Equator P2 Makes First Runway Hops

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

The Culmination of Eight Years’ Effort Tomas Brødreskift, his father and a dedicated team of volunteers have been working on a nearly no-budget, eight-year project to build a cutting-edge technology hybrid amphibian aircraft.  This past week, Equator P2’s wheels left the runway, twice on each of two days.  The team plans a full flight around the airport traffic pattern in the next few days. Although brief, the runway runs demonstrated the hand control’s proper operation, similar to the hands-only controls used on human-powered aircraft.  In that instance, the pilot’s legs are busy pedaling, obviating the need for manual operation only. In the Equator’s case, Tomas wanted simplified controls to make his aircraft a more desirable machine for future buyers.  He is, …

Two Siemens-Powered Electric Aircraft Debut

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

A U. S. Debut in Chicago Mary Grady, writing in AVweb, reports that “Siemens brought its prototype electric aircraft to the U.S. this week for the first time, showcasing the airplane at the company’s Innovation Day in Chicago. ‘Electric propulsion is one of the transformative technologies that will help the industry meet the goals of reduced fuel, emissions and noise,’ said Teri Hamlin, vice president of electric propulsion for Siemens. ‘By accomplishing testing on our systems on select flying testbeds in the lower power classes, we are gaining valuable experience and knowledge that accelerates and validates our other developments in hybrid-electric propulsion systems in the high power classes.’“ Testing in Waco Further testing of the technology will take place in …

Earth, Air, Water and Jet Fire

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

“I have always loved the desert. One sits down on a desert sand dune, sees nothing, hears nothing. Yet through the silence something throbs, and gleams.” Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince The SOLAR-JET project (Solar chemical reactor demonstration and Optimization for Long-term Availability of Renewable JET fuel. or SOLAR-JET) pulls carbon dioxide from the air, mixes it with water and exposes the mix to 1,500 degree (Centigrade) concentrated solar energy and makes a synthetic natural gas, with oxygen as the only exhaust.  Attempting to produce a useable fuel from CO2 has been an obsession for many over several decades.  Attempts to capture and store CO2 are expensive and usually only hide the carbon, ostensibly for eternity. SOLAR-JET explains its objectives …

UAVs Push Endurance Limits

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

Three unpiloted aerial vehicles of wildly different configurations recently set endurance marks, each a “personal best,” with some achieving world records.  The varying designs show what can be achieved by careful aerodynamic design and efficient powerplants. Aerovel Flexrotor Sets VTOL Endurance Mark Not just a fair weather UAV, Aerovel’s unmanned Flexrotor, named for the sea nymph Actaea, “lifted off into a grey and rainy morning with 7.5 kilograms (16.5 pounds) of fuel onboard”.  According to the company, “It transitioned from hover to wing-borne flight, and soldiered on through a showery day, a blustery night, and then another day in the breezy and unsettled air behind a cold front. As dusk fell it transitioned back to hover, and dropped gently down onto …

Equator P2 Assembled, Ready to Go

Dean Sigler Batteries, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Exciting new pictures from Tomas Brodreskift show that his nearly decade-long project has reached a happy completion.  The Equator P2, born in the mind of a talented industrial designer, seemed like a nice dream when your editor first saw it in renderings.  As one would expect from an accomplished product designer, the aircraft looked wonderful, set in inspiring backgrounds. A Man, A Plan, An Airplane As Tomas’ web site explains, “In 2008 the two Industrial Design students and pilots Tomas Broedreskift and Oeyvind Berven started work on the new EQP2 Xcursion, Equator’s first attempt on the light aircraft market. In this start–up phase the Equator team are working on making project assignments, design briefs, and specified diplomas that can be …

500 Miles on 10-Percent Plastic Waste

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Plastic threatens to choke the world’s oceans, five gyres or “garbage patches” of plastic debris twirling around in toxic profusion.  These plastic bits and pieces, slowly photodegrading into smaller and smaller pieces, also choke the fish and birds that feed on or in the water.  It’s a huge problem that invites grand visions for solutions In what may at first glance seem a very small attempt to help,”Campaigning Pilot Jeremy Rowsell has made history by flying a light aircraft more than 500 miles from Sydney to Melbourne, Australia, using conventional fuel blended with 10% fuel manufactured by the UK’s Plastic Energy, from plastic waste.” Jeremy flies a Vans Aircraft RV-9A, which uses a blend of “end-of-life” plastic waste, transformed from …

EC04 Design Wins 2016 Berblinger Prize

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A Big Win for Stuttgart Team Dipl-Ing Ingmar Geiß, Deputy Project Leader for e-Genius at the Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart, shared this pleasant news:  “I am happy to tell you that our hybrid-electric “ECO4” has won the Berblinger Prize 2016.  ECO4 combines an optimized electric airframe with a modern combustion engine generating electricity. This combination leads to an aircraft which cruises at 120 knots and consumes 40 percent less fuel than comparable state-of-the-art airplanes with conventional propulsion. As a further advantage, a small but powerful battery system enables a silent take-off without the combustion engine running, reducing significantly the noise emissions.”   The Berblinger Prize Gunter Czisch, mayor of Ulm, presented the 23,000 euro ($24,035 …

First motor Test Run for Equator P2

Dean Sigler Batteries, Biofuels, Diesel Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The Equator P2 is a hybrid amphibious two-seater that looks like the future.  Under development for a decade, this amateur-built machine looks highly professional, surpassing in form and function many of its factory-built peers.  It had its first motor run-up recently, a much-anticipated event that met all expectations. Looking Like the Future, Built in a Garage One can see the garage-built home of the craft in the simple bracing used to hold the tail-mounted motor in place, an example of the truly hand-made nature of the Equator prototype.  The rudimentary surroundings fail to show the sophistication of the design, however, including a power system similar to that used on the range-extended e-Genius. Progress over the last nine years has been …

Don’t Smoke ‘Em Even if You’ve Got ‘Em

Dean Sigler Biofuels, Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Biofuels would be wonderful if they didn’t starve people while feeding trucks, cars and airplanes.  Living with such a constraint, though, might prove to be productive, profitable, and environmentally sound. The Guardian describes efforts in America’s tobacco country to grow a crop that will be less destructive of human lungs and hearts if it is consumed in jet engines rather than in cigarettes. “’We’re experimenting with varieties that were discarded 50 years ago by traditional tobacco growers because the flavors were poor or the plants didn’t have enough nicotine,’ explains Tyton [BioEnergy Systems] co-founder Peter Majeranowski.” In a case that oddly enough is GMO free, “Researchers are pioneering selective breeding techniques and genetic engineering to increase tobacco’s sugar and seed …

Follow the Battery Money

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With Tesla’s $5.5 billion “gigafactory” already producing cells for its line of cars and its “Powerwall” home energy storage systems, it now seems like a tenuous, toe-dipping approach with Volkswagen announcing its own battery plans.  VW may invest up to $15.5 billion according to Tech News, the outlet projecting the highest number.  Others with less money but promising technologies are also betting on better batteries. Tesla Gigafactory Grand Opening – More to Come With only 14 percent of its total area completed, the Tesla Gigafactory on Electric Avenue (what else?) near Sparks, Nevada, is already up and running, producing Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack battery systems.  According to Teslarati.com, “Elon Musk told investors at the 4th quarter earnings call earlier this …