Wisk Tests Cora in US, New Zealand

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

Recently renamed Wisk (formerly KittyHawk) has resumed flight testing of its Cora eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) machines following a cautionary corona virus shutdown.  It’s already got a fleet, with several prototypes in the U. S. and at least four in New Zealand. New Zealand seems to have a lock on flight testing for unpiloted aircraft, with Pyka and Cora both finding amenable administrators willing to allow flight tests.  Boeing and Wisk are collaborating on achieving urban air mobility with the two-seat machine, and getting a lot of positive vibes from the locals.  Partly from the NZ government, partly from local businesses, and partly from indigenous Maori tribes’ people, Wisk and Cora have found wide-spread acceptance down under. …

Rising Above It: How the Automotive Industry is Elevating Urban Air Transport

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Introducing Giles Kirkland Editor’s Note: Today’s guest writer, Giles Kirkland, “… is a passionate car expert and dedicated automotive writer. He always researches on the newest car technologies and willingly tries them out, then sharing his thoughts and expertise with other automotive and technology enthusiasts across the globe. You can find Giles and his ideas at Oponeo and on Twitter.”  Since he lives in England, he tends to spell things like “tyres” differently, but also writes about them with great depth and charm.  Herewith, his introduction to our readers.  We hope to feature his insights in future outings. Many governments, industries and groups push for a “green recovery” from the COVID-19 pandemic or simply make increasing efforts towards reducing the negative impact …

Pipistrel Velis: Part of an Electric Heritage

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The Pipistrel Velis is the culmination of 13 years of electric aircraft development and the first to gain certification by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on June 10. Pipistrel has been in the electric airplane business since 2007 when it announced the Taurus Electro motorglider, which entered service in 2011.  That aircraft went through several iterations, and is still part of the Pipistrel lineup of electric planes, which includes the Alpha Electro Trainer, the Panthera Hybrid, and the new Velis. Alpha Electro Trainer in SoCal An electric version of the Alpha Trainer, the Electro has been in production since 2015.  With an empty weight of 615 pounds (279 kg) and a maximum take-off weight of 1,212 pounds (550 …

Eric Raymond Shares a Vision

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Eric Raymond is a real pioneer in electric aviation.  Decades before Solar Impulse made its epic flights Eric navigated his solar-powered Sunseeker I across the United States in 21 hops, traveling from Desert Center, California to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. He flew over the Matterhorn on his way from Germany to Italy in Sunseeker II.  He and his wife Irena build the world’s first two-seat solar-powered airplane, the Duo, which they regularly fly over Italy and Switzerland.  He shared the promise and mystique of such flight with the readers of Travel Forward recently.   The Future is Electric: Exploring the World in a Two Seat Solar Powered Airplane MAY 18, 2020 BY TRAVEL FORWARD While Tesla and other car manufacturers are …

Terrafugia in Transition

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

Terrafugia, a company started by a group of inspired college friends, has made it a mission to bring a flying car to the marketplace.  Quite literally – it’s in their mission statement: “Terrafugia’s mission is to create the ultimate mobility solution – flying cars.”  Even though the term is somewhat decried in current parlance – things like urban air taxis or sky taxis that would provide Urban Air Mobility being preferred. The Transition Their first craft, the Transition, earned a high hype score, with even Hammacher-Schlemmer including the flying car in their catalog.  It flew at AirVenture in 2013, demonstrating its folding wings and reasonable Light Sport Aircraft performance (even with a waiver for its “heavy LSA” gross weight). In …

Hydrogen Malibu’s on Two Continents

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Tuesday, June 23, ZeroAvia flew a hydrogen-powered Piper Malibu from Cranfield Airport in England., eight time zones from ZeroAvia’s home base in Hollister, California. Flown by Andrew Dixon, that and a subsequent flight gained extra publicity for “a James Bond stunt pilot*” helming the first electric aircraft capable of carrying passengers from a United Kingdom airport.  Dixon reported that the battery-powered Piper Malibu needed 10 per cent less distance for take-off and climbed faster than normal. The Airplane Was the Real Star Reflecting the high-flying status of the test pilot, the airplane, part of a government-funded “HyFlyer” project, flew two missions on two days of 15 and 25 minutes each.  Its two automotive-based batteries easily carried the six-passenger aircraft on …

John Langford’s New Direction

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John Langford has been a leading exponent of new directions in aeronautical technology.  From his work as project manager with MIT’s human-powered Daedalus project to his executive leadership with Aurora Technologies, he has crafted electric, autonomous, and downright astonishing vehicles.   The following video is long, but insightful and exciting.   We see Langford in several early scenes. Having seen Daedalus conquer the Sea of Crete like the mythical first airman, Langford spread his reach into ever more technologically complex problems.  His resume is deceptively short, since he’s held only two jobs since leaving college.  His LinkedIn bio is brief, but telling. “John Langford is the founder and CEO of Electra.aero, a startup developing hybrid electric aircraft for regional mobility. He founded …

Airflow: Coming to a Rooftop Near You?

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“1 pilot, 500 pounds of cargo,” reads Airflow’s headline for its electric STOL (Short Take Off and Landing) aircraft.  Reaching  for the “middle-mile” cargo delivery market, Airflow’s new design promises to be four times faster than trucks, operate at one-third the cost of helicopters or eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) vehicles, and require only 150 feet for takeoffs and landings. eVTOL Reconsidered Airflow’s management and engineering team come from previous experience in the eVTOL world, most recently with Airbus’ Vahana program.  Headed by Marc Ausman, The team has “over 60 years of aerospace experience,” with companies including Eclipse Aviation, Northrop Grumman, Uber Elevate, Airware, and Scaled Composites. The team determined their design can carry a pilot and a …

A Seven-Minute Quantum Leap

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Quantum Systems GmbH, located on the Dornierstraße (aptly named after a pioneering German aviation firm) near Munich, makes small eVTOL  (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) vehicles with large missions.  Quantum’s Tron and Trinity drones offer two platforms for deliveries of small packages, performance of surveillance and mapping, and providing tactical observation.  Last week, the company demonstrated a key benefit of using their Trinity drone to speedily deliver “more than 15 urgent corona (SARS-Cov-2) test samples.”  It was a seven-minute “Quantum leap” from a mobile corona test station on the Theresienwiese to the Munich laboratory. Dramatic Recounting True to press release writing, Quantum adds a bit of drama to the story. “Gilching, Deutschland, June 4th, 2020. The physician in protective clothes …

Bye Announces Progress, Purchases, Personnel

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Ms. Diane Simard, Executive Vice President and board member at Bye Aerospace, has brought several major pieces of news regarding the company’s progress, client purchases and  new personnel to your editor’s attention.  There are even plaudits for the firm and its founder. Progress Bye Aerospace explains an important facet of new aircraft development, especially for one with a totally new technology.  “A critical design review (“CDR”) is a multi-disciplined technical review to ensure that each eFlyer 2 primary system can proceed into fabrication, demonstration and test. The CDR review also meets the FAA 14 CFR 23 Amendment 64 certification standards and performance requirements within the eFlyer 2 cost, schedule and safety criteria.” George E. Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, expressed …