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Does Australia need billion dollar jet fighters?


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The problem for electric aircraft is battery energy density.  This is how far we have come in 100 years

 

Will there be big improvements in batteries of 10 fold magnitude? The periodic table lists all the available ingredients so nothing new there. Scientists have no doubt considered every combination already. Battery safety is also a consideration.  

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"Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat historic mistakes".   I hoped that the neanderthals inhabiting the powerful positions would benefit from the Vietnam war experience.

There's an old fella from W.A., with a long track record in innovative technologies - you might have heard of him - Ralph Sarich.   Besides being a pretty nice bloke (I knew him when he was

Our duly elected leaders have listened to the experts and committed us to paying billions for underdeveloped jet-powered military aircraft. For those billions we will get a few dozen aircraft, that an

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There will always be problems to overcome. I doubt if anyone here is on the crest of the wave in the area of battery science. However, if we know anything from living through the past 50-60 years is that, given a problem, engineers in various fields have solved, or made great strides towards solving them. Let's leave out medicine because animals are too variable to get consistent results from all the time.

 

Here's a 260 kW (330 hP) electric motor for aircraft developed by Siemens that weighs 50 kgs. https://www.greencarcongress.com/2015/03/20150324-siemens.html 

A Continental IO-520 (375 hp) weighs 220 kg.

 

A C-210 carries 330 litres of fuel (250 kg). If you replaced the IO-520 with a Siemens motor you would have a further 170 kgs for energy storage. You would also be able to dispose a a few kilograms because you would not need a liquid fuel system. 

 

As Rachel Hunter said in the Pantene ad, "It won't happen overnight, but it will happen."

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On 08/04/2021 at 11:55 AM, Old Koreelah said:

I severely doubt Reagan ever built anything; I believe he spent WWII making B grade war movies.

Reagan contributed to meetings by eating jelly beans, napping and occasionally making comments that were usually quotes from his old movie scripts.

 

WW2 the Germans swept through with tanks and dive bombers. If we could wind back the clock we’d have had 17 pounders on low profile mounts and bucket loads of them. We’d have had bucket loads of anti aircraft guns. Instead we just had targets. Crappy tanks and dug in positions to be dive bombed out of action.

 

Seems the same deal now. We don’t plan on attacking anyone so just defend the hell out of the country. Missions and drones. Bucket loads of them. Some long range missiles to lob at the home cities of the attacking party wouldn’t hurt. Get the decision makers nervous instead of comfortably playing war games from their arm chairs. Hopefully none of this happens.

 

 

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So our electric cessna 210 could have a 420kg battery providing 67kwh of stored energy with current battery tech.

 

A cessna 210 in cruise at 65% power is producing  146kw. The battery would last 27 minutes.  

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OR

Take the pilots out of your Cessna 210, and have better clime And range.

BUT

Thats the drone, 

spacesailor

Edited by spacesailor
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3 hours ago, Thruster88 said:

So our electric cessna 210 could have a 420kg battery providing 67kwh of stored energy with current battery tech.

 

A cessna 210 in cruise at 65% power is producing  146kw. The battery would last 27 minutes.  

What type of battery are you getting the value from? Can you give a reference for that value of stored energy?

 

Today you are most likely to be correct, but tomorrow?

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There's an old fella from W.A., with a long track record in innovative technologies - you might have heard of him - Ralph Sarich.

 

Besides being a pretty nice bloke (I knew him when he was a bulldozer salesmen, in 1965!), and a philanthropist of note - his brain obviously never stops thinking up new, and innovative, and forward-thinking ideas.

 

Now, Ralph never managed to get his Sarich Orbital Engine to a commercially viable stage, due to many inherent design problems that were deemed too difficult to overcome, way back in the 1970's.

 

But Ralph's Orbital Engine Company went on to produce a lot of interesting innovations, and design improvements in engine technology - and OEC are still in business today (but now known as Orbital Corporation Ltd).

 

Ralph managed to make a motza out of his OEC, and he was supposed to have retired from designing new engines and components, and gone into real-estate development. 

 

He did get into real estate in a big way (mostly commercial RE) - but his family company, Cape Bouvard Investments, also started up a technology company, named (of course) Cape Bouvard Technologies.

 

The exciting part here, is that CBT has re-imagined the Li-ion battery, and produced an interesting and exciting development, in what is essentially, a honeycomb Li-ion battery that is not only much lighter than the regular Li-ion batteries - but it can be utilised as a structural component of the equipment utilising battery power - thus lightening the equipment item, further again. Their current target is the EV industry, of course - but CBT indicate there's potential for the use of the design in aircraft.

 

https://structural-battery.com/

 

 

Edited by onetrack
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There's nothing much on the 'Net about the Cape Bouvard Investments battery. However, it does not seem that the idea is Sarich's. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210322091632.htm

 

Regardless of who came up with the idea, the end product is a big advancement with  estimates that such a battery could reach an energy density of 75 Wh/kg and a stiffness of 75 GPa. This would make the battery about as strong as aluminium, but with a comparatively much lower weight.

 

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OME, CBT keep a very low profile, and are no doubt concerned about intellectual theft and industrial espionage. I have no doubt dozens of universities, research and engineering depts, and individual inventors, are chasing the holy grail of a lightweight battery, with low costs and improved energy density.

 

The CBT battery and the Chalmers structural battery are quite different in the execution of the structural battery idea. The Chalmers battery has only 20% of the energy density of the standard Li-ion battery - a seriously backwards step, IMO.

The Chalmers battery is focussing on carbon fibre technology - the CBT uses only aluminium foil, and standard Li-ion battery technology.

The CBT battery is focussed on low manufacturing cost with standard tooling and materials - to ensure Capex costs are not high, as usually in the case of exotic battery designs.

 

In addition, the CBT battery design includes thermal management to ensure optimal output conditions, and a reduction in fire risk.

CBT utilise gas monitoring channels and coolant flow channels to ensure thermal conditions are always within the batteries best operating temperature range.

 

I believe the CBT battery will garner a huge amount of interest and support, with its exciting design, low manufacturing cost, and simplicity of construction - and I believe CBT will have a "marketable" battery, long before the Chalmers researchers do.

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1 hour ago, onetrack said:

I believe CBT will have a "marketable" battery,

It will be a big win if they can do it. There's many a step between concept and completion. No doubt our Federal Government is keen to provide support if simply in the way of tax concessions, he said with a ironic grin.

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4 minutes ago, old man emu said:

 

It will be a big win if they can do it. There's many a step between concept and completion. No doubt our Federal Government is keen to provide support if simply in the way of tax concessions, he said with a ironic grin.

Just work out how to sell it to them as support for the fossil fuel industry...

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Is it possible that once we develop ways of applying renewable energy to moving people and goods around the place, then what we use from decomposed dinosaurs for doing that job would be used for making recyclable products like the multitude of plastics and fibres. We would still be pulling oil from the reserves, but at the end of their useful life, a lot of products could be recycled. There will be losses, but the rate of loss wouldn't be as fast as it is by burning oil and coal for power. 

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No matter how economic renewables become, the LNP will find ways to subsidize fossil fuels.

Just watch this week’s 4 Corners report on their unseemly rush to spend taxpayer funds on gas pipelines before that technology is totally obsolete.

 

Australia is going further out on the fossil fuel limb.

Very soon the rest of the world will saddle our country and our exporters with punitive emissions tariffs.

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Funny how that happens, when you stack the committee with people who work in/own/have substantial interests in gas.

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Yes, I watched the 4 corners report and the LNP have got their heads firmly up the gas lobby's bum. It is good to see that NSW & SA aren't buying it. All the investment evidence is bypassing gas for renewables especially in battery technology. Morrison is talking of taxpayer funded gas. He has to. No investment banker or venture capitalist will touch it & Santos et al won't carry the risk. They just want the profits, not their capital tied up in a sure fire failure. All they have to do is to keep those Political donations going & hope that it works out and the taxpayer will take the hit.

 

Interestingly NZ has banned new Gas connections from 2025 even though they have reserves for decades & all must be gone by 2050.

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I'd like to be able to add something positive to the debate, but where do you start; there's so many variables.

 

Some points for starters:

1. Who do we identify as threats or potential enemies?

 

2. What type of threat would we encounter - a traditional attempted invasion or a more modern form of hybrid warfare? Or more likely, a combination of both. Hybrid examples could be blockading sea lanes to starve us of supplies and fuel. Cyber warfare to immobilize our electricity grid and defences, or even knocking out our satellites.

 

If we figured out the above and focused on one thing, ie: defending the country, then we would have a chance of doing something right and building a decent defence system. Or do we stick with the theory that we can never unilaterally defend ourselves. That would mean sticking with the status quo of the U.S. alliance and designing our military to follow a coalition around the world on never ending adventures.

 

The point is, are we militarily and economically too weak to adopt an isolationist stance. I'd say we are and have long ago boxed ourselves into the U.S. corner with no practical way to break out. That means buying more useless equipment and tagging along on their adventures, with the carrot on the stick being that they will hopefully help defend us if necessary. It has a big bearing on the type of military equipment we acquire.

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NZ told the US to get stuffed and it hasn't affected them. The US will come to our aid only if there is a benefit for the US. No other reason. The US is at war with itself and is in decline internationally although still with the most potent arsenal on the planet. The problem is they seem to get a series of nutters or war mongers as presidents & then it is which military commanders are installed during each regime that determines who they decide eliminate or support during that time.

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3 hours ago, willedoo said:

If we focused on one thing, ie: defending the country, then we would have a chance of doing something right and building a decent defence system.

Like Charity, Defence begins at home. We relied on Britain to defend us from Japan, but when the need arose, Britain was unable to meet the call due to its own home defence needs. 

 

If the whizz-bangery of Cyber warfare can knock out our infrastructure's control mechanisms with a click of a mouse key, then we should look at basic weaponry. It works in Afghanistan and any other number of economically restricted countries. 

 

We might live to see the USA suffer the same meltdown that happened to the USSR. Who says that Russia is a powerful military threat? Perhaps since the dissolution, the philosophy has changed to one of providing social benefits to its people through the ancient means of trade. All we hear of life in the former USSR is American propaganda aimed at propping up the US military-industrial complex. 

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You can always trace the money. It is said that the original Rothschild averred, "Let me control the money and the voters can go hang themselves". (Or something akin). Last time I looked the US had cornered around 75% of Aust. industry. You can expect the tiny population of true oligarchs in the states to urge their political enablers to defend that investment. However I don't take any comfort from this: See the Munro Doctrine and how it is administered in relation to the South American states. Especially Cuba and Nicaragua.

The awkward decision to buy Super Hornets (against overwhelming contrary advice from the wiseheads in Defence) and then the stupefyingly dumb purchase of F-35's shows the power of these oligarchs to direct foreign powers to support their armaments cash cows.

BTW there is a lot of difference between being "independant and un-aligned" and "isolationist". See Switzerland and Sweden.

 

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6 hours ago, willedoo said:

...Or do we stick with the theory that we can never unilaterally defend ourselves. That would mean sticking with the status quo of the U.S. alliance and designing our military to follow a coalition around the world on never ending adventures.

I fear your analysis is spot on, Willedoo. The only ray of hope is that the US voter might be tiring of “never-ending foreign wars”.

 
A major factor is the US isn’t in any economic state to make war and China’s economy is looking pretty dodgy too, despite the claims of the CCP.

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The point is, are we militarily and economically too weak to adopt an isolationist stance. I'd say we are and have long ago boxed ourselves into the U.S. corner with no practical way to break out. That means buying more useless equipment and tagging along on their adventures, with the carrot on the stick being that they will hopefully help defend us if necessary. It has a big bearing on the type of military equipment we acquire.

A depressing corner we have painted ourselves into. Despite Australia joining in all their silly wars, I believe there is nothing in our treaties with the US which would guarantee they’d come to our aid if we really needed it. 

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6 hours ago, old man emu said:

...If the whizz-bangery of Cyber warfare can knock out our infrastructure's control mechanisms with a click of a mouse key...

Which is why Australia should employ our best and brightest in cyber defense.

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...then we should look at basic weaponry. It works in Afghanistan and any other number of economically restricted countries...

A powerful argument for a well-armed citizen militia, like the Swiss model. Unfortunately, this country has far too many crazies who I wouldn’t trust with a Stanley knife, let alone a military weapon. I blame the Gun Culture in American TV shows and movies.

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We might live to see the USA suffer the same meltdown that happened to the USSR...

America outspends the rest of the world in weapons while millions of its people live in poverty, so it can’t be far off.

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Who says that Russia is a powerful military threat?...

Australia’s defense forces got their start because of scares about Russian invasions; there are forts and gun emplacements all over the country which were built by the colonies in fear of the Ruskies. 
Russia will continue to flex its muscles and defend its borders, even making incursions into nearby nations “in defence of ethnic Russians”, but it isn’t and has never been a threat to the American homeland.

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52 minutes ago, Old Koreelah said:

IDespite Australia joining in all their silly wars, I believe there is nothing in our treaties with the US which would guarantee they’d come to our aid if we really needed it. 

The US would only help us if they thought it was in their interests. 

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What we need is some brilliant forward-thinking strategists to indulge in a think tank, and take a deep look into the crystal ball to see the future of "warfare".

 

The Americans only see warfare in one model - explode the hell out of it, or shoot the hell out of it. Neither will work in the future.

The future is filled with robotic soldiers, new weaponry straight out of star wars - and subtle underhand methods of subterfuge, all designed to cripple the nations military abilities and resistance.

 

A future enemy will disable all the sateliites, utilising space-based weaponry. They will disable communications networks by damaging power generation facilities.

They will damage production of critical metals and componentry manufacture - and not necessarily by bombing. We've already seen how the Israelis can start fires in Iranian military production facilities.

All you need is to produce a virus that sets fire to computer hard drives (and I've seen an Asian computer student who could do this - over 20 yrs ago).

The warmongerer will target the "soft tissue" of the underbelly of the nation they plan to cripple, by disrupting food supplies and delivery systems. They don't need bombs to do that.

People will be obliged to fall back on "old methods" of operation, survival and living, that they have never learned, because the old people who were familiar with them, have all passed on.

 

It will be a whole new ball game. And the start of it, will be sowing dissent and distrust via social media networks, to weaken the nation from within.

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