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 …

The Great Human Powered Aircraft Race -2022

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A New Crew of Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines Fred To, former head of the British Human Powered Flying Club, has shared a major announcement. “The Great Human Powered Aircraft Race will take place in June 2022 and is now open for entries. Teams will attempt to cross the Channel from England to France in an aircraft powered solely by the pilot’s pedaling. They will compete for a £50,000 ($68,785) prize awarded to the team that crosses the Channel fastest, with £10,000 ($13,757) for the second fastest team and £5,000 ($6.878) for the fastest female pilot. “The first and only crossing of the Channel in a human powered aircraft (HPA) was 42 years ago by Bryan Allen in the …

Electrifly-in: Grenchen 2021

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

Electrifly-in, formerly the Smartflyer Challenge, is on for September 11 and 12, 2021, in Grenchen, Switzerland.  The event, even held in 2020 despite the pandemic, is a compact showing of the latest in electrical aircraft and technology.  Watch as this 2019 video as a Φnix (the Greek letter phi + nix –a clever bilingual pun) takes off, circuits the area and makes a landing – all the time flying with other electric aircraft. In this flight, you can see the compact airport (including a grass landing strip) and a lovely setting for a great event.  Started as the Smartflyer Challenge* in 2016, the gathering has changed its name to be more inclusive. Last year, even with travel limitations imposed worldwide, …

Massless Batteries for Aircraft?

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

What if the weight of the batteries in an electric airplane could virtually disappear?  Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, Sweden have come up with an improved structural battery that exceeds the results of earlier research.  So-called “massless batteries,” although not as energy dense as cylindrical or pouch lithium-ion batteries, could be worthy substitutes. The idea of making airplanes from materials that would provide energy from their inherent properties has been of interest for years.  Your editor wrote an article on “The Grand Unified Airplane” for Kitplanes magazine in 2013 based on the idea of combining solar power, piezoelectric flexing of wings, and structural batteries.  The ultimate goal was to create a machine that would move through the …

Landing in the Baobab Trees with eHang

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

eHang, expanding its horizons with its two-passenger EH216 autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs), has announced a partnership with Italian architecture firm Giancarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG).  GZDG’s eco-sustainable, Baobab tree-mimicking vertiport will act as a landing zone for eHang’s electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) craft. Basing its design on the Baobab tree, native to Madagascar, Africa, and Australia, GZDG’s structure will fit into urban and rural environments equally well.  The 30-meter (98.4-feet) tower, built of laminated wood and steel emulating the shape of the “Tree of Life,” the vertiport will be topped with a multi-purpose landing deck.  The structure will incorporate a waiting room, café, a 200-square-meter (2,153-square-foot) panoramic restaurant and connecting lift.  Non-slip photovoltaic panels will generate over …

Scylax and Tecnam Field Electric Regional Commuters

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Two electric regional commuters are nearing reality.  A Scylax design from Calin Gologan reflects its “clean sheet” origins: the other, derived from an existing Tecnam design, honors its Italian craftsmanship heritage. Calin Gologan, Rosario De Luca and the Scylax E Series Calin, designing and building solar-powered aircraft since 2011 , and Rosario De Luca, Co Founder and CEO of EADCO GmbH and EADCO US LLC., and CEO of SCYLAX GmbH, have joined forces to create two small airliners, the Scylax E6 and E10, each enumerating its passenger capacity.  Joined by the airline FLN FRISIA-Luftverkehr GmbH Norddeich, they will begin flying their pure-electric craft soon with existing batteries enabling 300-kilometer (180-mile) trips.  Within the next decade, cell improvements will allow 600-kilometer …

Hypoint’s Radical Radial Fuel Cell Solution

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

Hypoint proclaims, “We make zero emission air transport possible.”  They do this by, “Building a next generation hydrogen fuel cell system that can deliver “Both high specific power: “2,000 Watts/kilogram and high energy density “1,500 Watt-hours/kilogram Exactly what aircraft designers are looking for.” These numbers exceed what the best batteries can manage at this time, and according to the company’s white paper, even better performance is on the way. Batteries vs. Fuel Cells Hypoint proclaims, “The age of zero-emission aviation is currently being prevented by the industry’s reliance on Li-ion batteries, which have a fundamental barrier at the chemistry level.”  The firm limits cell performance to 200 Whr/kg, although Bye Aerospace claims 260 Whr/kg for their full battery packs, battery …

Two Hydrogen-Powered Aerial Vehicles

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, GFC, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Two very different hydrogen-powered aerial vehicles have come to our attention, each with a different mission, but both with endurance and range as primary functions.  Both use a fairly straightforward fuel cell/motor arrangement to power their flights. Vicor/DMI Fuel Cell Drones Doosan Mobility Innovation (DMI) is a major drone manufacturer, and their largest products push against the FAA’s 55-pound (24.97-kilogram) weight limit.  Their DM30, powered with a DS30 fuel cell and a 10.8 liter H2 tank weighs 21 kilograms and can carry a five kilogram (11 pound) payload.  Carrying a full payload may require using the smaller seven-liter tank. Alessandro Mascellino, writing in EE Power, describes recent combination of resources that makes long-range drone deliveries possible.  “The first machines built …