On Earth Day Weekend 2017, the Sustainable Aviation Symposium brought together electric / sustainable aircraft engineers, designers, and project managers from every corner of the globe.
I was there, to share findings from Propulsor Zero, but primarily to soak up ideas and thoughts, and to get a feel for the big picture. I learned the most and was most inspired by a couple of highlight speakers:
- Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse
- Jeff Engler, Wright Electric
- Cameron Robertson, Kitty Hawk
- Al Bowers, NASA
- Josh Portlock, Scientific Aerospace
The aviation industry is dying to have electric aircraft.
Everyone recognizes the economic power that an electric aircraft will have, and therefore everyone is working on one.
Batteries, are the real problem.
You can do all you want with propulsion until you hit the limits of air’s viscosity and density, but until your batteries are lighter per Watt-hour, you’re not going up.
If you can get 400Wh/kg at the pack-level (!! NOT the cell-level!!), you’re mostly home free.
Propulsor Zero Conclusion
To pursue electric aircraft propulsion, I dropped out of college, and began working furiously to pursue the best solutions, and understand the fundamental physics principles, as well as the complex, intractable issues.
Over a period now of about 8 months, I have learned a tremendous amount. From how to perform accurate Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations, to how to architect battery safety systems. I have a solid understanding of the physics governing electric propulsion systems (as confirmed by the visit to the Sustainable Aviation Symposium), and see clearly the issues facing the invention of an electric aircraft.
It turns out there are a lot of other extremely talented and creative people working on the same problems as me.
Over that period, I have also had a slow growing, but fundamental realization.
I am much, much more interested in space than aviation.
That interest goes further than just a passing curiosity.
It is far more like a burning, hypergolic passion for the exploration of space.
The things I pursue in my life are the things I am irrationally passionate about.
So I’m charting a course back toward space rather than aviation.
This post concludes the Propulsor Zero project.
All information of Propulsor Zero is open to anyone to use, and please feel free to ask me questions about electric aircraft propulsion systems if you think I can help.
A website for Propulsor Zero was made (www.propulsorzero.com) and anyone can feel free to check it out. It will remain up until the domain expires in about 1 year.
Stay tuned for the next exciting project (already well underway…)