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 …

The Kindest Cut of All

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

In 1811, an inventive tailor in Ulm, Germany attempted a hang glider flight across the Danube River.  He failed in the attempt, but it became the stuff of legend and at least one television commercial.  Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger (1770-1829) had wanted to be a watchmaker, but was consigned to become a cutter of fabric.  Despite this, he used his spare time to invent things like the first jointed artificial leg in 1808. Perhaps his skills with fabric led to his fabricating a pair of wings, essentially a hang glider, Shunned by his fellows for working outside the discipline of tailoring, Berblinger poured his resources into building and testing his glider.  Leaping from a scaffold built for the attempt by Prince …

Man of La Manche

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 0 Comments

The French call the English Channel “la Manche” (the sleeve), nicely describing the shape of the waterway  while neatly avoiding calling it “English.” Gerard Thevenot, a long-time championship-level hang-glider pilot, celebrated the centennial of Louis Bleriot’s flight across la Manche by flying his hydrogen-powered La Mouette hang glider over roughly the same route Bleriot took between Calais and Dover on August 6, 2009.  Missing the centenary by a few days (Bleriot made the hop on July 25, 1909), Thevenot took an hour and seven minutes to duplicate the trip Bleriot managed in 37 minutes. Having displayed his craft at Aero Expo 2009 at Friedrichshafen, Germany in April, Thevenot also participated in the Coupe-Icare, an aeronautical-artistic fantasia near Grenoble, France before making his …