Making Silicon Anodes in Large Batches

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

A Long-term Collaboration Dr. Jaephil Cho is a well-known battery researcher and inter-continental associate of Dr. Yi Cui of Stanford University.  The pair has collaborated on many ways to improve battery performance and longevity, and both have appeared at various electric aircraft symposia.  They have even inspired others in related research. Dr. Cho and his team at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea announced a way to make a new generation battery anode material – a big move toward mass production of improved cells. Dr. Cho’s team of researchers affiliated with Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), South Korea, claims to have made yet another step towards finding a solution to accelerate the commercialization …

A First Electric Helicopter with a Humanitarian Mission

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

Brammo, one of the first American electric motorcycle makers, established itself as an early competitor in racing, and after less than a decade in the new arena, sold the motorcycle racing enterprise to Polaris Industries Inc.  “Following that announcement, Brammo confirms its exclusive agreement to supply its electric powertrains to Polaris for inclusion in motorcycles and other on-road and off-road vehicles.”range of vehicle OEMs.” From Motorcycles to Helicopters Surprisingly, that range of vehicle OEMs includes a successful electric helicopter launch. According to the Portland Business Journal, “Brammo lent its expertise to a Tier 1 Engineering launch of a battery-powered manned helicopter last month. The launch included the first hover taxi and a record five-minute cruise flight to 400 feet altitude.” …

Ten teams began competition, not all finished.  It's tougher than it looks

Getting Blood from Outback Joe – the 2016 Outback Challenge

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

Outback Joe goes through a lot of trauma in his overstuffed life.  This literal straw man gets tossed into some remote part of the Australian outback every year and waits for some kind of rescue.  This usually comes by air, drones searching for him and taking him medicine, food, water, or some other necessity.  That’s the Outback Challenge. One can see a condensed history of the competition from its inception in 2007 to today on Wikipedia, the entry including the different kinds of things Outback Joe needed for a mission to be successful. This year, however, competitors were supposed to bring back a reminder of their visit to Joe – a blood sample – a good trick from an inanimate …

Brian Carpenter’s EMG-6 Webinar

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

Brian Carpenter, designer of the EMG-6 motorglider which he’s shown over the last several years at AirVenture, will stage a webinar to discuss “the design and development concepts of this new electric motorglider.”  His talk will have special “Emphasis on the integration of the electric propulsion concepts that he believes will change the face of the light aircraft and ultralight industry.” Your editor has visited Brian’s Corning, California workshop several times, and always found new and innovative approaches to producing a low-cost, self-launching motorglider, with several ways to simplify construction and to power the craft.  It will be interesting to see progress on the newest motor (apparently still under development) Brian has presented on his web site. He has been …

A successful team is a happy team - HY4 pilots, technicians and mechanics made an aviation first possible

HY4 Makes First Public Flight – Your Editor Rides EAA’s Ford Trimotor

Dean Sigler GFC, Sustainable Aviation, Hydrogen Fuel, Batteries, Fuel Cells Leave a Comment

A day after Pipistrel, the DLR and associates flew the first public demonstration of their four-seat hydrogen-powered HY4, your editor and a friend took a brief hop around the Aurora State Airport in Oregon in EAA’s Ford Trimotor, the first certified airliner in America.  The two events, roughly equal in duration, if not in historicity, demonstrate a readily observable progress in aeronautics. A quickening of design and technology 14 years after the Ford 5AT first flew on a scheduled route that took 51 hours total time to cross the United States (and split transport duties with trains), your editor’s father was whisked nonstop by Army Air Corps C-54 across the Atlantic to Shannon, Ireland, and then to Bobbington and Newquay, England …

vbb-3 overhead

Buckeyes, Venturi VBB-3 Set Records on the Salt Flats

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

Take a venturesome electric car developer like Venturi, a Monaco-based firm, and put them together with an enthusiastic group of Ohio State University engineering students.  Exciting things happen. The Buckeyes have tried their hands at racing in many venues.  Their first outing in the 2013 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Zero gained them a third place finish – followed by another third place outing in 2014, and their tour of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year took a mere 11 minutes and 16 seconds, good enough for third place.  They also race in the Formula SAE competition, putting their open-wheel, high-performance cars up against those from 110 other colleges and universities. Turning their eyes from the curves of …

elias luftfahrt_02_0

Acentiss Electric Dual-Rotor Aviation Motor

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

Acentiss is a German engineering and consulting firm specializing in medicine, aerodynamics, and recently, the creation of two small electric motors for light aircraft.  Located almost symbolically between Robert Koch Strasse (Nobel Prize in Medicine) Max Plank Strasse (Nobel in Physics), and EinsteinStrasse (Nobel in Physics) in Ottobrunn, the company not only provides design services for wind turbines and their components, assistance with process flows for the manufacture of medical equipment and devices, and consultancy services for the automotive and aeronautical industries, but has created components for use on light aircraft and unpiloted aerial systems. Their motors, developed with assistance from Geiger Engineering, look a great deal like the HP-25D from that company, often seen flying on PC-Aero aircraft.  The …

solarship product range

Solar Ship Sells Four Inflatable Solar Airships

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation, Solar Power, Hybrid Aircraft Leave a Comment

People in remote areas of Africa may find relief coming quickly to disaster zones with Manaf Freighters’ purchase of four Solar Ship aircraft. Solar Ship’s Uniquely Hybrid Form Solar Ship, located in Toronto, Canada, builds solar-powered triangular, blimp-like flying machines that could serve as lifelines to the world’s most remote places.  Solar Ships range from an 11-meter wide (it’s hard to call it a wingspan) envelope to a projected 100-meter (328 feet) wide monster that could carry up to 30,000 kilograms (66,000 pounds) for a minimum of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles). The blog reported on Solar Ships three years ago, when their few flying examples were testbeds for the possible future development of practical load haulers.  Combining buoyancy with aerodynamic …

Gamera: First Solar-Powered Helicopter

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation, Solar Power Leave a Comment

Solar Gamera, an extension of the human-powered helicopter that achieved the longest HPH duration flight in 2013, just made the first solar-powered helicopter flight.  In 2014, a group of undergraduate students at the University of Maryland turned Team Gamera into Solar Gamera, “to test the feasibility of applying solar power in achieving human helicopter flight.” Ph.D. student William Staruk, a member of the original HPH team, reflected, “Today you are seeing the first successful flights of the Gamera Solar-Powered Helicopter. You are seeing aviation history being made in the history of green aviation and rotary blade aviation.” Gamera’s lattice-work framework, 100-foot square with extremely large rotors at the ends of four beams, carried materials science major Michelle Mahon on two short …

egenius pod_0

e-Genius Flies with a Range Extender

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

Stuttgart to Barcelona Dipl-Ing* Ingmar Geiß, Deputy Project Manager for e-Genius with the Institute of aeronautical engineering at Stuttgart University shared the news that e-Genius flew with its range extender for the first time on September 15.  He notes that while the battery-powered airplane can manage trips up to 300 kilometers (186 miles), the hybrid engine/generator pod will enable flights up to 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).  This would equal a trip from Stuttgart to Barcelona, Spain, according to the e-Genius web site. As the school explains, “With [the] e-Genius hybrid most flights of a typical user case can be done in the cost and energy efficient battery mode – for all longer flights the range extender can be used. Generator …