Eraole in Flight – Further and Higher

Dean Sigler Biofuels, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Hydrogen Fuel, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Eraole is a unique machine in a sea of unique craft.  Powered by a combination of sunlight, Total biofuel, and hydrogen, Raphael Dinelli’s tandem-winged biplane has been under development for many years.  With it, Raphael hopes to cross the Atlantic in 2019, Duplicating Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 flight at about half the Spirit of the Spirit of St. Louis’s speed. Eraole’s first flight took place in 2016.  The video will allow you to compare its look then with its changed appearance today. Changes of Plane, Changes of Plans Dinelli’s original plan for the flight included the use of an algae-derived fuel to run Eraole’s engine/generator.  As reported by La Tribune, though, “For four years, the Ocean Vital Foundation conducted research with …

Ammonia + Light = Hydrogen

Dean Sigler Biofuels, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Hydrogen continues on its course of always being five to ten years away as a cheap, viable storage mechanism for energy.  The ideal of driving a car that emits only water vapor (or flying an airplane that zooms about on a few pounds of H2) seems like an ever-distant dream. Tina Casey, writing for Gas2.com reports on Rice University solution using stinky ammonia that might clear the air for hydrogen, though.  She explains that the October 8th celebration of the fourth annual Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day was great for natural gas stakeholders, since the gas is the primary source today for hydrogen.  Her headline indicates this could become a leading way to store and extract H2: “Forget the Hydrogen …

Volocopters to Hover Over Singapore

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Helena Treeck from Volocopter sent the following message this morning: “Bruchsal/Paris/Singapore, October 2018 – Volocopter, the pioneer in urban air mobility, announced today during Autonomy – the Summit of Urban Mobility in Paris, that they will perform a next set of inner urban flight tests in Singapore. The series of test that are scheduled to take place in the second half of 2019 are supported by the Ministry of Transport (MOT), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and Economic Development Board (EDB).” Already undergoing testing in Germany and Dubai, Volocopter’s 2X appears to be the company’s flagship for continuing development.  The following video (in French) intercuts a representative explaining the benefits of the Volocopter with images of its public flight …

Promising 3D Printed Microlattice Battery

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The three biggest words in battery structures are “Area, Area, Area.”  The more anode and cathode area a battery can expose to the electrolyte that carries ions and electrons between the positive and negative ends of the battery, the better.  Most battery configurations, according to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Missouri University of Science and Technology, block a great deal of interaction between these elements.  Their solution is to go porous in a microlattice battery, thanks to 3D printing. Electrodes present some surface area to the electrolyte, which can only interact with the surface area presented.  Rahul Panat at Carnegie Mellon and Jonghyun Park at Missouri S & T have created a cube-shaped battery composed of microlattice electrodes which …

UAVOS Flies ApusDuo HAPS

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

UAVOS, located in the midst of surrounding Google properties in Mountain View, California, sells a wide variety of goods and services related to the unpiloted aircraft world.  One of their biggest creations so far, the ApusDuo High Altitude Psuedo Satellite (HAPS) ran through a full series of tests.  The 10-meter span prototype vehicle will test control algorithms, including takeoffs and landings and verify HAPS aerodynamics.  According to UAVOS “Test flights fully confirmed the flight characteristics of the UAV.”   This is good news, since their next step will be to make at least a 15-meter wing (49.2 feet) wingspan version.  That will rely even more on “Control of roll, pitch, v-shape and slip…due to a controlled change in the angle of …

Communicating Between Ducted Fans and the Wing

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Aircraft quite often seem to get designed as an assembly of separate components, wings an entity unto themselves, engines or motors something attached to the fuselage or wings, and not always seen as a set of matched components until final assembly.  Quite often, different components are compromised from their optimal shape or structure because of the need to integrate them with other parts of the craft.  One group of researchers is finding ways to even cause components to begin communicating among themselves. Some parts, such as engines or motors, are hung on the wing or fuselage as replacements for earlier design variants.  The new powerplants may provide additional power, but they may also interfere with the overall performance and handling …

A Triple-Redundant Powerplant

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Your editor saw this Tweet from Frank Anton, head of Siemens eAircraft: FrankAnton @Frank_E_Anton Oct 9 Hybrid-electric with multiple redundancy: three independent drive units in one engine block. Should a module fail, flight can continue with two remaining components. Scalewings engine exists as concept, development work expected to take three years. This caused your editor to go quickly to the ScaleWings home page, where a beautiful P-51 Mustang in 70-percent scale dazzles.  The airplane is available in Ultralight, Light Sport Aircraft, and Experimental configurations using engines from the UL and Rotax lines up to a Chevrolet LS300, with a supercharged variant offering up to 600 horsepower.  Their brochure, in German or English gives a great overview of the features of this carbon-fiber …

DHL Parcelcopter Delivers the (Medical) Goods

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Vertical Daily News this morning reports on the DHL Parcelcopter 4.0 as it delivers medicines to an island in Lake Victoria on the northern tip of Tanzania.  The Parcelcopter is a fourth generation design from Wingcopter, a German drone manufacturer.  It’s found delivering packages autonomously in German mountain demonstrations and now in differently rugged terrain, flying life-saving packages to a remote island. With financial help from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ – The German Society for International Cooperation ) GmbH ( on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), DHL and Wingcopter have flown a total of 1,367 miles (2,200 kilometers) and about 2,000 flight minutes in a six-month trial.  The 37-mile (60-kilometer) flights …

Biofuels from Many Sources

Dean Sigler Biofuels, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

We’ve looked at an array of different biofuel sources ranging from used cooking oil and algae to farm and municipal waste.  This is essential as the percentage of airline emissions becomes a bigger part of our overall greenhouse gas situation.   The Guardian reports, “A 2017 estimate said air travel accounted for 2.5% of all carbon dioxide emissions, with the total emissions expected to quadruple by 2050.”We’ll look here at how some of the early efforts have panned out and examine a late-breaking surprise or two. Mustard Seeds? According to the Guardian, “A Qantas plane powered partly by mustard seeds has become the world’s first biofuel flight between Australia and the United States, after landing in Melbourne on [January 30, 2018].” …

Zunum Picks Safran Helicopter Engine for ZA10

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Ashish Kumar, CEO of Zunum Aero, announced that his firm will partner with Safran Helicopter Engines to use that firm’s Ardiden 3Z engine as the powerplant for Zunum’s 10-passenger regional airliner.  He lists the advantages this installation will provide. “Our ZA10 aircraft, under development for entry in the early 2020s, will be powered by dual power sources: propulsion batteries, and a Safran turboshaft in the 1,700 to 2,000 shaft horsepower (shp) Ardiden range.  This new model, the Ardiden 3Z, will be used as a hybrid power source achieving demanding cost, efficiency and uptime requirements.  It will be coupled with an electric generator, and the integrated turbo-generator will deliver 500 [kilowatts] of electric power to supplement propulsion batteries on key stages …