Brian Carpenter’s EMG-6 Webinar

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Brian Carpenter, designer of the EMG-6 motorglider which he’s shown over the last several years at AirVenture, will stage a webinar to discuss “the design and development concepts of this new electric motorglider.”  His talk will have special “Emphasis on the integration of the electric propulsion concepts that he believes will change the face of the light aircraft and ultralight industry.” Your editor has visited Brian’s Corning, California workshop several times, and always found new and innovative approaches to producing a low-cost, self-launching motorglider, with several ways to simplify construction and to power the craft.  It will be interesting to see progress on the newest motor (apparently still under development) Brian has presented on his web site. He has been …

Additive Manufacturing for Electric Motors

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

United Technologies Research Center (UTRC) is working with the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) on the “Additive Manufacturing of Optimized Ultra-High Efficiency Electric Machines,” or making motors through 3-D printing with metals, possibly obviating the need for rare-earth elements. The $2.7 million ARPA-E award will fund the East Hartford, Connecticut-based project through early 2016 and may lead toward the goal of creating lower-cost, more efficient motors. Because modern permanent magnet motors require rare earth minerals in their magnets for maximum performance, manufacturers must make optimum use of these minerals with minimum waste to be successful.  Because these minerals do not exist in large quantities in North America, makers must import a great many of them from Asia, where …

Yet Another Printed Airplane, And a Plastic Rolls-Royce Turbofan

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Fariss Samarrai of the University of Virginia reported on two fellow students and a faculty advisor who “printed” a two-meter (6.5 feet) wingspan airplane. Third year engineering student Steven Easter was part a group that “built” a one-quarter scale Rolls-Royce turbofan replica using 3D printing, a method in which components are created from thin layers of material fused together.  Because the material used was plastic, the engine cannot be “fired up,” but is run with compressed air. It would be nice to think that all the pieces come out neatly finished and ready to go, but in this project, students had to add a great deal of hand finishing and assembly. According to Popular Mechanics, “…[faculty advisor David] Sheffler gave the …