SAS 2019 – Gabriel DeVault’s Clean Commute and Electric Adventures

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

An electric ultralight developer brought some hopeful notes to the Sustainable Aviation Symposium audience at the University of California Berkeley.  Gabriel DeVault is the powertrain development specialist for ZeroAvia, bringing hydrogen power to regional air commuting.  He does a lot of commuting in his own electric aircraft, showing that one doesn’t need huge investments in aircraft and infrastructure to enjoy green flight. The Paul MacCready Honorary Lecture: Doing More with Less, Right Now! An Aerospace Engineer and EV systems architect, Gabriel was a founding member of Zero Motorcycles, running R&D for the world’s largest and most successful electric motorcycle company.  He now works for ZeroAvia, a firm in Hollister, California working with a hydrogen-powered electric Piper Malibu as the first …

Forgive the Lapse – We’ll Regain Traction Tomorrow

Dean Sigler Announcements Leave a Comment

Following a trip to the best Sustainable Aviation Symposium ever in Berkeley, California, and a tour of the W.A.A.A.M. (Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum) in Hood River, Oregon over the weekend to see their World War II training gliders, you editor is about to get back to reporting on what he’s seen and heard.  Be patient, because we have lots of great stories to share, starting tomorrow.

Heaviside – Kittyhawk’s Latest

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

Kittyhawk, a bay area firm possessed of wildly creative talent, has crafted the Flyer in 2017, the Cora in 2018, and just announced the Heaviside, a cross-country cruiser named for a physics and electronics genius.  Its predecessors go back further, to the JobyMonarch, a single-seat, eight-motor design that made it to the construction stage.  That aircraft was based on Windward Performance’s Duckhawk sailplane, a high performance machine that made the most of its sleek lines. Joby had several projects going at the time, including an energy-generating kite business that merged with Makani.  Carmel deAmicis does a good job of synthesizing a long series of inventions that help lead to Heaviside.  “After Joby Energy succeeded at creating airborne vessels that could generate energy …

Charging Carbon Dioxide Batteries and Clearing the Air

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

We would love to find ways to reduce carbon dioxide as a threat to our climate with an ever-decreasing timeline for accomplishing that task.  University of Illinois at Chicago and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have made inroads into creating a carbon dioxide battery that uses CO2 as an energy storage component. Amin Salehi-Khojin, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at UIC’s College of Engineering, explains, “Lithium-carbon dioxide batteries have been attractive for a long time, but in practice, we have been unable to get one that is truly efficient until now.” A 7X Battery The incentive to use CO2 comes from lithium-carbon dioxide batteries having a specific energy density more than seven times greater than conventional lithium-ion cells.  …

Scylax E10: Electric Flight Over the North Sea

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

A joint venture between the East Frisian FLN airline (FLN FRISIA-Luftverkehr GmbH Norddeich) and Munich aircraft manufacturer Scylax GmbH has helped expand the success of two “clean-sheet” designs, the E6 and E10.  Both are promised to China Blue Airlines, and their first-time sale to a German-based airline will help ensure economies of scale for production. Short Runs with no Range Anxiety FLN already operates 10 BN-2 Norman Britten Islanders and a few Cessna 172s and 182s.  The Islanders would be replaced over time by E10s.  As one can imagine, The North Sea and limited airports make special demands on aircraft, including being able to take off and land in 300 meters (984 feet) and manage 40 knot (46 mph) crosswinds , as …

Technion Splits the Process and Splits Hydrogen Efficiently

Dean Sigler Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Technion is an interdisciplinary technology institution based in Haifa, Israel.  Two years ago, it began promoting its unique approach to splitting water to extract hydrogen. One of the researchers on the project won a three-minute thesis contest with her quick and eloquent explanation of photoelectric chemical water splitting, key to the research team’s approach. Point of Sale Delivery The Jerusalem Post reported, “Technion-Israel Institute of Technology researchers have developed a new method for the production of hydrogen from water that uses solar energy in a centralized way at the point of sale, such as a gasoline station for electric cars fueled by the gas.” (Editor’s italics) The article explained, “This eliminates the need for ‘solar farms’ whose hydrogen has to …

A Boxy (Motor) Glider That Delivers

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

Chip Yates used the same UQM motor on his record-breaking Pikes Peak and Bonneville Salt Flats motorcycle and his modified Long-Eze aircraft (Long-ESA for Electric Speed and Altitude).  He planned an ekectric trans-Atlantic flight using an audacious concept for mid-air recharging.  A bit quiet for the last several years, Chip has come up with a boxy glider, a load carrier that will, at some point, use the same kind of UQM motor with which he set so many records. The Silent Arrow GD-2000 Capable of hauling 907 kilograms (2,000 pounds) to front-line troops, or emergency supplies to otherwise inaccessible disaster zones, the GD-2000 Silent Arrow allows delivery of heavy cargo from a range of aircraft and helicopters. Yates Electrospace lists …

Volocopter Hovers Over Stuttgart

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

Stuttgart sees first urban flight of Volocopter in Europe     Volocopter has demonstrated an unmanned flight over Stuttgart, Germany on September 14, part of a two-day event titled, “Vision Smart City – Experience future mobility today.”   A major promotion of Mercedes-Benz’s history, products, and plans for future mobility, Partner Volocopter highlighted the drive toward “climate neutral mobility” by the auto maker. Smart City networks will rely on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning and Adaptive Networks according to Ciena, a provider of networking, programming and systems for ever-increasing demands by industry and municipalities. Control of traffic that will increasingly include Urban Aerial Mobility will take intense amounts of data – up to 24 billion Internet Provider (IP) devices on earth (three for …

Solid Power Batteries – Headed for Production?

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

So often, promising developments in batteries, solar cells, and electric vehicles seem stuck in the “five years from now” limbo.  Perhaps there may be hope that a current, real-time development is before us.  MSNBC reports Solid Power has a pilot production line for its solid-state batteries up and running – as of three days ago. Forgive the sound track, which can be turned down or off.  The information is worthwhile, however. Solid Power, a 2012 outgrowth of research performed at the University of Colorado Boulder, now holds down 21,000 square feet at the Colorado Tech Center.  Their web site expresses some of the frustration many of who have been waiting through the last decade feel about the near-static trend in …

Electric Flight for the Masses

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Paracas, Peru lies on the South American country’s Pacific coast, halfway between Ecuador and Colombia to the north and Chile to the south.  There, Alex Ferrer has built a Super Goat ultralight glider and powered it with a Chinese motor, controller and batteries for electric flight.  Since he displays in-flight data on his videos, one can get an appreciation of the small amount of energy required to keep a very light machine like the Mike Sandlin craft in the air. Sandlin makes plans for his gliders available for free on line.  Excellent drawings with high-grade details, they enable a committed craftsman the ability to use simple hand tools to make a glider that one can carry atop a compact car …