Geely Looks Skyward, Buys Terrafugia

Dean Sigler Batteries, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Geely is a huge enterprise, and while not the largest maker of electric cars in China, sold 766,000 gas and electric vehicles in 2016, growing 50 percent over the previous year.  Its profits grew 126 percent last year, primarily due to sports utility vehicle (SUV) sales.  As EV Obsession reports: “The 351,861 electric car sales registered in China during 2016 represent approximately 46% of ALL plug-ins sold worldwide this year, with Chinese carmakers responsible for 43% of all EV production in 2016.” Geely, surprisingly, owns Lotus, Malaysia’s Proton Motors, the firm that makes London’s iconic taxis, and Volvo.  Volvo just announced that all its cars will be electric or hybrid starting in 2019.  Fortune reports that the company has become highly …

PAL-V Goes on Sale in America

Dean Sigler Announcements, Hybrid Aircraft 0 Comments

Pal-V is a “flying car” that looks more like a flying motorcycle.  Its three wheels would make it so in many countries.  It flies as a gyrocopter, maintaining a sporty approach to its transition from ground to air.  One reader has suggested dropping the term, “flying car,” even though it has captured reporters’ (and America’s) imaginations for the last hundred years. Dutch Treat? The Dutch creation, under development for close to a decade, looks like a plausible contender for an all-purpose transportation device.  Its compact dimensions mimic a car on the ground, and its clever unfolding to become a gyrocopter allows quick and apparently easy transition from one mode to another.  The company calls the total experience, “FlyDriving.” In “car” …

Airbus’s Aerial Commuter of the Future?

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Airbus and its partner Local Motors have just finished a successful design challenge for delivery drones that can carry things like emergency medical supplies to selected destinations.  Recent announcements and the release of a patent drawing show Airbus is doing serious work toward delivering humans to their selected destinations in a scaled-up version of such drones.  Many brilliant people have tried to combine the benefits of ground and air transport over the years, including Molt Taylor, designer of the rightly famous Aerocars.  The example at Seattle’s Museum of Flight causes docents to lower their voices out of respect for the accomplishment. That’s certainly a concept promoted for last decade by Dr. Brien Seeley, head of the Sustainable Aviation Foundation and …

PAL-V, Carving Its Way into the Sky

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

John van den Heuvel, Science & Technology Advisor (Innovatie Attaché) for the Netherlands Office for Science & Technology (NOST), and working in the Dutch Consulate General in San Francisco, wants people to know about his country’s innovative answer to bland or grating driving experiences.  It may even signal a first wave in freeing up freeways and opening new aerial vistas for commuters. Think of the automobile commercials that show thousands of commuters trapped in grinding bumper-to-bumper traffic, only to be outdone by a spiffily-dressed, cheerful-looking soul who just happens to own the sponsor’s vehicle and to somehow find the magic exit road that takes the driver down open roads and past idyllic views.  We envy the thought, but most of …