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 …

Phosphorene Nanoribbons may Enhance Batteries, Solar Cells

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Hydrogen Fuel, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A great deal is made of how many great scientific discoveries are made by accident for everything from penicillin to Post-its®.   With no fewer than ten authors for the Nature letter “Production of phosphorene nanoribbons,” their discovery hardly seems “accidental.”  The letter, authored by Mitchell C. Watts, Loren Picco, Freddie S. Russell-Pavier, Patrick L. Cullen, Thomas S. Miller, Szymon P. Bartuś, Oliver D. Payton, Neal T. Skipper, Vasiliki Tileli and Christopher A. Howard, explains their happy “accident.” A Happy Accident “Nanoribbons, meanwhile, combine the flexibility and unidirectional properties of one-dimensional nanomaterials, the high surface area of 2D nanomaterials and the electron-confinement and edge effects of both. The structures of nanoribbons can thus lead to exceptional control over electronic band structure, the emergence of novel phenomena and unique architectures for …

Eviation Alice to Paris Air Show, U. S. Certification

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

Eviation is an Israeli aircraft company which believes in giving its customers a choice.  About to be shown at the Paris Air Show in July, Eviation’s Alice will be offered with either Siemens motors or MagniX units.  Air show visitors will see the craft with three Magnix 250 motors producing 375-horsepower each.  Roei Ganzarski, MagniX CEO says “They’re going to have a fully functioning aircraft, their first of type, at the Paris Air Show.  Our propulsion system is going to be on it.” Eviation’s nine-seat Alice is a bit of a trip through the looking glass, looking like a futurist’s dream machine.  The modern tri-motor features such light construction that it can carry three tons of batteries to provide 650 …

Cuberg Battery Flies 70 Percent Longer

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Cuberg’s recent test between their battery and a conventional lithium-ion battery resulted in the Cuberg battery keeping a drone flying 70-percent longer.  Given that the test is for two packs of equal weight, the result is an impressive one.  Cuberg’s co-founder and CEO has prepared for this success since his undergraduate days as a SURF (Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship) Fellow, putting his summer vacations to good use.  He used the knowledge and experience he gained in three summer fellowships to help lead a dozen students “to design and develop innovative and efficient mechanical systems (including HVAC, hot water, insulation, appliances, and more) for the Solar Decathlon net-zero house competition.”  The team won first place in the hot water contest and second …

Honda’s Fluoride Battery

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Can the stuff that protects your teeth find happiness storing electrical energy?  Researchers are brushing up on their chemistry to produce a fluoride battery – almost the total opposite of a lithium battery.  Three years ago, The Journal of Fluorine Chemistry quibbled, “Only a handful of publications exist on the topic of fluoride ion batteries (FIBs). These are electrochemical cells in which a negative anion—fluoride—enables charge transport. In this review, we will report, for the first time, an extensive theoretical screening of FIBs as well as an analysis of the safety and toxicity of electrochemical couples of such batteries.”   It continued with an exploration of high-temperature (150° C, or 302° F) and room-temperature examples of fluoride cells and ended with …

Equator P2 Flies Out of Ground Effect

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

Following a decade of development, Tomas Broedreskift’s Equator P2 Excursion prototype made its first flights out of ground effect, a significant step in flight testing. It flew in ground effect just above the runway on March 29, 2018.  This helped verify the center of gravity and enabled further tests under audit by the Norwegian Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA), which gave its release for full test at the end of February.  In a brief email, Brodreskift told your editor, “After 8 years in development it was about time!” Two flights on March 29 and March 31, 2019 gave the team the assurance that all systems are “go” for further testing.  Everything, according to test pilot Eskil Amdal, was more than acceptable.  …

Kryptonite – As in MARVEL Comics?

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

Ed Warnock, CEO of the Perlan Project, passed this on from Michael Coates, head of Pipistrel USA.  Despite its celebrated author and totally credible source, the following press release is open to scrutiny and will no doubt receive some rabid criticism. “Pipistrel ALPHA Electro completes 24 hour flight on a single charge! “The Pipistrel ALPHA Electro aircraft has successfully smashed the world endurance record for electric aircraft by completing its first 24-hour flight on a single charge! “Pipistrel engineers have recently tested different fuel cells and generator units to supplement the ALPHA Electro’s current 1-hour range. “Hugh improvements in electrical generation have unfolded with the recent (2016) re-discovery of Kryptonite in Northern Siberia and under the stepped Pyramid in Egypt. …

Superionic Batteries – Are We There Yet?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Tohoku University, near the northern Japanese city of Sendai, finds, in a recent paper, “…The development of complex hydride solid electrolytes that exhibit high ionic conductivity at room temperature will be a revolutionary breakthrough for all-solid-state batteries employing a lithium metal anode.”  Researchers at the University lists the potential energy density for a battery using these so-called “superionic” materials as greater than 2,500 Watt-hours per kilogram “at a high current density of 5,016 miliAmps per gram.   This energy density would result in the fabled 10X battery – ten times the energy density of a conventional lithium-ion battery – that has been the subject of international research for the last decade. Tohoku’s press release states, “Scientists from Tohoku University and the …

Structural Battery Doubles Flight Time

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

Structural batteries, structures which are also their own energy storage devices, are being looked at with increasing frequency.  Your editor has long been a proponent of integrating aircraft structures and the means of generating, storing and releasing energy – something he calls “the Grand Unified Airplane.”  Joe Faust, a hang glider pioneer and designer of energy-gathering kites, put the idea of including batteries in an airplane’s structure into your editor’s mind.  This video from the 1970’s shows Joe was not only athletic and adventurous – he was clean.  His Wikipedia page is even more fascinating. 40 Years Later at Case Western Following Joe Faust’s lead, Case Western professor Vikas Prakash has demonstrated the potential or structural energy storage at model …

Silicone Wrinkles Can Be Beautiful

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

 Hanqing Jiang, a professor in ASU’s School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy, has come up with a clever and inexpensive way to fight dendrites in lithium batteries.  Since these spiky little outbreaks can lead to battery fires, his team’s findings might lead to safer batteries.  The approach involves silicone. Many of us put up a (usually futile) fight against wrinkles, our youth culture spending fortunes to avoid the inevitable.  Scientists at Arizona State University, however, are encouraging wrinkles in their lithium-metal batteries, and pouring cheap silicone goo over their anodes to discourage dendrites from popping up. This novel approach to crafting lithium metal anodes for batteries is something Arizona State University scientists are working on, with surprising results.  …