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1st Autonomous Tow for Electric Airplanes

Old 04-29-2023, 09:44 AM
  #1  
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Default 1st Autonomous Tow for Electric Airplanes

OMG. I mean what could go wrong with this? The concept is unmanned aircraft with big battery packs will connect (just like with aerial refueling but no pilot) and "tow" the electric aircraft with a pilot and pax thereby extending the range.
I'll link just the video of the first test hookup after I link the article that has the video embedded.

https://futureflight.aero/news-artic...ource=hs_email

Video only:
https://youtu.be/cQNCSbyyAkc
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Old 04-29-2023, 12:58 PM
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Weeeelll...

It could work. You'd have to plan around weather to avoid operational disruption (diversions) due to inability to get or remain connected. They could set some operationally (economically) tolerable threshold above which it gets too costly on average to risk diversions.

Obviously the real risk is collision but maintaining a formation flight is actually something which automation *should* be able to do better than humans... simple task, which requires unwavering attention.

If you absolutely have to power long-haul planes with batteries, this is probably the only way it could work. I guess there's ground-based laser power beaming, if you don't mind toasting the odd bald eagle or CE-172 that gets in the way.
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