Chip Yates in a New Role

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

We are used to seeing Chip Yates breaking records – speed records, mostly – but there is a side to Chip that comes as a surprise to most, and his new position as Vice President of Marketing for Norsk Titanium AS (NTi) might come as a shock beyond surprise.   Chip continues with his other enterprises, noting, “Yates Electrospace Corporation was awarded a development contract for the U.S. Marine Corps to design and prepare to build a 1,000 pound payload, disposable drone to resupply troops in harm’s way!” NTi prides itself on being, “The first U.S.-based 3D printing company capable of producing complex titanium components that will meet aerospace quality requirements. The patented additive manufacturing technology uses titanium wire feedstock …

EAS IX:  Materials Design for Battery Breakthroughs

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Yi Cui’s presentation title ended with, “from Fundamental Science to Commercialization,” an indication of the long, tough road that new developments are forced to take.  Considering that Sony introduced the Lithium battery as a commercial entity in 1991 (and that following at least an 18-year slog from laboratory to mass production), mostly incremental changes have come for the chemistry, echoing Dr. Cui’s pronouncement at EAS III that lithium batteries followed a “growth curve” of about eight percent per year, meaning that about every nine years, they should double in performance. Cui’s estimate has been borne out in reality, Nature magazine reporting in 2014, “Modern Li-ion batteries hold more than twice as much energy by weight as the first commercial …

Bosch Doubles Down on Solid-State Batteries

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Bosch, the German electronics giant, is making a strong showing at the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA), and showing off its solid-state Li-ion battery technology.  It recently acquired Seeo, Inc., an American startup that has been developing such a battery for several years, and will add Seeo’s research to its own expertise and exclusive patents. Encouragingly, the company says it will be able to double the energy density of Li-ion batteries while cutting prices by half.  Perhaps discouragingly, Bosch says this will take until 2020 to bring to production. Green Car Congress quotes Dr. Volkmar Denner, chairman of the board of management for Robert Bosch GmbH, claiming a breakthrough.  “Bosch is using its knowledge and considerable financial resources to achieve a …

The Third Electric Airplane to Fly in Oregon

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Martin Koxxy, a mechanical designer for a micro-electronics firm in Beaverton, Oregon, has crafted his e-Gull, a design by Mark Beierle, over the last two years.  The airplane reflects Martin’s care and skills, with simplicity and attention to detail that makes it an airworthy jewel.   The paint lines on the fuselage roll neatly into the door flanges, both on the fuselage and on the door, for instance. Showing his expertise with electronics, Martin’s all-glass cockpit includes a moving map via a Samsung tablet, a miniature EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) by GRT Avionics, and a Cycle-Analyst, a device normally used by bicyclists with electric motor assist.  It monitors battery, motor and controller status among other things.  The latest version is priced at …

The Second Electric Airplane to Fly in Oregon

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Ken Dawe and Vim Toutenhoofd own a pair of Aeriane Swifts (“Manufactured and Improved by Aeriane since 1993”) powered flying wings they hangar at a small airport outside Newberg, Oregon.  Vim’s has a single-cylinder, two-stroke engine for self-launching and Ken’s has the Eck-Geiger HPD-10, 10-kilowatt motor, controller and battery system, as part of the Icaro 2000 setup designed and sold by Manfred Ruhmer. After Vim and Ken studied the videos left by Manfred Ruhmer on charging the batteries and hooking everything up,  and a few frustrating delays (flat tires mainly), Ken was able to start the motor, taxi out and take off.  The craft showed a good rate of climb and full control of the ultralight airplane.  The wing alone …

54 Rotors, Nine Autopilots, and One Human Pilot

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A man identified only as JetTurbine101 on his YouTube channel has been test flying a 54-propeller multi-rotor craft for the last year.  We see it evolving from back-yard flying to more open-air, higher moments in the videos below. His August 29, 2015 video includes the most detailed description of the Swarm man-carrying device so far.  JetTurbine man groups its counter-rotating propellers into six control channels with KK2.15 stabilization, the KK2 unit being a miniature autopilot normally used on model hobby craft.  The aircraft has a takeoff weight of 148 kilograms (325.6 pounds) and a claimed maximum lift of 164 kilograms (360.8 pounds).  Its combined motor power of approximately 22 kilowatts (29.5 horsepower) runs the battery pack down in 10 minutes. …