Eurosport Crossover Sports Many Tricks

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

We’re used to seeing motorgliders which pop an engine or motor up on a tall stalk behind the cockpit, then retract it into the slim tailboom for minimum drag.  Why not do the same with two electric motors on each side of the airplane, tucking them in a slender fuselage for soaring? Emails with Eurosport’s Tom Leite and perusal of the Portuguese firm’s web site and on-line brochure verified that almost everything on the Crossover motorglider is electric and retractable. Tom notes, for instance, “Our motor/props fold into the fuselage: [they are] 3-phase PMSM motors up to 40Kw at takeoff each.”  In the video, see the long, spar web-like structure with lightening holes that separates the two motors as they …

Sunseeker Duo Shows Completed Form at Friedrichshafen, Moves to Italy

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Erik Raymond is moving his shop and Sunseeker Duo project to Voghera, Italy, nestled in Northern Italy between Milan and Genoa.  He showed the completed airframe at this year’s Aero Expo at Friedrichshafen, Germany and discussed, no doubt, the future of electric aviation with Axel Lange, the CEO of Lange Aviation.  Lange has developed the Antares and Arcus electric motorgliders, both outstanding designs. Following the Expo’s finale, Erik and his wife Irena drove south to Italy, where their enterprise will complete work on the Duo and plan for their proposed trips in unexplored realms– all on solar power. With Solar Impulse crossing the United States (which Erik did in 1990 in Sunseeker I) and more flights planned by other participants, …

Floating Over the Danube: The Vision of the Little Tailor of Ulm Lives

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The beautiful blue Danube River of Strauss waltz fame, “…Rises in the Black Forest mountains of western Germany and flows for some 1,770 miles (2,850 kilometers) to its mouth on the Black Sea. Along its course, it passes through nine countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. In 1811, Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger, a tailor in the city of Ulm near the headwaters of the second longest river in Europe, tried a novel idea – flying across the river on a nicely sewn-together hang glider.  His splashdown marked the end of his aeronautical career, but made him famous and an unlikely harbinger of things to come. City fathers have announced, “In the spirit of Berblinger, and continuing his vision, the City of Ulm aims to promote …

FlyNano Flight Testing Teased

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

From the frozen north of Finland comes the news that FlyNano has flown its electric prototype.  Originally planned to have both two-stroke and electric powerplants, the five-meter span joined-wing flying boat is now only electric, its makers citing the strides made in development of motors and batteries in the last several years for their decision. Designed to stay under 70 kilograms (154 pounds) empty weight, FlyNano has a maximum takeoff weight of 200 kilograms (440 pounds).  Its small size and light weight make it possible to fly, based on the video, but with no specifications for motor, controller and battery. A company press release gives a “speed range of 70 – 140 kilometers per hour (43-87 mph) with a service …

Electravia Makes a Good Showing at Aero Expo

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, founder and President of Electravia, continues to find ways to expand her company’s product offerings while offering well-integrated packages of reasonably-priced electric aircraft and components. At this year’s Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany, her firm displayed the fuselage of the Electrolight 2, a modified Fauconnet sailplane, fitted with a 30-hp Lynch-type motor, controller, and batteries.  It is the least expensive electric motorglider on the market at only 30,000 Euros ($39,600), and allows powered flight for recharging costs of about 0.65 Euros per hour (86 cents).  The motor, normally graced by one of Anne’s wooden e-Props, had a forward-folding “clap propeller” or “bec de canard” (literally, the beak of the duck), a variant on the light carbon fiber propellers …

Pantera Rollout at Friedrichshafen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Friedrichshafen is the place to be for new aircraft announcements, with PC-Aero yesterday and Pipistrel today showing off new aircraft. Pipistrel, having won the Green Flight Challenge in September, could not rest on its laurels, today sharing the news that, “The revolutionary 4-seat all composite design, featuring retractable undercarriage, 200 kts cruising speed, 1000 NM range, comfortable cabin and a choice of three powerplants – conventional/hybrid/electric – is presented to the World for the very first time.” Those lucky enough to be at Aero 2012 , hall A5, will doubtless flock to see the Pantera, a graceful design that does 200 knots (230 miles per hour) on its 200-hp, Lycoming IO-390 engine while burning 10 US gallons per hour.  This …

Friedrichshafen Becomes Elektra

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Birgit Weißenbach, who heads up marketing for PC-Aero, the German firm that produces light electric and solar-powered aircraft, sends two pictures from the company’s display at Aero Expo, now taking place in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The display is overflown by a 1/5-scale model of Elektra Two, their anticipated two-seat electric airplane with solar cells, a design intended for travel, training and flying clubs. Another model, the Elektra Observer LT, represents their unmanned “Very Light Electric Aircraft” with solar cells to allow long-duration civil surveillance. On the floor, Elektra One has its full complement of Solar World solar cells, which supplement its battery power.  Elektra One Solar has longer wings and a larger solar cell area, both extending its range.  Both …

Green Flight Challenge – Day One

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation

  Sunday, September 25 marked the kickoff of the Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google, a NASA Centennial Challenge managed by the CAFE Foundation, with a thorough technical inspection for each entrant, followed by a weigh-in.  Held at the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, the event is an event of international importance, despite the small turnout. With only four entrants making an appearance out of the original 13 that had announced and made it through the rigorous design review, there might be cause for disappointment. Consider, though, the Berblinger competition held in April at the Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany. 36 teams signed up, 24 made it to the Expo, 13 started the course and eight finished. The GFC has a comparable start-finish …

Carplane – German for BiPod?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 8 Comments

Carplane is an innovative enterprise in Braunschweig, Germany, intent on producing a hybrid vehicle that, while it resembles the Rutan Model 367 BiPod, differs in significant ways. The company’s “pitch” is similar to those from other roadable car developers since the Waterman Aerobile or Taylor AeroCar.  “Imagine the daily commute without transfers, exits, congestion, or missed connections,” the German Center for Research and Innovation envisions.  “As an aircraft that can also drive on roads, the Carplane® will head for its destination in a beeline without detours or stop-and-go traffic. Located in Lower Saxony, Germany, and under the general management of Angela Fleck, herself a pilot, the Carplane GmbH is in the process of building such a dual-mode vehicle. Designed as …

Lindy Hop to Lindbergh LEAP

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Sun n’ Fun, following a disastrous sweep by an F1 tornado through the flight line on Thursday, March 31, came back strong the following day, with F-22 demonstration flights, the Blue Angels, and a full contingent of top-drawer aerobatic pilots. The Green Aviation exhibits your editor had hoped to visit were partly gone, tents and exhibits having been dismantled and carted away in the remarkable overnight cleanup effort that took place, but the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU)/Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP) Stemme S-10 gleams undamaged in the sun.  Lisa Costello, a graduate student in aeronautical engineering, explains some highlights of what the students are crafting.  Entered in the upcoming Green Flight Challenge, the S-10 was to use a combination of …