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06. Safe fragrances
05. DNA mass information store
04. Garden mounds for permaculture
03. Silver as high-tech material
02. Micro needle transmits medications and light
01. Electricity storage in gravity systems

12. An eye on space hazards
11. Water purification through freezing
10. Solar shingles
09. Trinary code
08. Vegetation-based battery materials
07. Indoor position location
06. The interface industry
05. Hypersonic aircraft
04. Re-usable glass packaging
03. Vein patterns as personal ID
02. Magnet making bacteria
01. Ultra-light solids

12. Ultrasound in water
11. Projected touchscreen
10. Electric airplane
08. Glass hard disc
04. Nuclear hazard
03. Clearing “sewer soap”
02. Water harvesting
01. Tea bag size personal water filter

12. Human powered water transport
11. The Technium
08. Bio-remediation of oil spills
07. Cleaner coal
05. Oil spill remediation
04. Solar towers
03. Brain-computer
02. Biodiesel producing bacteria
01. Hydrogen producing bacteria

12. Levitating living organisms
11. A new blue
10. Polymer magnets
09. Electric vehicle batteries
08. Implantable cancer monitors
07. Algal biofuel
06. Geo-Thermal Heat Pump
05. Battery powered roadster
04. Fenestration
03. Text to voice
02. Implantable ID chips
01. Air cleansing building material

12. ebooks
11. Energy Harvesting
10. Private space-flights
09. Virus identification chip
08. Bio-fuels
07. Electronic financial trading
06. Bio-remediation
05. New tech agriculture
04. Manufactured Hotels
03. Magnetic Induction
02. Genetic Vaults
01. Solid-state lighting

12 Bacteria in agriculture and industry
11. Blue revolution
10. Electronic nose
09. Nuclear sarcophagus
08. Shape shifting technology
07. Thought activated technology
06. Green is cool - make me look green
05. Electronic 'drugs'
04. Super-canals and super-ships
03. Environmentally friendly technology: greens versus grays
02. Agriculture: food,fiber and fuel
01. FPGA floating-point performance surpasses microprocessor

08. Energy sources for electricity compete
07. Universal interface (UI)
06. Magnetic levitation
05. Light pipes
04. Storage of electricity
03. Automotive engines
02. Molecular assembly
01. Introducing Technoscan Newsbriefs

Vol. 6, No. 10, October 31, 2011
ISSN 1932-3018

Electric airplane
Positioning this technology in the
Functionality Grid
Reformatted from: Van Wyk, Rias J: Technology - A Unifying Code, 2004, SMG, Cape Town, p.34. Based on: Ropohl, Gunter: Eine Systemtheorie der Technik, 1979, Carl Hanser Verlag, Munich and Vienna, p.178.
This Newsbrief deals with a new development in aircraft design. Moreparticularly it deals with the use of an electric motor to power an airplane. Interms of the Atlas of Technological Megatrends , it is concerned with the functionality of matter transportation.
In a recent competition sponsored by NASA and Google, a number of aircraft vied for a prize of over $1 million for the "Green Flight Challenge". The criteria were fuel economy combined with practical flight requirements.
Fourteen airplanes were entered. They were powered by:
  • Electricity
  • Gasoline
  • Bio diesel
Three met the criteria. The winner was the Taurus G4 built by Pipistrel. Itflew 200 miles, in less than two hours using the equivalent of just over half agallon of fuel per passenger seat. (Krumboltz, M: "Electric airplane wins bigmoney", Today in Tech, Yahoo News, October 4, 2011)
The Taurus G4 is a twin fuselage, lightweight aircraft, built with compositematerials. It has a 150 kilowatt (200 horsepower) electric engine. It uses a500 kg (about 1100 lbs). battery pack of lithium polymer batteries regulatedby a proprietary energy management system. The aircraft weighsapproximately 1000 kg (2200 lbs.). Paur, J. "Electric airplane has 4 seats,two fuselages, one big motor" Autopia, Wired, August 8, 2011.
In terms of the NASA nine point technology readiness scale this technology isat TRL 7. Incorporation in operational aircraft would be the next step. Also itssuccessful deployment should create more awareness of the role of lithiumbatteries in overall technological evolution.

© Rias J. van Wyk, 2013. Editor.