Green Flight Challenge: New Schedule and Rules

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

CAFE announced June 30 that the CAFE Green Flight Challenge has been officially rescheduled for Sunday, September 25 through Monday October 3, 2011.   It will still take place in Santa Rosa, California. A revised prize structure for the event has been approved and is detailed on the organization’s web site. Originally scheduled to run between July 10 and 17, 2011, various factors led to the decision to reschedule.  The restructured prize schedule changes the orginal “winner takes all” approach to a distribution of awards, with the winner still taking a substantial $1.3 million.   A series of formulas have been added to determine distribution of awards if more than one teams exceeds the 100 miles per hour, 200 passenger miles per gallon criteria.  Another formula redistributes the …

Green Flight Challenge, AirVenture Electric Contest Postponed

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Both the CAFE Foundation’s Green Flight Challenge and the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture Electric Flight Prize are being postponed: CAFE’s for at least a few months and EAA’s until next year’s AirVenture. The CAFE Foundation’s announcement reads simply, “Circumstances have required that the Green Flight Challenge be postponed for at least 2 months. Its new dates will be posted here very soon.”  The GFC was to have been held between July 10 and July 17 at Santa Rosa, California’s Charles M. Schulz field. The EAA is holding off because of delays in ensuring that all entrants will be certified and properly registered for the competiton. Their news item reads, in part, “‘As with any new, emerging technology, time is an essential element to ensure …

Greenelis GFC Contender Makes Paris Air Show

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 4 Comments

A trio of plane makers was seen pushing a trailer with an aeronautical looking object into the Paris Air Show last week.  It turned out to be the Greenelis PXLD, a Green Flight Challenge flyer, and it looked a great deal like the offspring of the Dieselis and the Gazaille, two French light sport aircraft powered by converted Diesel automobile engines and designed by Paul Lucas. Like its predecessors, it is made of wood and plywood, but in this case has a wing spar built of carbon fiber with “innovative geometry” and a wing covered with plywood.  Greenelis’ fuselage has wooden formers and longerons, and like its forbearers, a plywood shell giving its aerodynamic form. The 11 meter (35.2-foot) span, Two-place side …

Biofuels: Initiatives and Issues

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Reports from Germany, Switzerland, and America provide an insight into the problems that come with attempting to develop biofuel alternatives to jet fuel.  While various cooperative efforts are underway to promote expanded production of these “green” fuels, several parts of the industry are having problems of their own in making and distributing those fuels. Many of Germany’s biggest airlines, research groups and biofuel producers have banded together to promote” greater development and use of alternative fuels in the commercial aviation sector,” according to Flight Global.com. The resulting organization, the Aviation Initiative for Renewable Energy in Germany (Aireg), includes Air Berlin, Condor, Lufthansa, the Munich Airport, MTU Aero Engines, Rolls-Royce Germany and EADS, a variety of universities and research institutions and …

Synergy: A Practical Lightplane for the New Century

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

At EAS V, Synergy Chief Operating Officer John Paul Noyes framed his presentation of the Synergy aircraft by showing a picture of a 1973 portable telephone, then comparing it to a current model.  The clunky size, heft and limited utility of the former compared with its slim, feature-laden modern counterpart tells a story of intense design improvements, quantum increases in capabilities and far lower costs for a significantly better product – something usually anticipated in the history of modern products. Along with that historically comparative pairing, though, he showed pictures of a 1973 Cessna 182 and its Lycoming engine along with shots of modern examples of the two.  Not much other than the paint scheme distinguishes today’s Skylane from its …

Lucky 13 to Fly in Green Flight Challenge

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 4 Comments

Following rigorous evaluations of all aircraft to ensure they meet all standards for the contest, Dr. Brien Seeley, President of the CAFE Foundation, announced the 13 entrants who will compete in the Green Flight Challenge at Santa Rosa, California between July 11 and 17, 2011.  This exciting event will offer the public a first view of some incredible designs and resourceful competitors.  Since the minimum performance required for consideration includes things such as the ability to fly a 200 mile course at 100 mph or better average speed, the ability to clear a 50-foot barrier on a 2,000 foot runway during both takeoff and landing, and the efficiency to attain at least 200 passenger miles per gallon during the overall flight, all aircraft are obviously the most …

Genomics and Sunlight Equal Fuel

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

AvWeb.com has turned a moderately skeptical eye on a new energy development that would sound too good to be true if it weren’t for the prominent names involved.  John Podesta, former White House Chief of Staff, is on the Board of Directors – and even more convincing, George Church, sequencer of the human genome, is a founder of and science advisor to the firm, Joule Unlimited, Inc. Their web site has more registered trademarks than Burger King*, including Liquid Fuel from the Sun™, Helioculture™, SolarConverter™, and direct-to-end-product™.  Joule’s technology promises Diesel or ethanol liquid fuels in huge amounts, using “proprietary organisms” to directly convert CO2 struck by sunlight into replacements for existing fossil fuels.  According to Joule, “Our technology has already …

Smart Skies Down Under

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants 1 Comment

Mr Richard R. Glassock holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with honors, and supervises undegraduate unmanned aerial vehicle projects at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA). He currently leads the “Smart Skies” unmanned aerial systems flight-testing program and is working on his Master’s Thesis. At the Twenty-Fourth Bristol International Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems Conference, in 2009, Bristol United Kingdom he presented a detailed paper on a parallel hybrid system using off the shelf model aircraft components he and his associates designed and tested. “Multimodal Hybrid Powerplant for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Robotics” shows the use of an OS 10 cc model airplane engine, combined with a Plettenberg 220 motor. His group found …

An Off-the-Shelf Hybrid Power Package

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

Dr. Andrew Frank of the University of California at Davis and Greg Stevenson of GSE, Inc. discussed Efficient Drive Trains at the fourth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium on April 23, 2010.  Their detailed look at a 75-kilogram (165 pound), 36 kilowatt (48 horsepower) power system for a high-performance sailplane gave attendees a clear look at what can be accomplished with off-the-shelf components, especially if the shelf is in either presenter’s warehouse. Dr. Frank, teaching and mentoring in the University’s Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering Department, has been dubbed the father of the plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV), and has fielded winning teams for the Shell Eco-Marathon, with lightweight cars that obtained up to 3,500 miles per gallon.  The base two-horsepower Briggs and Stratton engine is …