Bye eFlyer Sales Near 300

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

Diane Simard, Director and Senior Vice President at Bye Aerospace, keeps your editor updated on happenings at the maker of what were SunFlyers, and which are now eFlyers.  The rebranding makes sense.   In their press release for the eFlight Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany on April 11, the company included this explanation.  “George E. Bye, Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, said eFlyer more accurately represents the aircraft’s high-tech all-electric propulsion system. ‘We originally thought solar cells would be standard on the airplane’s wings,’ Bye said. ‘However, with eFlyer’s primary markets being flight training and air taxi services, it makes more sense to make the price of the airplane as reasonable as possible.’” Bye Aerospace’s primary market is growing, with orders for 60 …

Go Fly’s Phase II Winners

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

One complaint frequently heard is that aviation doesn’t necessarily encourage participation by women, despite historical examples from Harriet Quimby to Jeanna Yeager.   GoFly is a competition thought up by Gwen Lighter, a lawyer with degrees from Brown (summa cum laude) and Harvard (cum laude) Universities. It has a $2 million prize package backed by Boeing and others.  Ms. Lighter describes her brainchild as follows: “The $2 million GoFly competition encourages mad scientists and daredevils to come as close as possible to Star Wars’s light cycles, James Bond’s jetpack, Marty McFly’s hoverboard, or any other flying dream.” Five Phase 2 winners exemplify the open rule-book approach around which the contest is organized.  Lighter explained it two years ago in an NPR …

AutoflightX Returns Tian Yu to Forefront

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

A Long Developmental Background Tian Yu headed Yuneec, a pioneering firm in electric flight.  In 2009 his company had several motors and one- and two-seat aircraft flying.  They even received certification from the FAA for the two-seat E430 and shipped it to Oshkosh, where it made its public flying debut at that year’s AirVenture.   At the 2013 AirVenture, Greenwing, an affiliate of Yuneec, fielded two e-Spyders, which pulled a first with several two-electric-airplane formation flights.  Despite being a major supplier of hobby drones and an early developer of powered parachutes, Yuneec seems to have gone into a dormant state, with a new company, AutoFlightX, coming to the forefront. First shown as the BAT600 concept vehicle in  2017 (There seems to …

Faster, Cleaner AND Less Pricey?

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

University of Michigan Research Sprinkled with Optimism (or Not) Can electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) machines provide the swift crossing of  urban distances at a price that will attract the non-flying public? Can they do so while keeping pollution in check? A University of Michigan study, funded in part by Ford Motors, concluded that taking a short (depending on definition) trip in an autonomous electric vertical takeoff and landing machine might not only be quicker than a ground-bound journey through gridlock, but might even be less expensive.  These two factors are important if we are clean  the toxic atmosphere that hangs over our major cities, at least partly brought about by the constant transit of personal automobiles, public buses, …

UMass Lowell Puts Hydrogen in a Canister

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

One problem with recharging electric vehicles is finding a charging station on the road.  Electric vehicle makers provide GPS clues on their moving map displays, and electric pilots will doubtless have markers for fields with appropriate facilities for our future E-flyers.  Researchers at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell may have done an end run around that problem, though. Their “new technology uses water, carbon dioxide and the metal cobalt to produce hydrogen gas on demand at a relatively low temperature and pressure.”  The hydrogen produced goes directly to a fuel cell which generates electricity and powers the EV’s motor, rechargeable battery and headlights.  When the canister that contains the H2 is empty, the driver can swap it with a …

Tiny Pieces Form Morphing Wing

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

MIT and NASA have constructed several aircraft wings using tiny, identical pieces bolted together in a highly flexible, deform-able structure.  At that, the wing is light, strong, and capable of “morphing” in ways that enable slower landing speeds, faster rates of climb, and high maneuverability. A Lot like Fractals This type of assembly is much like fractals, repeated forms that assemble into larger forms that become enlarged examples of the smaller ones.  These forms are part of the natural world, so the mimicry in the morphing wing can very mach be said to be an organic design. The tiny pieces comprise thousands of miniature triangles “matchstick-like struts,” according to David L. Chandler at the MIT News Office.  The tiny subassemblies …

First Commercial Drone Medical Delivery

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

Medicine, STAT! Matternet is a U. S.-based company promoting its mission to, “Make access to goods as frictionless and universal as access to information.  Our products enable organizations around the world to build and operate drone logistics networks for transporting goods on demand, through the air, at a fraction of the time, cost and energy of any other transportation method used today. “ On March 27, it announced a collaboration with United Parcel Service (UPS) that delivered the first commercial medical payload at the WakeMed medical facility in North Carolina. Other non-commercial operations by Zipline, operating in Rwanda and Gambia; and  Swoop Aero, Ltd. and Wingcopter delivering vaccines in the South Pacific, are bringing “last mile” delivery of medical goods …

Kryptonite – As in MARVEL Comics?

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

Ed Warnock, CEO of the Perlan Project, passed this on from Michael Coates, head of Pipistrel USA.  Despite its celebrated author and totally credible source, the following press release is open to scrutiny and will no doubt receive some rabid criticism. “Pipistrel ALPHA Electro completes 24 hour flight on a single charge! “The Pipistrel ALPHA Electro aircraft has successfully smashed the world endurance record for electric aircraft by completing its first 24-hour flight on a single charge! “Pipistrel engineers have recently tested different fuel cells and generator units to supplement the ALPHA Electro’s current 1-hour range. “Hugh improvements in electrical generation have unfolded with the recent (2016) re-discovery of Kryptonite in Northern Siberia and under the stepped Pyramid in Egypt. …

Harbour Air and MagniX Partner for First All-Electric Airline

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

A seaplane fleet is preparing to convert its fleet to all-electric operation, which will make it the first commercial electric airline. Harbour Air, a seaplane operator based in Vancouver, B. C. is partnering with MagniX, an Australian electric motor manufacturer with offices in Seattle, Washington.  You may see Harbour’s DeHavilland Beavers, Otters and Twin Otters lifting off from or landing on  Lake Union when you drive by on the I-5. Harbour Air flies “more than 30 seaplanes” on 12 routes that carry more than a half-million passengers on 30,000 commercial flights a year.  The smallest craft they fly, the DHC-2 Beaver, carries six and burns about 20 gallons per hour of 100 low lead fuel – which now costs from …

Superionic Batteries – Are We There Yet?

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

Tohoku University, near the northern Japanese city of Sendai, finds, in a recent paper, “…The development of complex hydride solid electrolytes that exhibit high ionic conductivity at room temperature will be a revolutionary breakthrough for all-solid-state batteries employing a lithium metal anode.”  Researchers at the University lists the potential energy density for a battery using these so-called “superionic” materials as greater than 2,500 Watt-hours per kilogram “at a high current density of 5,016 miliAmps per gram.   This energy density would result in the fabled 10X battery – ten times the energy density of a conventional lithium-ion battery – that has been the subject of international research for the last decade. Tohoku’s press release states, “Scientists from Tohoku University and the …