December 2009 Issue

Letters: 12/09

I enjoyed your article on electric airplanes very much, but would like to point out a technical error in the sidebar labeled "It’s All About The Batteries." The author misuses the terms energy and power of the battery. This sounds like a technical nit, but it is the same as confusing tank capacity with fuel flow in discussing a gasoline-powered car or plane. The two metrics are completely unrelated. Energy content of a battery is measured in kWh—kilowatt hours—and corresponds to tank capacity. Power is measured in kilowatts and corresponds to fuel flow, which in turn is related to HP.

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