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 …

A Huge Battery with an Airplane Painted On It

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

Eviation, an Israeli company developing Alice, a high-speed, intermediate-distance commuter airplane, brought its prototype to the Paris Air Show this week.  Eviation co-founder and CEO Omer Bar-Yohay gave journalists a 27-minute overview of the aircraft, the philosophy behind it, and projections on its immediate future. “It’s basically a huge battery with some plane painted on it,” he told reporters. The 6,350 kilogram (13,970 pound) airplane carries 900 kilowatt-hours of batteries, equivalent to the cells in nine Tesla S P100D automobiles or one Tesla semi-truck.  Even that, according to rough figuring by yours truly and polished calculations by a smarter reader, seems to provide for only half the necessary energy to provide the range Eviation claims.  Will flight tests prove us …

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 …