From Ganged Motors to Wright’s Two MegaWatts

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Twelve years ago, your editor gave his first talk at an electric aircraft symposium.  Dr. Brien Seeley asked that he include all motors up to 100 kilowatts in his talk – at that time a rarity.  Designers often had to “gang” small motors to drive a single propeller to obtain the necessary power.  Now, Wright Electric has announced its plans to develop motors (and associated equipment) in the 500 kilowatt to 20 megawatt range.  Motors of those sizes are still under development, but Wright claims to have tested and demonstrated “a megawatt-class, high performance inverter,” according to Green Car Congress. Jeff Engler is getting recognized for his vision.  Here he give his virtual elevator speech at the Davos, World Economic …

That’s the eSpirit!

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

We reported in the blog four years ago that Embry Riddle Aeronautical University not only displayed their eSpirit of St. Louis at AirVenture that year, but ran the motor for the crowd.  The crowd included Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta, who sat in the cockpit during the runup. The eSpirit of St. Louis A product of Embry-Riddle, eSpirit is finally making its presence on the taxiway known.  Kelly Pratt, writing in the Embry Riddle Aeronautical News, reports, “After nearly four years of perseverance, the Eagle Flight Research Center (EFRC) team at Embry-Riddle is celebrating a milestone in its electric propulsion research: its Diamond HK-36 completed a successful taxi test exclusively on electrical power at the Daytona Beach International Airport.” Erik …

RavenSR: Hydrogen from Waste

Dean Sigler Announcements, Biofuels, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Green hydrogen is getting a lot of press lately, at least partly because of the possibilities it allows in transportation design.  Raven SR, headquartered in Pinedale, Wyoming, has as its mission, “Providing revolutionary, clean technology to convert waste into renewable fuels and energy.” Clean Technica took notice of the company’s interesting location, deep in “an epicenter of the US coal,” the Powder River coal basin.  Their article notes some of the politics involved.  “The United Mine Workers of America, for one, came through with a statement in support of President Biden’s climate-friendly American Jobs Plan, contingent on its members getting a share of those new green jobs. “In the same statement, UMWA also lobbied for saving the remaining few remaining …

ZeroAvia’s Malibu in Off-Airport Incident

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We share this press release from ZeroAvia to allay any rumors or misinterpretations as to what happened May 1 on a test flight of ZeroAvia’s Piper Malibu.  The aircraft was damaged in an off-airport landing, but everyone on board managed to exit the craft safely and carried out safety protocols.  The incident will doubtless be thoroughly investigated by ZeroAvia’s team and by the United Kingdom’s own Civil Aviation Authority. ​ZeroAvia Off-Airport Landing Review 1 May, 2021, 08:00 BST On April 29th, 2021, ZeroAvia’s R&D aircraft made an off-airport landing just outside Cranfield airport perimeter during a routine pattern test flight (logged as ZeroAvia Test 86, and the 6th flight in this flight testing segment). The aircraft landed normally on its …

Harbor Air’s eBeaver, MagniX’s Motor, H55’s Batteries

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

In our last blog entry, we discussed a three-partner enterprise with an American airframe propelled by a French motor powered by British batteries.  In this round, we have a Canadian airframe powered by an Australian/American motor driven by Swiss batteries.  These international collaborations may pay off in big ways. Datelined Vancouver, B.C., Everett, WA, and Sion, Switzerland, the joint press release shows a strong and well-organized partnership in action.  “Harbour Air, North America’s largest seaplane airline; magniX the company powering the electric aviation revolution; and H55, the spin off from Solar Impulse, producing highly efficient certified battery packs, announced a partnership to certify the world’s first electric Beaver (eBeaver) commuter airplane through a supplemental type certificate (STC) program.”  H55 is …

Bye, Oxis, Safran Create Electric Business Liner

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Bye Aerospace, Oxis Energy and the Safran Group have introduced an, “Eight-seat all-electric twin turbo-prop class airplane, the eFlyer 800™.”  It’s a fascinating combination of new airframe, new batteries, and new motors.  An American airplane powered by English batteries and propelled by French motors will be an international accomplishment, to say the least. The Airplane Maybe not coincidentally with Earth Day, Forbes magazine ran the following introduction.  “Bye Aerospace has announced an eight-seat all-electric twin turbo-prop class airplane, the eFlyer 800™, in response to growing demands for regional all-electric airplanes with significantly reduced operating costs, plus increased capacity and utility.” The craft, roughly equivalent to a Beechcraft King Air 260 in every respect except range, will be a fully-electric luxury …

BETA and Blade Cut Deal for 20 Alia’s

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Business as Unusual BETA Technologies made a big move from its highly complex Ava to a simpler Alia, and managed to snag an initial order for up to 150 of its new craft from United Parcel Service (UPS).  This was followed by the signing of a binding agreement with Blade for another 20 craft for passenger service. Vermont Business Magazine reports that BETA Technologies started with its first customer and partner, United Therapeutics, which will rely on BETA’s aircraft to deliver organs for human transplantation.  High speed and reliability are obvious premiums in this endeavor.  Recently, United Parcel Service (UPS) announced it reserved the right to purchase 150 of BETA’s aircraft, with the first 10 to be delivered beginning in …

Elektra Trainer – Flight Training for the New Age

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

A Decade of Development A modified version of Elektra One, flying since 2011 and certified in the German ultralight  class, Calin Gologan’s Elektra Trainer could provide affordable flight training with lower operating costs.  Calin displayed Elektra One at the 2012 AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, flying daily on the power of its solar-charged batteries. The company details its background.  ” Elektra Solar GmbH is a spin-off from the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics.  The roots of the company go back to 2011. This year PC-Aero GmbH was founded in 2011 by Calin Gologan.  Elektra One electric aircraft was the first product flying in March 2011. “In the same year, we [received] the Lindbergh Prize for Electric …

Pipistrel’s Triple Alliance Will Fly High in China

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Pipistrel’s triple alliance with SF Express, a Chinese package delivery enterprise, and Amazilia, a software/hardware firm in Germany, will help fulfill high-flying ambitions.  Pipistrel, a well-established company with its roots in Slovenia, already has affiliates in Italy, China, and the USA.  Now, its partnership with SF Express and  Amazilia has obvious links to the need to keep things on track in transporting people and cargo with the new eVTOLs (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) vehicles Pipistrel is developing.  SF Express is a huge “logistics” firm, delivering packages throughout all of China.  “Amazilia Aerospace is a young engineering company in the heart of Munich, Germany, developing digital flight control, flight guidance, and vehicle management systems for civil manned and unmanned …

Two Wood Aircraft Leading to the Future

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Two French manufacturers are reverting to bois et toile (wood and fabric) for ultra-modern aircraft.  Both of their aircraft will be electrically powered, and both will use non-traditional approaches to construction.  In the meantime, both have fairly traditional demonstration models. The French have done wonders with wooden aircraft from the very beginning of aviation.  Santos Dumont built the petite Demoiselle with bamboo longerons, for instance, and Henri Mignet crafted his diminutive Pou du Ciel (flea of the sky, or flying flea) from available wood.  After World War Two, Messrs Joly and Delemontez fashioned a small single-seater, the Jodel D-9, from wood and ply and powered it with converted VW Kubelwagen engines, Jeep-like German vehicles which littered scrap yards and former …