EAS VIII – A Day and a Half You’ll Never Forget

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Who would pass up a chance to stay at a nice resort, attend lectures that challenge and inspire, and meet at poolside with speakers who bring some of the sharpest minds in the world to bear on some of the biggest problems we all face?  Let’s face it.  Global warming probably won’t be going away anytime soon, and aviation seems destined to play a bigger part in polluting our otherwise near-perfect atmosphere.

Unless…we learn how to make our favorite activity (in the top five for most of us, anyway), into a more responsible way to travel and recreate.  Since solving the problems which go with that responsibility will involve the best in aerodynamics, power systems and new, efficient technology, the CAFE Foundation has invited experts in these fields with demonstrated successes in meeting such challenges.

Electric aviation can be as light as this Panasonic aircraft which flew on AA batteries

Electric aviation can be as light as this Panasonic aircraft which flew on AA batteries

To be held April 25 and 26, 2014 at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California, the event will host speakers on everything from practical, currently available aircraft, motors and controllers to several possible designs for sky taxis, one of which, presented by CAFE board member Bruno Mombrinie, would incorporate a system enabling automated battery swapping.

19 different presentations will allow attendees to get an advanced view of near-future developments.  Ajay Misra, for instance, will present exotic materials and processes, including 2X nano-magnets and 3-D printing of electric motors.  Calin Gologan, CEO of PC-Aero, and George Bye of Bye Aerospace will join forces to explain advances in practical solar-electric propulsion for manned and unmanned aircraft.  Tine Tomazic and Dr. Gregor Veble for Pipistrel will tell how their company is working to achieve a certified hybrid aircraft.

Perhaps the aircraft of the future will combine hybrid power and advanced flight technology

Perhaps the aircraft of the future will combine hybrid power and advanced flight technology

Others reporting on propulsion systems will include David Calley, CEO of PlanetRider, who will show off “A New Low-RPM, High Power Density Motor,” and Mark Beierle, telling about his Joby-powered e-Gull ultralight.  Brian Carpenter, head of Rainbow Aviation, will be back to share the latest on his EMG-6 twin-motored glider – something now in initial flight testing.

Propellers, especially quiet ones, get a hearing from Dr. Gecheng Zha of the University of Miami, who wowed the crowd last year with his advanced ideas for high-lift airfoils; Jim Rust, CEO of Whirlwind Propellers, and Dr. Krish Ahuja, Regents Professor from Georgia Institute of Technology, who will explain the precise and automated synchronization of electric propellers.

Several speakers will take on the challenge of advanced aerodynamics, with Tom Leite from Eurosport Aircraft of Portugal talking about his Crossover, an electric twin motor glider with Fowler flaps and retractable motors and landing gear.  Anton Dilcher, the President of Idaflieg, Germany, an association of academic flying groups (akaflieg) will explain the high-level sailplane research and testing his organization undertakes.  Barnaby Wainfan, Northrop Grumman, will detail “Aircraft for Extremely Short Runways,” a prime concern for the CAFE Foundation.  This will be a great accompaniment to Dr. Brien Seeley’s talk on “Wheel Motors for Extremely Short Take Off.”

Maybe the design flexibility allowed by electric power will lead to craft like this

Maybe the design flexibility allowed by electric power will lead to craft like this

The question of whether future aircraft will be piloted or unmanned will be explored in a discussion on remote crews vs. full autonomy.  Two experts in autonomy, Sebastian Thrun – founder of Google X, and Dr. John Langford, CEO of Aurora Flight Sciences will help attendees envision this discipline’s future.

The all-important question of where the next generation of batteries will come from will be addressed by Christopher Cook, CEO of Lithium Start, who will discuss “Lithium-ion Battery Packs for Light Aircraft”; Dr. Avetik Harutyunyan of the Honda Research Institute, who will explore “Boron-laced Graphene Nanotubes for Extreme High Energy Batteries”; and Dr. Qichao Hu of MIT and SolidEnergy who will discuss his “Ultra-High Energy Density Lithium Battery.”

For high adventure and pushing the limits of currently available technology, few can touch Jean-Luc Soullier and his planned solo electric trans-Atlantic flight.

Maybe the airliner of the future will develop from things learned at this year's EAS

Maybe the airliner of the future will develop from things learned at this year’s EAS

Those of us who’ve flown through turbulence will appreciate Dr. Case van Dam’s talk, “High Tech Solutions for Ride Quality Enhancement in Small Aircraft.”  Dr. van Dam is the Chair of Aeronautical Engineering at UC Davis, so expect graphs and charts.

Finally, your blog editor will be experiencing a little turbulence of his own, attempting to list the possible off-the-shelf components that builders can use right now to create a working electric airplane.

All this, coupled with panel discussions and Friday evening theme dinners on the many aspects of electric flight, makes for a great learning experience and an opportunity to meet with leaders in the new and exciting field of Green Aviation.

You can register here, and we’ll be looking forward to seeing you in Santa Rosa.

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