posted on May, 19 2008 @ 08:49 AM
Actually I think it's a really stupid idea.
There are far easier ways of achieving greenhouse gas emission reductions, and much simpler ideas that would achieve the same end goal. Trying to
integrate a lightweight very powerful electric motor able to stand up to the extremes of operational stresses it will be exposed to such as extremly
high temperatures from heavy braking, is a recipe for maintenance problems. A far smarter way would be to use electric tugs that tow an aircraft to
the runway threshold and then start engines. And exactly how will the stored electrical energy used to drive these in hub motors be generated anyway?
With heavy onboard batteries no doubt, which you guessed it, will increase the weight and therefore the fuel burn of the aircraft. Not to mention the
increased weight of the electric motors. And I doubt that operators will reduce the amount of onboard fuel by a comensurate amount as they cant be
sure that the system wont crap itself and leave an airliner stuck embarrasingly at the end of the piano keys.
I do have to wonder though exactly what solution Airbus (or Boeing for that matter) have for reducing C02 emissions regarding APU use. More often than
not the APU's end up burning as much if not more fuel than the main engines (in supplying the equivalent electrical generation capacity that is)
whilst waiting around idly for departure or post flight just to supply onboard power to the main busses. I myself burnt 800+ KG's of fuel last week
in one 747 because ground power was down and there were not enough power carts to go around. And that was without even running the aircon packs.
Call me a cynic but this idea seems more gimmick than solution.
[edit on 19-5-2008 by thebozeian]