EJ-1, A Circle of Power

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

Consider encircircling yourself with a ring of tiny electric motors turning a collection of well-coordinated thrusters.  Electric Jet Aircraft of Anderson, Indiana showed off their vehicle, claimed to be the world’s first wearable electric jetpack – the EJ-1, at Oshkosh, Wisconsin during this week’s AirVenture air show.  A 16-motor, battery-powered rig that weighs around 100 pounds, depending on the battery pack, it’s made to fly several feet off the ground while carrying a 200-pound pilot. The product of 13 years of preliminary design and innovation, the aircraft was test flown before its introduction at the Urban Mobility Showcase at the show.  Composed of four “JetPods,” modules of four electric motors and associated controllers that produce 80 pounds of thrust each, …

Link & Fly – Speeding up the Turnaround

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Link & Fly could speed up airport ground operations and make more flights per day possible.  AKKA Technologies, a French consulting and design firm, links two of its areas of expertise, railways and aircraft, in an airborne equivalent of linking an available flight vehicle to a railroad passenger “car.”  First shown at this year’s Paris Air Show, the aircraft, “Addresses multiple passenger, aircraft, and infrastructure operational challenges through innovative technologies.” Today, AKKA announced the successful test flight of a 1:13 turbine jet drone near Toulouse, France, which the company lauded as, “An exciting moment for AKKA and a major step in the Link & Fly project.”    AKKA adds, “This is the minimum scale model required to adequately reproduce flying conditions …

Airbus Mimics Bird of Prey

Dean Sigler Biomimicry, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

This Will Probably Never Be Built Airbus displayed a large model of its “Bird of Prey” concept at this week’s Royal International Air Tatoo air show at Royal Air Force Fairford.  The model is meant to inspire expanded investigation of the benefits possible with biomimicry, the intelligent plagiarism of nature’s best ideas. Airbus extols this idea in its press release: “Airbus has unveiled a bird-like conceptual airliner design with the goal of motivating the next generation of aeronautical engineers, underscoring how they can make a difference by applying technologies researched at the company in hybrid-electric propulsion, active control systems and advanced composite structures.” The ‘#BirdOfPrey’ is taking wing! This sleek new concept takes inspiration from eagles to create a hybrid-electric …

Open PPG Rev. 4

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

An Open Source Project Powered paragliders (ppg) have been a relatively inexpensive and fairly reliable method of getting off the ground for several decades.  The OpenPPG organization enables one to be part of a group effort to improve a simple, light framework and power systems as part of a group effort. The group’s web site proclaims, “The OpenPPG project is the solution to easy, convenient, and affordable powered paragliding. With its simple user-friendly, maintenance free, and lightweight design it has never been safer and easier to experience the thrill of flight.” Here we see the first flight of the rev. 3 model.  The body-cam is a bit distracting, but does give a view of the steps required to ready the machine for flight. A second video …

Crossover Preparing for Market Re-Entry

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

Teofilo Leite introduced his Crossover, a touring motorglider powered by two Emrax motors, several years ago.  This video from six years ago shows how it was configured then.  Crossover has gone through several changes in its mode of propulsion since then and has become the svelte form that expresses a need to fly. In its original configuration, Crossover’s flaps, landing gear and motors extended and retracted, a neat bit of packaging in the slender fuselage.  The airplane went through several changes, including one variant, shown at Aero 2014, that had a Rotax engine driving a long carbon-fiber shaft that drove a series of belts to a tail-mounted propeller.  On the other side, a hybrid version with Rotax engine driving a …

Total Operating Costs – Batteries Included

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

Gilles Rosenberger, co-founder of Faraday Aerospace with Michael Friend, former Technology Director for Boeing, commented on a recent entry on H55’s Energic two-seat trainer.  He expanded on the idea of total operating costs for electric aircraft, including the battery replacement. He congratulated the H55 team and added a point about which your editor will attempt greater diligence.  “But why keeping talking about operating cost and not total cost of ownership?  No pilot, no student is going to pay only few dollars per hours based on the energy cost.  Who do you believe is going to pay for other cost including the battery amortization?” Practicing the best public relations and salesmanship gambits, most aircraft sales operations don’t mention the eventual cost …

Contrails and Climate Change

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Contrails are the trails of condensed water vapor that follow an airplane at a high enough and cold enough altitude.  They became a visible presence in World War II and were part of newsreels of allied bombers hitting Germany and dog fights over the English countryside.  There was more than just an aesthetic side to the new, high clouds in the sky, though. Post-9/11 During the attacks on September 11, 2001, FAA controllers, “Did the only thing they could think of to try to control the situation: ordering every aircraft in U.S. airspace, about 4,000 of them, to land somewhere, anywhere, immediately.” “Canadian officials followed. Airports in Atlantic Canada quickly filled with thousands of bewildered people who had been flying west across the …

Volt Aero Cassio Hybrid – From France

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

You may have noticed an ongoing divide in electric aircraft philosophies, that of designing from a blank sheet, or that of converting an existing airplane from fossil fuel to electric power.  French company VoltAero has chosen the second path with its Cassio. A conversion of a Cessna 337 Skymaster, it shares similarities to Ampaire’s 337 conversion, with significant differences in its power configuration. What has Five (Three?) Motors and Three Propellers? Ampaire’s 337 conversion retains the “push-pull” arrangement of the original, with the “pusher” an electric power unit behind the cabin and between the twin tail booms.  VoltAero’s replaces the front engine with a faired, engineless nose and one REX 60-kilowatt (80.4 horsepower) electric motor on the nose of each …

What Has One Engine, Six Motors and Seven Propellers?

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

EcoPulse™, a collaboration by Airbus, Daher, and Safran is a fixed-wing distributed hybrid propulsion aircraft whose power system emulates many of the Urban Air Mobility vehicles that use an electric Vertical Take Off and Landing configuration.  Safran, notable for its gas turbines, will supply the propulsion system (excluding batteries).  The system consists of a turbogenerator (combined turbine and power generator), an electric power management system, and integrated electric thrusters (or e-Propellers) including electric motors and propellers faired neatly into the wings. EcoPulse partners claim the six small electric motors spread along the leading edge, while providing propulsion thrust, lead to a reduction of wing surface area – much of the wing gaining lift from the blown areas, lowered wingtip marginal …

Borschberg, H55 Introduce BRM Energic

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

Leadership is about empowering people to make them owner of their world, and constantly challenging them to make them extend their known territory.” Andre’ Borschberg Andre’ Borschberg’s current challenge, shared with Bertrand Piccard, involves their Solar Impulse Foundation, whose goal is to foster 1,000 solutions “that protect the environment in a profitable way.”  “Profitable” helps produce results, and with Piccard being a psychiatrist, ensures the self-interest that drives many also drives a certain level of altruism in saving the environment. Borschberg and two other Solar Impulse leaders, Sébastien Demont and Gregory Blatt, founded H55 and produced a modification of the Silence Twister, a single-seat aircraft with a Siemens motor.  Their latest conversion, following their philosophy of, “Building up experience by …