HyPoint and Hydrogen Flight

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Their web site proclaims, “HyPoint, Inc. is developing the next generation hydrogen fuel cell system with zero CO2 emissions and game-changing energy performance for the air transportation and urban air mobility market.”  Pointing out a “fundamental barrier at a chemistry level” for lithium-ion batteries, the fuel cell maker launches some seemingly outrageous claims. HyPoint states, “Our patented technology increases operational time and utilization rate while decreasing TCO (total cost of operation) of any flying platform.”  They claim “5X operational time, 10X utilization rate, 20X faster charge,” and a TCO 90 percent of equivalent battery-powered systems. As we have reported here, demonstrated outputs for lithium-ion cells are around 350 Watt-hours per kilogram, and about 260 Whr/kg at the pack level.  HyPoint says it can already demonstrate a system-level …

Wisk Tests Cora in US, New Zealand

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

Recently renamed Wisk (formerly KittyHawk) has resumed flight testing of its Cora eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) machines following a cautionary corona virus shutdown.  It’s already got a fleet, with several prototypes in the U. S. and at least four in New Zealand. New Zealand seems to have a lock on flight testing for unpiloted aircraft, with Pyka and Cora both finding amenable administrators willing to allow flight tests.  Boeing and Wisk are collaborating on achieving urban air mobility with the two-seat machine, and getting a lot of positive vibes from the locals.  Partly from the NZ government, partly from local businesses, and partly from indigenous Maori tribes’ people, Wisk and Cora have found wide-spread acceptance down under. …

Rising Above It: How the Automotive Industry is Elevating Urban Air Transport

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Introducing Giles Kirkland Editor’s Note: Today’s guest writer, Giles Kirkland, “… is a passionate car expert and dedicated automotive writer. He always researches on the newest car technologies and willingly tries them out, then sharing his thoughts and expertise with other automotive and technology enthusiasts across the globe. You can find Giles and his ideas at Oponeo and on Twitter.”  Since he lives in England, he tends to spell things like “tyres” differently, but also writes about them with great depth and charm.  Herewith, his introduction to our readers.  We hope to feature his insights in future outings. Many governments, industries and groups push for a “green recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic or simply make increasing efforts towards reducing the negative impact …

Pipistrel Velis: Part of an Electric Heritage

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

The Pipistrel Velis is the culmination of 13 years of electric aircraft development and the first to gain certification by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on June 10. Pipistrel has been in the electric airplane business since 2007 when it announced the Taurus Electro motorglider, which entered service in 2011.  That aircraft went through several iterations, and is still part of the Pipistrel lineup of electric planes, which includes the Alpha Electro Trainer, the Panthera Hybrid, and the new Velis. Alpha Electro Trainer in SoCal An electric version of the Alpha Trainer, the Electro has been in production since 2015.  With an empty weight of 615 pounds (279 kg) and a maximum take-off weight of 1,212 pounds (550 …

Eric Raymond Shares a Vision

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

Eric Raymond is a real pioneer in electric aviation.  Decades before Solar Impulse made its epic flights Eric navigated his solar-powered Sunseeker I across the United States in 21 hops, traveling from Desert Center, California to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. He flew over the Matterhorn on his way from Germany to Italy in Sunseeker II.  He and his wife Irena build the world’s first two-seat solar-powered airplane, the Duo, which they regularly fly over Italy and Switzerland.  He shared the promise and mystique of such flight with the readers of Travel Forward recently.   The Future is Electric: Exploring the World in a Two Seat Solar Powered Airplane MAY 18, 2020 BY TRAVEL FORWARD While Tesla and other car manufacturers are …

Terrafugia in Transition

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Terrafugia, a company started by a group of inspired college friends, has made it a mission to bring a flying car to the marketplace.  Quite literally – it’s in their mission statement: “Terrafugia’s mission is to create the ultimate mobility solution – flying cars.”  Even though the term is somewhat decried in current parlance – things like urban air taxis or sky taxis that would provide Urban Air Mobility being preferred. The Transition Their first craft, the Transition, earned a high hype score, with even Hammacher-Schlemmer including the flying car in their catalog.  It flew at AirVenture in 2013, demonstrating its folding wings and reasonable Light Sport Aircraft performance (even with a waiver for its “heavy LSA” gross weight). In …

Hydrogen Malibu’s on Two Continents

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

Tuesday, June 23, ZeroAvia flew a hydrogen-powered Piper Malibu from Cranfield Airport in England., eight time zones from ZeroAvia’s home base in Hollister, California. Flown by Andrew Dixon, that and a subsequent flight gained extra publicity for “a James Bond stunt pilot*” helming the first electric aircraft capable of carrying passengers from a United Kingdom airport.  Dixon reported that the battery-powered Piper Malibu needed 10 per cent less distance for take-off and climbed faster than normal. The Airplane Was the Real Star Reflecting the high-flying status of the test pilot, the airplane, part of a government-funded “HyFlyer” project, flew two missions on two days of 15 and 25 minutes each.  Its two automotive-based batteries easily carried the six-passenger aircraft on …

John Langford’s New Direction

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John Langford has been a leading exponent of new directions in aeronautical technology.  From his work as project manager with MIT’s human-powered Daedalus project to his executive leadership with Aurora Technologies, he has crafted electric, autonomous, and downright astonishing vehicles.   The following video is long, but insightful and exciting.   We see Langford in several early scenes. Having seen Daedalus conquer the Sea of Crete like the mythical first airman, Langford spread his reach into ever more technologically complex problems.  His resume is deceptively short, since he’s held only two jobs since leaving college.  His LinkedIn bio is brief, but telling. “John Langford is the founder and CEO of Electra.aero, a startup developing hybrid electric aircraft for regional mobility. He founded …

Beta Alia: Electric with Tern-like Grace

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

A new aircraft’s first takeoff is usually performed under its own power, but the recent trip by Beta Technologies’ just-revealed Alia eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) aircraft was externally powered.  A 30-minute lift across Lake Champlain from Alia’s birthplace in Burlington, Vermont to its test site in Plattsburgh, New York was uneventful, but spectacular nonetheless. Helicarrier Assists on First Flight Hauled 100 feet below a Sikorsky S-61N from Quebec-based Helicarrier, the all-white, four-rotor Alia “crossed over the northern end of Burlington. With streets along its route blocked off by police, [it] then flew at a stately pace across the lake, usually just a few hundred feet above the surface of the water,” according to Vertical.com. Helicarrier, besides sharing …

Cuberg Batteries – Some Real Numbers

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Cuberg, a startup battery company based in Emeryville, California, is pretty specific about its cell-level battery performance – 369 Watt-hours per kilogram at a discharge rate of C/20.  This was verified in testing at the Idaho National Laboratory, with Cuberg cells demonstrating a specific power of 2,000 Watts per kilogram.   Cells lasted through “around” 370 cycles with C/2 charging before they dropped to the ability to maintain 80-percent capacity.  See a .pdf of the test results here. Verifiable Numbers INL tested around 20 of Cuberg’s battery cells, covering multiple cell variants across a spectrum of performance tests. “While the testing all looked good, our announcement addresses the specific metrics that are of most impact to our industry,” Cuberg CEO Richard …