighs less than 500 ready for flight is huge.
    ...
    Not to say it couldn't be done - there are just better candidates for electrification, IMHO.
    Yes, I think we're screaming the same things at each other. :-)

    Graham Lee designed his Nieuport as an ultralight (by Canadian rules) so of course an electric power package for it would probably not be workable.

    But it might be doable as a full-scale aircraft. Wikipedia says the Nieuport 17 had an empty weight of 827 pounds; coincidentally, within 25 pounds of my Fly Baby's empty weight. The original Le Rhone weighed about 300 pounds, which is VERY close to the weight of the Pipistrel power package. No long nose, no added wing sweep.

    Ron Wanttaja

  6. #16

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    I did a spreadsheet for the Graham Lee Electric Nieuport 11, it may work for a
    Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide Battery at 0.22KWh/kg (that is quite
    optimistic).

    Graham Lee Nieuport XI induced drag. Cd0 is a guestimate counted at 0.05.
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UQr...ew?usp=sharing

    GoogleSheet
    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
    You can play with Cd0 guestimate.

    Any questions or comments are welcomed.

    P.S : Sorry for "access denied", I missed something in GoogleDrive sharing
    Last edited by JLS; 06-03-2021 at 07:37 AM.

  7. #17
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    "Access Denied"

    Ron "I am not a number, I am a free man" Wanttaja

  8. #18
    Airmutt's Avatar
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    Is the structure even stressed for for 300 lbs??
    Dave Shaw
    EAA 67180 Lifetime
    Learn to Build, Build to Fly, Fly for Fun

  9. #19

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    It seems that high end(pricey) solutions for electric aircraft (engine, battery and its controller) come
    from here:
    https://www.mgm-compro.com/

    30-50kw electric motor
    https://www.mgm-compro.com/products/...ectric-motors/

    I found elsewhere (engineered and made in China)
    https://www.freerchobby.cc/collectio...-for-paratrike

    Have you others (reliable) providers ?
    Last edited by JLS; 06-05-2021 at 11:46 AM.

  10. #20

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    Hmmmm, digging around a bit and there's a number of electric ultralights out there.

    One thing we haven't talked about is the tremendous drag of the Neiuport. It is, well, tremendous. One need never slip a Nieuport - simply retard the throttle to lose altitude!

    Landing is under power, as landing without it requires an immense concentration on energy conservation - trust me.

    When I had my engine out, I was about 1200 feet AGL, and it wasn't a time for being picky on landing spots. She flew well, make no mistake on that, and best glide made it easy to flare to a stall (unfortunately for me, it was a perfect landing on top of a tall tree), but time was short and options few owing to the rapid descent.

    During flight testing I put her straight and level and pulled the throttle many times, and the sink rate was 600 ft/minute.

    Taking off, I get around 500 ft/minute at best climb over time, and 300 best climb over distance. There's a bit of a joke going around that, owing to the drag, it might well be impossible to reach the Vne of 98 mph.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

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