Google to Sponsor Green Flight Challenge

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google to bring historic firsts to aviation Aviation’s largest ever prize to be awarded at Moffett Field October 3 during exposition hosted by NASA SANTA ROSA, CA (July 29, 2011) – The CAFE Foundation announced today that Google will sponsor the NASA Centennial Challenge flight competition known as the Green Flight Challenge (GFC). CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) will conduct the event from September 25 through October 2, 2011 at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport.  The NASA-funded prize purse of $1.65M makes this the largest ever prize for aviation.  Competing aircraft must demonstrate at least 100 mph and 200 passenger MPG on a 200 mile flight.  The aircraft in the Green Flight Challenge sponsored …

Serge Pennec, the Gaz’aile, and the 56 Euro Grand Buffet

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Americans often speak of the $100 hamburger, the food of choice at some airport café a Cessna hour away from one’s home base.  The trip to eat and return often accounts for that sum, with avgas stretching toward $6.00 per gallon.  Imagine, then, making a coast-to-coast trip across one’s native land, surveying a dazzling array of scenic delights and partaking of French cuisine along the way – all for not quite that amount. Europe abounds in small, turbocharged Diesel automobiles, sometimes zippy little things that exhibit excellent fuel economy.  Many of these cars strive for the “3-liter” designation – the ability to drive 100 kilometers (62 miles) on three liters of fuel (78.4 miles per gallon) and the European Union is pushing …

Big Frog Diesel Racer – A Different Kind of Green

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

There are only 10 Nemesis NXT racers in the world, and one happens to be in France, getting tuned up to compete in this year’s Reno Air Races in about 10 weeks.  On display last month at the Paris Air Show, the lightweight, carbon-fiber racer lacked the usual Lycoming IO-540 engine, a six-cylinder powerplant that cruises the 1,500 pound two-seater at 325 miles per hour. Aviation International News Online’s Olivia Saucier reported, “The Big Frog racer is getting attention for more than just its tongue-in-cheek patriotic name. The French aircraft is the first carbon-fiber race plane to run on a Diesel engine powered purely by jet-A fuel. And it is turning heads here at the Le Bourget show. “Big Frog …

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 Leave a Comment

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 …