20+ Years Before LENR Aircraft: Rossi

Many people following the LENR story are often convinced that it is the energy source of the future, and at some point will be ubiquitous. Given what we know of the E-Cat, I think that’s a fair assumption to make — but in making prediction and projections, we have to also take into account the pace that this change could take, and that there are very real practical issues to be dealt with — often legal and regulatory in nature.

On the Journal of Nuclear Physics today Andrea Rossi responded to readers on the topic of using LENR in aircraft. One reader asked Rossi if he was confident that major manufacturers of aircraft would put research into LENR for jet engines.

Rossi replied:

Koen Vandewalle:
I think that the day of aeronautical applications of LENR is not close.
I think it will take not less than 20 years to see something operating in that field.
Not less, probably more.
Warm Regards

Another reader said he strongly disagreed with Rossi about the above conclusion, and that LENR could be used for slow transport aircraft within 10 years, and was willing to bet a bottle of water on that!

Rossi responded (in part):

(you will lose, you will lose…have you the slightest idea of the timespan necessary to get the certifications – I mean safety certifications- for a thing like this in avionics ??? It is taking more than 4 years to make domestic boilres !!!).
I said 20 years because I am an optimist guy. I cannot forget that the CEO of Volvo, several years ago, told me that to apply LENR to trucks could take about 20 years; can you imagine how much time will be necessary for an aeroplane?
Warm Regards,

I would expect that aviation would be the most difficult area to get certification for LENR in, because safety is so paramount. Having an LENR-powered aircraft drop out of the sky because of some glitch in the power source is not going to be acceptable to anyone. So I would expect there would need to be intensive and long-term testing of LENR in aviation before any kind of craft would fly. However I don’t know how one can accurately predict timeframes at this point. Rossi is basing his projection on what the CEO of Volvo said — but we don’t know what the uptake of LENR will be by big engineering companies. I suppose super-intensive R&D could take place industry wide, which might make its adoption faster than Rossi expects.

  • GordonDocherty
  • Fedir Mykhaylov

    Saving a large part of kerosene in a gas turbine engine using a hot cat in the combustion chamber is possible in military aircraft without obtaining various permits extended .

    • Alan DeAngelis

      Yeah, it will be a long time before we see civilian aircraft but I think there will be an arms race to develop military LENR drones that could stay up indefinitely and civilian aircraft will follow from that just as the Boeing 707 and the military jet tanker for the B52, the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker were developed from the Boeing 367-80. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yd34MuAuEgs

  • Omega Z

    Regulation & oversight are a no win for those making the decisions.

    When things go right-
    People died because you held up this technology.
    We need LESS regulation & oversight.

    When things go wrong-
    People died because you fast tracked this technology.
    We need MORE regulation & oversight.

    • William D. Fleming

      That is because the regulating is often done blindly, in a robotic manner by bureaucrats who see things as black or white. What is needed is a careful cost-benefit analysis by professional planners. In the case of LENR the potential benefit is enormous, so great that a few disasters should be tolerated. Gradual implementation could be done by permitting just a few LENR aircraft at first as a test before general approval.

  • Gerard McEk

    I cannot imagen that LENR can be accepted in a commercial plane when the phenomenon is not fully imbedded in science. In other words we need to fully understand it before we would use it in an aircraft, otherwise no safety calculations can be done and it would not be accepted.
    Even Rossi does not really know how it works. Yes he nows how to apply it and make it generating energy, but the nuclear process is still in deep mist. I guess Andrea is right, but if he would give the world insight how LENR can be achieved, then things could go a lot faster.

  • Private Citizen

    My LENR pendulum is swinging toward the pessimistic. Pakhomov seems to have fallen apart, replications appear to be coming up dry, some recalculations of Lugano look bad. Now we cling to a semi-secret test for a secret client with engineer Rossi showing a little ankle from time to time.

    Perhaps in 20+ years we will be debating how many LENR angels can dance on the head of a pin here as usual, during the 20th secret test, with Rossi tantalizingly reporting the latest unseen R&D device the size of a walnut that gives actual backrubs.

    LENR aircraft? I’ll take that cup of LENR tea right now, if you please.

    • GordonDocherty

      But then we have:

      “New Result of Anomalous Heat Production in Hydrogen-loaded Metals at High Temperature” New Report by Songsheng Jiang of the China Institute of Atomic Energy (CIAE)

      on this very site:


      So, just as “One swallow does not a Summer make”, so “One cloud does not a Winter make”

      Further, maybe this announcement made back in August 2014 :


      and then again, in more detail, last week


      may point more toward a Summer than a Winter – as these announcements by Stamford University explain, the electrolysis cell discussed relies on many of the same elements, features and characteristics as seen in LENR cells. To quote:

      ‘To find catalytic material suitable for both electrodes, the Stanford team borrowed a technique used in battery research called lithium-induced electrochemical tuning. The idea is to use lithium ions to chemically break the metal oxide catalyst into smaller and smaller pieces….”Breaking down metal oxide into tiny particles increases its surface area and exposes lots of ultra-small, interconnected grain boundaries that become active sites for the water-splitting catalytic reaction,” Cui said. “This process creates tiny particles that are strongly connected, so the catalyst has very good electrical conductivity and stability.” Wang used electrochemical tuning – putting lithium in, taking lithium out – to test the catalytic potential of several metal oxides. “Haotian eventually discovered that nickel-iron oxide is a world-record performing material that can catalyze both the hydrogen and the oxygen reaction,” Cui said. “No other catalyst can do this with such great performance.” ‘

      Such observations are, indeed, “interesting” given what has previously been discussed here and elsewhere pertaining to current “LENR plus” systems.

      • GreenWin

        Please do not confuse Private with facts.

        • Private Citizen

          Unfortunately, so far, LENR “facts” have had a poor track record for open replication. The Stanford hydrogen splitting tech lays no claim to being LENR on my reading and Chinese science has a very recent history of fraud.

          Academic fraud in China is getting out of hand

          Questions emerge over top Chinese science prize

          • GordonDocherty

            That’s right, Stanford are talking about electrolysis only, it’s just worth noting that they found Nickel and Ferrous Oxides in granular form with a surface areas and a decent amount of current to be a cheap and efficient way of separating out Hydrogen from Oxygen – and, yes, these are molecular bonds, so many orders of magnitude less energy required, but interesting nonetheless for what they did use – Nickel, fine grains, high surface areas and, in their case, effective conductive paths across and between the grains (I also understand the efficiency was improved with the introduction of an inert gas) – as opposed to what they did not use – namely large, “smooth” surfaces, lots of additives, and different materials for anode and cathode.

            As to the state of Chinese science, according to the referenced article:

            “the fact that research grants and promotions are awarded on the basis of the number of articles published, not on the quality of the original research. This has fostered an industry of plagiarism”

            this points to problems not with original research, but copy-cat stuff, exactly what the West has been plagued with for so many years…indeed, picking LENR as a subject to study would be a very risky thing to do given there is not too much out there in the public domain in terms of LENR to copy… so greatly increasing the risk of being “discovered” if the “research” was, indeed, fraudulent

            As to faith and science, science will tell you how something works, but not why or what for – after all, try describing yourself – not your body, but yourself – in terms only of science. Faith, on the other hand, is about believing in something without having all the facts to hand – like, I have faith Australia exists, but I’ve never been there, so can only talk in indirect terms. Now, in terms of problem spaces, you could use science to exhaustively test every single combination of every single possible solution to every single possible problem – but I doubt you or your descendents would ever finish that task – or you could allow your curiosity to be peaked, apply some what-if speculation – something that is, in a sense, neither faith nor science but rather influenced by faith – a belief that something could be so – and so design and carry out experiments to uncover facts and, from them, postulate theories to test further – faith again coming into play as you speculate – that is, guess at – which could be more true than the other. In this way, we no longer need an infinite number of monkeys working over infinity to fully explore the problem space. Now we let our curiosity – guided by faith in what we believe could be real – to uncover facts previously hidden to us. Faith and science, in other words, are not mutually exclusive, but rather points on a continuum from the unknown to the known.

          • Private Citizen

            GordonDocherty says “I have faith Australia exists, but I’ve never been there”

            Yes, extremely well-founded 2nd-hand experience is what accounts for 99.9% of hard knowledge we have. In my opinion, faith is something entirely different, like believing unquestioningly (which you probably don’t do) in a single un-replicated experiment from a country which awards its top science accolade to purloined software.

          • GordonDocherty

            Yep, I would call that blind faith – now, that’s bad, as such “faith” is never tested… and, I think, this is why many people remain nervous about the e-cat at this stage, and why more testing is necessary.

            On the other hand, when I see “we only have Rossi’s word for it, so it must be a fraud” I see not healthy skepticism but a blind faith of a different kind, a faith where only “those in authority know what’s best, what works … and what you’ll get”. The public wants what the public gets, as it were.

            I say, keep an open mind, keep experimenting and, if you can’t be involved yourself (say, due to “secret sauces”), keep on watching.

            After all, if someone claims something but nothing ever comes of it, the “worst” that will have happened to you is that you will have spent a little time keeping an eye on things, while if it does pan out, you (and society as a whole) are in a better position to manage and capitalize upon the “Black Swan” as quickly as possible – and, God knows, we do need to capitalize upon it as soon as possible (energy underpins everything; the more unstable and expensive it is, the greater the risks of conflict and of war, and the more tempting it is for those with the oil or gas to ride roughshod over those without. Hardly a stable world of good governance and limitless opportunity.

      • kdk

        It seems Alain was right; this is as close as science may get to admitting it was totally wrong about cold fusion. Creative rewording and side-stepping.

    • Rossi have something, and as soon as the Pope of science will admit it is real, and allow the scientists to be funded and the executive to fund them, real science will start.

      It will take few years, and something very serious will be designed.
      It will be installed in cargo, in train, in trucks, in cars, then as APU in planes, then in electric planes… 5 years for the first prototype of E-fan.

      and Rossi is right, 10-15 years for a certified A380/Dreamliner.

    • GreenWin

      Imagine the benefit to mankind should our government’s trillion dollar “black projects” be UN-secreted? Good heavens, we might even have a working LENR theory!

    • bachcole

      I know how you feel, but I am still a long way from agreeing with you.

    • Omega Z

      Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pakhomov or anyone with a positive replication of Rossi’s technology to drop off the radar. They would focus everything to discovering as much as possible in silence. $$$$$$$

    • friendlyprogrammer

      Glad to see the pessimism is slowing. Back in 1989 Pons and Fleischmann were tarred and feathered and ostracized from The Americas.

      Thousands were put off by the inability to replicate straight away. At least now the pessimists are able to quote specific experiments.

      In The words of the Head of Nasa Research at Langley, “LENR is real”. In the word’s of “Private Citizen” ,”LENR pendulum swinging towards pessimistic”…

      I’ll side with NASA on this.

  • Warthog

    I think we will see LENR used in zeppelins far sooner than in conventional heavier-than-air craft.
    With a zeppelin, the waste heat from the LENR device is used to provide part or all of the lift, with generated electricity driving props to provide forward/reverse/maneuvering propulsion. Sea transport of manufactured goods will shrivel to virtually nothing, as will the port facilities along the coastlines.

  • I know 2 more, plus toyota and MHI.

    • That may be true for Hot-Cat technology, but there are other competitors in the LENR race that may have products more quickly adaptable to aviation and automobiles. Ships will be the easiest to convert to LENR power, and shipping consumes huge amounts of oil every day. Lowering the cost of shipping will be a much needed economic boost for the entire world.

    • Valeriy Tarasov

      It is depending on what kind of airplane engine is used. Electrical propeller engine (for relatively slow but more silent airplanes :)) is quite a realistic variant in short term, as soon as e-cat can be used as electric power generator. Not so many electric batteries will be needed. All other variants of LERN usage are very virtual today.

      • Albert D. Kallal

        I much agree.

        Rossi likely just stating what he knows about industry and manufacturing – he has a lot of experience in these areas.

        And I suspect that some kind of LENR power plant for the e-fan (Airbus) plane would be an ideal match. However, the E-fan is experiential, and certification could take considerable time.

        So in the sense of “general” aviation and LENR powered planes, I think Rossi’s judgment is rather good. Certainly experiential” craft will appear before that time.

        One exception would be the military and especially that of power plants for drones.

        The other issue is of course how fast other companies jump on LENR. 3 years ago Brillouin was blogging and say their “know how” of the LENR effect will allow them to get to market sooner then everyone else. However, Brillouin is VERY silent these days (and been so for the last 2-3 years). This out of the blue “stop” or silence by Brillouin rather troubling and suggests that LENR is not so easy.

        Anyone know what happed to Brillouin? Their “stop” of saying much about LENR suggests some issue or problem they have with their designs. (or they found what they had is NOT commercial viable). This is not good at all for LENR.

        We ONLY have Rossi right now and the other players in LENR seems to have stalled or “faded” away.

        Until Rossi starts delivering working plants, then we don’t have much to go on as to the real world performance and output of such plants.

        I much agree that shipping would one of the first uses of LENR for the transportation industry (as opposed to heat and energy industry).

        The “main” issue right now is that Rossi/IHL are the only real player in this industry (and they not delving product yet either). Thus progress in this new industry will remain rather slow until such time others enter into this market.

        Albert D. Kallal
        Edmonton, Alberta Canada

        • friendlyprogrammer

          Without the math, I can tell you off hand that you would require 10-15% more Helium for the same lift. Can a LENR operation produce enough Helium 4 for this (or will it some day)?

          • bob dash

            Heated Helium?

          • friendlyprogrammer

            No.. same temperatures? ?

            If I’m wrong on this just say so as I’ve had a few years since my last class. I have said that at approx 120 Fahrenheit you would need at least 10% more compressed helium than compressed Nitrogen to lift the same balloon.

            I’m open for being corrected, but am not calculating all the air pressure vs. compressed density weights, etc.

      • Omega Z

        “slow & silent airplanes” Better to drone you with…

        • Omega Z

          Even the Military has a certification process. It’s just less stringent then the private sector.

  • Observer

    From Andrea Rossi’s Journal of Nuclear Physics:

    June 29th, 2015 at 11:46 PM


    The first aviation e-cat will probably be an unmanned steam rocket with a single hot-cat reactor in a sealed water tank driven to critical failure. I believe you said that the 10 KW hot-cat that failed during the first 3rd party test reached 1MW output over a 10 second period. (We are still hoping to see the video some day.)


    June 30th, 2015 at 7:17 AM

    What you write makes sense. I substantially agree.
    Warm Regards,

  • Pekka Janhunen

    First application might be in long-distance cargo planes and military UAVs in cruise phase. Takeoff and landing by normal engines. Multiple LENR heater engines for redundancy. Then gradually extend to passenger planes and shorter flights and employ LENR in all flight phases.

  • Andrew

    If used for transportion of any kind you can bet that the millitary will have it in use long before the public. Mobile units that don’t require fuel convoys would be a huge tactical advantage.

    • Omega Z

      Certification for the Military & Industry is much easier then for consumer use. Military & Industry assumes that trained technicians will be present most or all the time. Consumer products need to be PnP. Setup & forget it.

  • US_Citizen71

    More likely LENR will be used to make aviation fuel from atmospheric CO2 and hydrogen from electrolysis first. The process is nothing new but it is being updated and refined. The only thing required for fuel made this way to be carbon neutral is a powerful non carbon energy source like LENR or fission power. http://www.gizmag.com/air-fuel-synthesis-gasoline-from-air/24739/

  • builditnow

    Fission powered jet engines are already proven in practice:
    Replace fission with hot cats and you have the same thing.

    The US military flew a fission powered jet aircraft in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The jet engines were modified jet engine using heat exchangers. The results are well known and well documented. See P22 of the Feb 2014 NASA seedlings conference.
    The red lines on the graph are the heat exchanger performance, the black the jet fuel performance. The red lines are very close to the black lines which means, very close to the same performance.
    Check the highly qualified scientists behind the report.

    Heat exchanger jet engines perform very similarly to jet fueled jet engines.
    Hot Cats provide the ideal heat for such a jet engine.
    Sandia National Labs just received $3.8 billion for 2 years for hot fusion.
    Imagine what that would do for LENR.

    It’s all a matter of the public waking up.

    It could be up to you and me to master hot cats with open design and experiments.
    Forward ho with the experiments!!!

    • Steven Irizarry

      how fast would these jets travel?

      • Albert D. Kallal

        While the USA never flew such planes, given the time period, larger such planes were sub-sonic. However if a working engine was ever placed in such planes, then with the removal of the fuel constraints, a supersonic jet would be rather possible.

        The Russians did get as far actually running a reactor on a plane (it was a turbo prop design and thus again sub-sonic), the radiation issue was never solved (speculation is that one of the crew members actually died from radiation).

        Albert D. Kallal
        Edmonton, Alberta Canada

        • Steven Irizarry

          what about hypersonic

    • BroKeeper

      builditnow, The military industry, not the public, had woken up to LENR awhile ago and would prefer the public sleep on it for much longer. Yes, NASA, GE, Boeing, etc. have all the materials and workings ready for direct heat implementation as you have noted. Heat exchangers are much more efficient with the advent of 3D printing. Although AR may not know exactly their use, I would suspect the first 250KW Hot Cat orders will be delivered to Uncle Sam’s door step as plug-n-play modules.

    • Alan DeAngelis
      • Albert D. Kallal

        As I stated in my post – two engine designed were made. However NO SUCH engine EVER made it way into a plane and produced power for flight. The issue of radiation shielding was never solved among other issues.

        Dr. Herbert York in your video link confirms my statements about two engine designs. However as noted no such USA plane ever flew under nuclear power and the programs were scrapped.

        So some test engines in a laboratory is LONG way off from an actual engine being placed inside of a plane and used for actual power.

        And keep in mind that working commercial nuclear reactors were available, and yet no such plane every flew under nuclear power.

        MOST interesting is the funding for the Oak Ridge Reactor came from the navy who had interest in a nuclear bomber also. This reactor was a liquid salt reactor – and thus did not require a huge and heavy containment building. This is the fore running of LFTR ()

        In fact if LENR were to not pan out, then LFTR reactors is likely only practirl choice for energy.

        A great video on nuclear salt reactors. (funding did occur from the navy for a nuclear bomber) is this one:


        Albert D. Kallal
        Edmonton, Alberta Canada

        • Alan DeAngelis

          Yes, I understand. Dead pilots would have been a bit of a problem but aside from the biological limitations it did prove the concept that
          the heat of a reactor could power a jet engine. This is the wonderful thing
          about the Hot-Cat. It wouldn’t require much shielding (my assumption because Rossi is still alive). The Hot-Cat would make a nuclear powered jet engine practical. Reduced weight and unlimited range. Fantastic!!!

          • kdk

            Those gold-plated toilet seats in the creative accounting really add up. They would be much more comfortable though.

    • Albert D. Kallal

      Actually the USA NEVER flew a plane under nuclear power.

      They did place a reactor on an airplane for testing methods of shielding the pilots from radiation. All kinds of tricks were employed such as building shielding that was thinner and “tuned” to only shield against particular frequencies of radiation.

      And they even suggested the idea of using older pilots beyond child bearing age.

      The simple matter is nuclear reactors are VERY VERY lethal.

      Two engines were built. One allowed air to flow right though the reactor core. This design had the nasty result of air passing though the reactor core would become radio active. On the other hand, since one of the planes was to be a cruse (pilotless) plane, then the radiation in the exhaust was considered a possible benefit as you fly this “doomsday” machine over a hostile country. Again, no US plane flew on this kind of power (they built test engines – but they never flew in a actual plane).

      The other engine design used a heat transfer system (liquid metal) and as such was far safer as exhaust was not radioactive and never came into direct contact with the reactor core. This design would at least more practical in an aircraft and without radioactive exhaust.

      So some test engines were built, but no such plane ever flew under nuclear power from the USA. The Russians also had a nuclear aircraft project (and again they found the issue of shielding to be too problematic).

      Of course with the advent of ICBMs then such planes were deemed unnecessary.

      Of course the wonderful aspect of LENR is the lack of radiation.

      However aviation engines today are the result of VERY LONG term investments that have “built up” over say 50+ years of R&D.

      Pratt & Whitney wanted to introduce a simple gear into their jet engines (to reduce the RPM of the turbofan and increase the by-pass ratio). They started this project to build a geared turbofan in 1998 (17 years ago!!!).

      Pratt & Whitney ONLY received certification for this jet engine with a gear driven turbofan in 2013, and their smaller version receive FAA certification on December of 2014.

      So we talking about 17 years to get a jet engine with a simple gear it to market.

      Now we are talking about an unknown technology, and everyone here thinks no problem? (lets not be silly!).

      As I stated, we likely see some “test” projects, but 20 years for such a technology to find its way into commercial aircraft is a rather reasonable timeline.

      I mean adding a silly simple gear to a jet engine took 17 years to reach market!

      Albert D. Kallal
      Edmonton, Alberta Canada

      • yes as I’ve heard the US never launched the nuclear plane because the shield was too heavy to fly, and without that huge shield irradiation was huge.

        soviets did the same but they used one team for each flight.
        they stopped because it was unpractical even for a soviet.

        • Alan DeAngelis

          Yeah, and if the reaction in the Hot-Cat is Li(7) + p > He(4) 17.3 MeV no shielding (or minimal shielding) will be necessary because only alpha particles will be produces (well, maybe some x-rays due to bremsstrahlung). This would allow the simple (and therefore more practical) direct cycle jet engine to be used. In fact this may be a far simpler system than a conventional kerosene burning jet engine. A LENR jet engine might run more efficiently (and faster) than a conventional jet engine because it is difficult to burn kerosene at high air pressures. So the air must be slowed down in the combustion chamber. (3:43 min). Removing this limitation my free up engineers to come up with radically new designs for jet engines instead of just doing simple retrofits of old engines. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p1TqwAKwMuM

  • Omega Z

    Rossi didn’t say people wouldn’t work on it. He’s talking of the red tape regulations & certifications.

    We have certified planes & we have certified cars. Try getting a flying car certified. Then you’ll begin to understand what Rossi is talking about.

  • Omega Z

    Even LENR Trains will require about 10 years & many more for the transition.

    Just about anything LENR will take years more then many realize. For the 1 simple reason that it works differently from all existing energy harnessing. Just about everything needs redesigned from it’s footprint on.

    Trains for instance, Aside from the issue of efficiently converting heat to electricity at small scales, also need to be balanced, it’s weight evenly distributed. Center of gravity is also an important factor. If it’s to high, You’ll have issues handling curves. Once the designing is complete, then factories have to be built or retooled. All this takes time.

    “The quality and availability of our food would go up and the cost would go down.”

    The Cost will go down. Quality & availability will not change. Refrigerated freight cars already exist.

  • friendlyprogrammer

    Heating would make anything more buoyant and will lift if less than the air pressure at that height. Density is related to temperature… the ratio variances would be proportional..

    So heated helium should be lighter.. I think.. Brain fog atm. I can’t wrap my head around the problem because of the container aspects so I am missing pressure variables on volume (I’m confusing myself)…