Joby Quietly Achieves its Range, Heads to Washington, D. C.

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Joby Aero Inc. has displayed its ultra-quiet operation, flown a promised distance and become an investment favorite in the last few months. Now it’s headed to Washington, D. C. to consolidate relations with law- and opinion makers. Quietude As a follow-up to its recent demonstration of quietude on Public Broadcasting’s “Great Electric Airplane Race,” Joby staged a head-to-head test of its near silent operation against other aircraft.  Note the perceived noise and the aural signature as each craft passes overhead. Going the Distance One thing prominent in Joby’s on-line presence is their promise that their electric air taxi will be able to travel 150 miles on a single charge – including a vertical takeoff and landing. Flown from the ground …

The Layered Look in 1000x Solar Cells

Dean Sigler Announcements, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We hear a lot about 10X batteries, but 1000X solar cells?  Layering up may be stylish and even practical in the fashion world, and in solar cells may be a chance to unite otherwise dissimilar materials with otherwise limited light-to-electric conversion capabilities.   That strategy produced solar cells with 1000x that.  That’s what researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) found when they created crystalline layers of layers of barium titanate (a mixed oxide of barium and titanium), strontium titanate and calcium titanate which they alternately placed on top of one another. Researchers found high increases in responses from the layered oxides because of higher permittivity – electrons able to flow more freely. The team’s paper, “Strongly enhanced and tunable photovoltaic …

Nine Engines and Two Wings – the DEP Antonov

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Sporting no less than nine powerplants, eight of which are electric, a cold-war biplane stunned the crowd at a Russian air show.  Part of the 15th International Aviation and Space Salon MAKS 2021 held on July 20-25, a Siberian adaptation of a Russian classic drew widespread attention.  Your editor has had the privilege of enjoying two flights in the original giant AN-2 biplane powered by a Schwezow ASch-62IR nine-cylinder radial engine with 1000 horsepower.  That engine sounded like a freight train grumbling through the valley over which we flew.  This new version has a 1,100 shaft horsepower Honeywell turbine in the nose and eight motors with folding propellers arrayed along the lower wing.  The sound is futuristic, while the airframe …

Look!  Up in the Sky!  At Oshkosh

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Two different machines, with vastly different purposes and unique looks, are flying electrically above Wittman Field for the worlds’ biggest airshow.  The Experimental Aircraft Association’s gathering, having skipped a year because of the pandemic, is back with nearly twice the number of attendees.  It’s a crowd ready to be rocked. Volocopter Helena Treeck, head of public relations for Volocopter GmbH, is on scene at AirVenture, not only promoting her company’s machines, but granting interviews and reporting herself. She shares the experience.  “The crewed Volocopter 2X took off at 2:45 PM CST for a 4-minute flight at ~164 feet and a top speed of 18 mph over Wittman Regional Airport as part of EAA’s AirVenture aviation celebration. Event attendees were able …

VoltAero Demonstrates Quiet Flight

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

At least two Cessna 337s are flying on modified power systems – one with Ampaire in various locations around the world and one in France.  VoltAero’s French Cessna push-pull twin has been turned into a tri-motor, with twin motors sprouting from the front of the craft’s tail booms.  Like its American counterpart, VoltAero’s machine is a test bed for the planned power system that will mark its successor.  VoltAero reveals its coming aircraft will feature a “barrel”-type arrangement of three 60 kilowatt electric motors ringing a central internal-combustion (thermal) engine.  Jean Botti, CEO of VoltAero, explains the motor configuration is well-proven, having flown in the Cassio 1 demonstrator (the Cessna) since October last year.  Since then, it’s been flown around …

Joseph Oldham Beams an American Record

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A new “record” for an electric aircraft flight probably won’t make the books, but was a great sales opportunity for the off-grid charging system that accompanied it. 21 electric airplane records exist in the list of Federation Aeronautique Internationale-recognized achievements.  At least one was set in 2012 by Jean-Luc Soullier in his Colomban MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) – 189.87 kilometers per hour (117.98 mph) over a 15 kilometer closed course using a Lynch-type brushed motor.  It topped his record in February of the same year of 136.4 kph (84.76 mph). For a while, Soullier held records for altitude and distance, but these were eclipsed by others.  At the time, your editor encouraged beating these records, since they were early efforts in …

Take Heart!  United We Fly!

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Heart Aerospace, on the airport at Gothenburg Airport in southern Sweden, wants to bring inexpensive, four-motor electric flight to the masses.  With $35 million (29.4 million euros) in recently acquired backing, the small team at Heart is working toward making a 19-passenger, four-motor airliner a reality.  Their ES-19 is a single-aisle design with eight-rows of single seats and three-seat row at the cabin’s rear. Those 19 seats are a selling point, with United Airlines signing purchase contracts for 100 of the $ 9 million machines.  Mesa Airlines follows suit for another 100 and Finnair, Finland’s national airline, has expressed interest in another 20.  Funding from Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures and other investors totals over $35 million.  For a niche …

Going Big and Bigger with Hydrogen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, GFC, Hydrogen Fuel, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Two companies promoting hydrogen power for aircraft are upsizing their aspirations, with aircraft  hauling four to up to 40 passengers.  Both have ambitious timelines. ZeroAvia, operating in Hollister, California and Cirencester, England has been flying a Piper Malibu demonstrator, but anticipates flying a 10 to 20 passenger Dornier by 2024.  It would expand that to a 50-passenger craft by 2026.  H2Fly in Germany has been flying their Pipistrel-designed HY4 for several years and through six generations. The firm looks forward to taking incremental steps toward a 40-passenger regional airliner by 2030. ZeroAvia ZeroAvia reports on troubling trends in aviation’s contribution to greenhouse gases, but follows with a possible solution.  According to their web site, aviation accounts for over 12 percent …

Phinergy Aluminum/Air Batteries from India

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Phinergy, an aluminum/air battery maker from Israel, is now partnering with Indian Oil Corporation.  Phinergy’s technology just received an award from the World Economic Forum as one of the 100 most promising Technology Pioneers for 2021.  Phinergy was chosen for, “Its innovative energy solutions which turn metals, such as aluminum and zinc, into a clean, sustainable and cost-effective means of storing, transporting and generating energy.” Why would Indian Oil Corp. (biggest oil outfit in the country) be attracted to Phinergy and its aluminum/air batteries?  Company R&D Director S.S.V. Ramakumar explains, “Lithium is scarce in the country and we started scouting for an element which is abundantly available as a natural resource.”  Unspoken, the idea that India has one of the …

Eviation Moves Alice’s Tail – to Washington

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Israel’s Eviation has moved its manufacturing resources to Arlington, Washington, north of Seattle.  There, they are making an all-new version of Alice, changing its configuration from “V”-tailed to “T”-tailed and its power from tri-motor to bi-motor. The revised craft will be powered by two Magni650 power units, a package that includes a 640 kilowatt (850 shaft horsepower) motor, four magniDrive-100 inverter/motor control units, and “a closed-loop integrated thermal management system.” A New Alice Charles Alcock, reporting in FutureFlight.aero, says Eviation Aircraft confirms plans to make a first test flight of the redesigned craft by year’s end and have the new Alice certified and entering service in 2024. Obvious changes include a clean, high-aspect ratio wing and pylon-mounted motors flanking the …