Long Hours of Droning On

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Several different organizations are trying different ways to keep unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs, up longer.  We’ll look at three recent efforts in long-endurance missions, each with a unique technological approach. Wirth Research – Hydrogen Fuel Cell Wirth Research is now constructing a new tilt rotor, Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL), hydrogen fuel cell powered, advanced terrain-mapping drone.  Carrying a payload of sensors and onboard data processing capabilities, the vehicle will be powered by a complete H2 storage, control and power system provided by HES of Singapore, a specialist in ultra-light hydrogen fuel cells. The Wirth machine’s missions range from precision agriculture, to pipeline and cable inspection for utilities, surveillance and other security-related tasks, through to detection and monitoring support …

SolarStratos Makes First Flight

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

SolarStratos, a feather-light 450 kilogram (990 pound), solar-powered airplane, lifted off for the first time on May 5 in Payerne, Switzerland.  Considering its 24.9 meter (81.69 feet) wingspan, the airplane shows designer Calin Gologan’s ability to squeeze performance from every gram of structure.  It flies nicely, too, with test pilot Damian Hischier enthusing, “The plane is very nice to [fly].  [Its] reactions are healthy, and we see that it was well designed.” Sharing Payerne Airport with Solar Impulse, SolarStratos represents a different kind of adventure, ready to make five-hour flights to 75,000 feet (two hours up, five hours down).  Such flights can carry a pilot and scientific measuring equipment, or for those lucky enough to have the price of admission, …

Exciting News from Eric Raymond and Dr. Van Helsing

Dean Sigler Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

We are excited to share this press release from Eric Raymond at Solar Flight.  Being in on things at the beginning of an extraordinary new technology is something that we strive for in this blog.  We were alerted to this by Dr. Abraham Van Helsing from the Transcendental Aerodynamics Department of the University of Transylvania.  He has been advising Eric on some arcane aspects of what most will agree are nearly unbelievable propulsion techniques. For immediate Release April 1, 2017 Today Solar Flight Inc. is proud to announce the roll out of its newest electric aircraft, the Monarch. In secret development for the last 2 years, it breaks new ground for this small aircraft development firm. The most revolutionary aspect …

Solar Impulse Pilot Andre’ Borschberg to Speak at SAS 2017

Dean Sigler SAS, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

One of two pilots who guided Solar Impulse around the world will speak at the 2017 Sustainable Aviation Symposium.  Andre’ Borschberg, having accomplished along with Bertrand Piccard an extraordinary voyage, uses his reputation and celebrity to educate the world that the “Future is Clean,” a watchword for the team’s ongoing efforts. Last November, for instance, Bertrand Piccard “launched the World Alliance for Clean Technologies under the umbrella of the Solar Impulse Foundation – a second phase in the realization of his vision that clean technologies can accomplish impossible goals and solve many of the challenges facing our society today.” In the meantime, Andre’ uses his engineering talents and perspective to bringing about practical outcomes derived from his and Bertrand’s experiences.  Because …

 George Bye – Electric Aerospace in Small, Medium and Large

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Hybrid Aircraft, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

George Bye has been crafting and testing electric aircraft for the last decade and now has four craft of varying size demonstrating the reach of his vision.  Bill Moore interviewed George for EVWorld.com recently.  We’ll review the airplanes with which George is involved, starting small and working up to a spectacular cross-country cruiser. Silent Falcon Although the UAV company associated with the Silent Falcon is not part of Bye Aerospace, it had its origins there.  Now located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Silent Falcon operations are overseen by John Brown, former Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Bye Energy. Silent Falcon’s glider-like 14-foot wing, high efficiency airfoil, electric power and high-efficiency solar cells allow up to five-hour surveillance flights.  Its ability to …

Will You Be Able to Print the Solar Cells for Your Wings?

Dean Sigler Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

That may sound like a silly question, but thin-film solar cells are pushing the boundaries of lightness and efficiency that will make them viable candidates for use on aircraft.  Looking back at earlier achievements demonstrates the great things that can be done with limited resources.  Eric Raymond, for instance, made a solar-powered flight across the United States in 1990 on amorphous solar cells that were only about two percent efficient. His Sunseeker Duo, which he flies around Italy and Switzerland with Irena, his wife and co-builder, has modern thin-film cells that are 23-percent efficient – a ten-fold gain.  Before that, the earliest two solar-powered flights were charged by big, round solar cells, not terribly efficient and lacking full coverage of …

SA Symposium 2017 – An April Festival of Electric Flight

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, GFC, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, SAS, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

April 21 and 22, 2017, set your GPS for N 37° 31′ 20.84” W 122° 15′ 38.31” – the Hotel Pullman San Francisco Bay.  The refined and beautiful setting and four-star accommodations make a grand accompaniment to the story we will share. The story of the 2017 Sustainable Aviation Symposium includes the latest in aerodynamics, electric power and energy storage.  It’s a grand and sweeping review, told by talented intellects in the context of using the latest technology to help save the planet.  A few exemplars of the program highlight this year’s story, “ A Keynote Address from a Master Designer Tine Tomazic, Director of Research and Development for Pipistrel, created the G4 to win the 2011 Green Flight Challenge, …

SolarStratos Unveils a High-flying Motorglider

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Raphael Domjan is an adventurer in every sense of the word.  He’s sailed around the world on solar power, and attempted to paddle his way across the Northwest Passage in a solar-powered kayak. And now, he’s revealed an airplane that could carry him to the stratosphere on solar power. SolarStratos is a 24.9-meter (81.7 feet) span motorglider shown to the public for the first time yesterday in Payerne, Switzerland.  With stage smoke and rock-concert lighting glittering from the solar cells on its wings and tail, the Calin Gologan-designed craft materialized before the crowd of 400 (according to Calin) gathered in the specially-built hangar. At a loaded weight of only 450 kilograms (990 pounds), SolarStratos should climb well on its dual motor, …

Acentiss Electric Dual-Rotor Aviation Motor

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

Acentiss is a German engineering and consulting firm specializing in medicine, aerodynamics, and recently, the creation of two small electric motors for light aircraft.  Located almost symbolically between Robert Koch Strasse (Nobel Prize in Medicine) Max Plank Strasse (Nobel in Physics), and EinsteinStrasse (Nobel in Physics) in Ottobrunn, the company not only provides design services for wind turbines and their components, assistance with process flows for the manufacture of medical equipment and devices, and consultancy services for the automotive and aeronautical industries, but has created components for use on light aircraft and unpiloted aerial systems. Their motors, developed with assistance from Geiger Engineering, look a great deal like the HP-25D from that company, often seen flying on PC-Aero aircraft.  The …

Solar Ship Sells Four Inflatable Solar Airships

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

People in remote areas of Africa may find relief coming quickly to disaster zones with Manaf Freighters’ purchase of four Solar Ship aircraft. Solar Ship’s Uniquely Hybrid Form Solar Ship, located in Toronto, Canada, builds solar-powered triangular, blimp-like flying machines that could serve as lifelines to the world’s most remote places.  Solar Ships range from an 11-meter wide (it’s hard to call it a wingspan) envelope to a projected 100-meter (328 feet) wide monster that could carry up to 30,000 kilograms (66,000 pounds) for a minimum of 2,000 kilometers (1,240 miles). The blog reported on Solar Ships three years ago, when their few flying examples were testbeds for the possible future development of practical load haulers.  Combining buoyancy with aerodynamic …