Pipistrel Electrics in America and France

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

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Pipistrel rolled out its new 801 at the UBER Elevate Summit in Washington, D. C. last week and is flying its Alpha Electro Trainer at the Paris Air Show all this week. Launching the 801 at UBER Elevate Dr. Tine Tomažič, Pipistrel’s Director of Research & Development, was a keynote speaker at the conference in Washington, D.C. on June 11, where he presented just enough to whet appetites for more on the coming 801 eVTOL design.  His final touch – presenting an ostensibly realistic recording of the 801’s sound, demonstrated how quiet the vehicle will be. That’s accounted for by the eight fans being tuned to different frequencies, cancelling each other out like the dynamics in …

Recycling and Reusing Carbon in Jet Fuel

Dean Sigler Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), is recycling and reusing CO2 to make jet fuel as part of a carbon-neutral process.  This is not a new idea, with others’ approaches to this detailed in earlier blog entries here, here, and here. Centered on a solar collector/reactor on the roof of ETH’s Machine Laboratory building in Zurich, researchers have “developed a novel technology that produces liquid hydrocarbon fuels exclusively from sunlight and air and have demonstrated the entire thermochemical process chain under real field conditions.” Extracting CO2 and water directly from ambient air through an adsorption/desorpton process, the system feeds these free materials into a solar reactor that is at the focus of the parabolic reflector that heats them …

Silent Air Taxi Competes for Commuters

Dean Sigler Announcements, Hybrid Aircraft, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A quandary is a state of perplexity or doubt, and people caught in one often devolve into depression or unhappiness.  Our quandary today comes from the announcement of the Silent Air Taxi, a fixed-wing, hybrid-powered, box-wing aircraft.  The quandary comes from whether it’s better to transport one’s self to a nearby small airport and hop on a low-slung commuter aircraft that requires only a 400-meter (1,312 feet, or about a quarter mile) runway.  Or, to call up an on-demand Urban Air Mobility device, use the urban infrastructure and hie one’s self to an Uber SkyPort or a Volocopter launch pad. Its designers, mainly from Aachen, Germany’s academia and industry, point out that in Germany about 25-percent of the population lives …

Vogi 1 eVTOL Transforms Passively

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Canadian startup, the Coriolis g Corporation, defies the rules of classification with its Vogi 1 “passively coupled VTOL tiltrotor,” which the company describes as “a tilting quadrotor passively coupled to a winged airframe via a swivel mechanism”. “View the only Continuously Variable Transition VTOL/FW (fixed wing) Aircraft in action.” The Vogi 1 has demonstrated a novel design solution to achieve the maneuverability and vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities of a traditional quadcopter with the efficiency of a traditional winged aircraft.  Its design allows passive transition from vertical flight or hovering to winged horizontal flight.  It does so without the benefit of algorithms or triple-redundancy controllers.  Coriolis g explains, “Without any active logic, the rotors pivot and swing from parallel …

Alaka’i Skai Levitates on Hydrogen

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

Alaka’I is Hawaiian for “the value of leadership” according to an island management consulting firm.  The word and the company have found a home in Boston, Massachusetts, where they look over the Alaka’i Skai, a hydrogen-powered sky taxi that will offer “point-to-any-point transportation that [is] safe, simple, zero-emissions, affordable and comfortable.” Alala’i, founded by Brian Morrison, adds a hydrogen fuel cell hybrid-electric craft to the eVTOL market with a design by BMW-owned Designworks.    From above, it looks a bit like a water-skipper, probably an apt look considering its fuel.  Alaka’i emphasizes three points in its sales literature: simplicity, safety and the cleanness of its fuel and operation. With several patents supporting the aircraft the machine supports its creators’ backgrounds, including …

Ampaire Flies Hybrid Test Bed

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

Ampaire, a tech startup based in California, announces, “Our mission is to be the world’s most trusted developer of practical, compelling electric aircraft from short-haul cargo to supersonic passenger transport.”  They also claim to have demonstrated the “highest-capacity electric aircraft ever flown” last Thursday, June 5th at Camarillo, California.  The company hopes to “have regular commercial service for passengers and cargo as soon as 2021.” Using a Cessna 337 Skymaster was a canny move for the young firm, giving them ample weight-carrying ability to have a petrol engine in the nose and a dual-Emrax motor system behind the cabin and between the twin tail booms. The push-pull arrangement adds to engine-out safety with no assymetrical thrust as on a conventional …

Bigger, Better, and Electric – Flight Design F2e

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

Electric Flight.eu reports on the new Flight Design F2e, a two-seater and first of an expanding range of aircraft that might even include hydrogen-powered craft.  The smaller Flight Design CT has been flying for over 18 years, and over 2,000 have been sold, but typical of the small aircraft industry, Flight Design has been assimilated under a larger entity, Lift Air. Working with Siemens for the new craft’s motor and APUS* for assistance with design and certification, Flight Design has created a light sport aircraft that provides safety, comfort and good performance on either gasoline or electric power. While the gasoline-powered version will probably be held to LSA weights, the electric model will have a reported maximum weight of 1,100 …

Another Kind of Skyport for Volocopter

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

Following last year’s Uber Elevate Summit, one came away with the idea that future landing areas for Urban Air Mobility vehicles would be multi-story and expansive, with connections readily available to other forms of commuting.  Volocopter, working with Skyports , has Volo-Ports coming, with the first one due to open by the end of this year.  The “stunning designs” for these landing pads will come from the agency Brandlab.   Drawings released so far show that Voloports will be simple and modular, enablihg their distribution in many locations or clustered in one centralized facility. Introduced at the Berlin Green Festival, Volo-Ports appear to be open, friendly places where one can be introduced effortlessly to the joys of taking Volocopters to distant places.  …

Clean Jet Fuel from the Air?

Dean Sigler Announcements, Biofuels, Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

What if we could suck carbon from the air, make clean jet fuel out of it, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using this fuel in our airliners?  That’s a dream pursued by many researchers, and recently Rotterdam the Hague Airport announced a study to sort out the plausibility of such a plan.  First, though, we need to look at the numbers for how much fossil fuel would have to be replaced. These are Big Numbers How much fuel goes into a large jetliner?  How efficiently is it used?  These are matters of concern to airline executives on a profit-and-loss basis, and to all of us on an environmental basis.  Let’s look at the Boeing 787 Dreamliner variants for an …

A 2/3-Scale XTI TriFan 600 Hovers Successfully

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

XTI’s TriFan 600 recently flew as a TriFan 665, for the 65-percent test concept vehicle.  There are good reasons for a first flight on this reduced scale, including being able to use smaller motors and batteries, less material, and possibly simplified systems. On May 8, 2019, XTI Aircraft announced that they had successfully completed the first test flights of its 65% scale prototype of the TriFan 600 VTOL aircraft:  The 2/3 concept machine, built on the local Experimental Aircraft Association’s turf, elicits some wonder because none of the chapter’s recent newsletters or Facebook posts mentioned that this project was underway.  Having worked in a design/build architectural-engineering firm, your editor knows all too well what the phrase “confidential client” means.  Chapter 512, knowing …