WATTsUP at Pipistrel

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

No, that’s a statement and not a question.  Taja Boscarol of Pipistrel sent the following announcement this morning.  WATTsUP, their new two-seat electric trainer took its maiden flight on August 8th.  As part of its 25th anniversary celebrations, Pipistrel will display the airplane at the Salon de Blois airshow, France, on 30-31 August 2014. This is the third announcement of an electric trainer by a major aircraft manufacturer, counting Airbus with its anticipated e-Fan developments and American Electric Aircraft Corporation (AEAC) with its Sun Flyer.  We could count four with Adventure Aircraft’s EMG-6 under development in California for the ultralight market.  This would mark a potentially historic turnaround for General Aviation, with promised operating costs significantly lower than for internal-combustion …

PADA Lectures Highlight Innovation

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The 2014 Personal Aircraft Design Academy (PADA) dinner and awards ceremony, the latter held in the Vette Theater at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Museum, highlighted design innovation and the possible commercial exploitation of new technology.  Dr. Brien Seeley, Founder and President of the CAFE Foundation, hosted the evening and introduced your CAFE blog editor, who gave an overview of innovations in aircraft, avionics and powerplants he’d encountered on his daily hikes around Wittman Field. Dr. Seeley had the honor of presenting this year’s PADA trophy to John O’Leary, Vice President and General Manager of Airbus Americas Engineering (AAE), for the parent company’s development of the E-Fan, a twin-motored personal airplane that has been a highlight of the Paris and Farnborough …

EAS VIII: Dr. Jaiwon Shin Brings NASA to CAFE

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The CAFE Foundation was honored this year to have Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Associate Director for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), speak at the eighth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium.  His responsibilities at the agency, and his earnest regard for CAFE and its direction were evident during his talk. According to his NASA biography, “Dr. Jaiwon Shin…  manages the agency’s aeronautics research portfolio and guides its strategic direction. This portfolio includes research in the fundamental aeronautics of flight, aviation safety and the nation’s airspace system.”  Such tasks include overseeing the next generation (NextGen) air traffic control system, funding promising research projects, crafting policies that will assure ongoing progress in creating cleaner, safer flight vehicles, and coordinating …

The Personal Aircraft Design Academy – IMPORTANT UPDATE!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Brien A.Seeley M.D., PADA Program Chair and President of the CAFE Foundation, sends the following invitation. The highlight of Oshkosh AirVenture for me each year is the Personal Aircraft Design Academy (PADA), whose casual, delicious, catered buffet ‘networking’ dinner is followed by its colloquium for leading aircraft designers, enthusiasts and aero engineers.  Several of the renowned previous PADA Trophy recipients are expected to dine and attend PADA 2014, where we will reveal and honor the 12th annual recipient of the perpetual PADA Trophy.  For 2014, the presentation program will feature two exciting new aircraft: Richard Hogan from Commutercraft  will present ‘The Innovator—a New 3–‐surface Aircraft’ and Oliver Garrow will present the technical details of a new tilt‐wing VTOL aircraft—the Elytron.” The …

EAS VIII: High Torque, Efficiency and Powerful Motors

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

David Calley heads Planet Rider LLC, a design group working on a highly innovative three-wheel commuter vehicle that combines pedaling, electric power and aerodynamics to make for an exciting ride.  Any resemblance between this machine and the average e-bike is like the difference between an early Rogallo wing and the Archaeopteryx. He has made a significant notch in fuel savings for big rig trucks with the angular extensions you see on tailgates of trailers cruising America’s highways.  Fuel savings of five percent or more are a boon to fleet operators, thanks to Calley’s patented design, now manufactured by ATDynamics.  He is also a member of the CAFE Foundation’s advisory board. Thus, it was informative to see his presentation at the …

Even in Second Place, VC200 Dominates Awards

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Volocopter has evolved from a pilot sitting on a Pilates ball surrounded by multiple model airplane motors to the VC200 – the first Volocopter to carry two people, according to parent company e-volo.  As recipient of a 2 million euros grant from the federal ministry of economics and technology, e-volo has worked with a research and industry syndicate to craft the VC200. A sleeker, more finished-looking project than the original flight vehicle, the VC200 held pride of place 15 meters above the crowd attending the “GreenTec Awards” in Berlin, Europe’s largest environmental and economic prize.  Completed just in time for the event, and assembled in the auditorium where it received its award, the first prototype of the VC200 was an …

Would You Believe There Are Four Electric Cri-Cri’s?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Three electric MC-15 Colomban Cri-Cri’s have been flying for at least the last two years.  Jean-Luc Soullier created one which flew with Plettenberg model motors.  Airbus crafted one with four Rotex motors and counter-rotating propellers on each mount.  Anne Lavrand’s Electravia converted a Cri-Cri to use her motors for speed record attempts. Now they are joined by the MC-15E built by Mr. Toon Jacobs and shown at the Federation RSA ( Network of Sport Air ) Rally 2013 in Vichy, France.  The RSA, as one would guess, is the French equivalent of America’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Electravia provided the E-Motor GMPE 104 motors, controllers, E=Helices 370 gram (one pound, 13 ounces), 83 centimeter (32.7 inches) propellers and the E-Batts 3 kilowatt-hour battery pack.  An Electravia …

A Light Twin in the Business Community

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Announced at Friedrichshafen’s Aero Expo and displayed (at least in model form) at the 2013 Paris Air Show, the Elektro E6 is the technology platform for a future, all electric transport aircraft. With low CO2 emissions, noise and vibration, the six-seat, two-motor airplane features full carbon composite structure.  Solar cells on its high wing could help extend the range for this machine to 500 kilometers (310 miles), predicted if battery developments continue at their current pace for the next six years.  The light twin would boast a payload of 480 kilograms (1,065 pounds). The E6 comes about as part of an Agreement of Cooperation between PC-Aero GmbH and EADCO GmbH.  Rosario De Luca’s EADCO (European Aerospace Design Consultants), capable of supporting …

Ingenious e-Genius

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

At the third annual Electric Aircraft Symposium in San Carlos, California in 2009, designers from Germany and Slovenia showed their plan for a hydrogen-powered aircraft called Hydrogenius.  Today, a newly constructed, battery-powered “e-Genius” (developed along parallel lines with Hydrogenius) will be Eric Raymond’s mount for the July 10-17 Green Flight Challenge in Santa Rosa, California.  Eric writes that “e-Genius is now flying, and has reached the required 100 mph.” Hydrogenius’s original layout, replaced for the Green Flight Challenge with a simpler lithium-polymer battery-only system.  1 – Hydrogen tank 2 – Radiator 3 – Stack Module (Hydrogen Fuel Cell) 4 – System Module (Hydrogen Fuel Cell) 5 – Power Distribution Unit 6 – LiPoly Battery to start the fuel cell system 7 – …

Being Led By The Nose

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 0 Comments

With speculation in CAFE circles about the use of thin, lightweight motors now available for landing and takeoff augmentation, it comes as almost now surprise that DLR, the German Aerospace Centre, and the Airbus people at EADS have announced development of an electric nose wheel that could replace airport tugs and extended ground operation for airliners’ jet engines. According to The Engineer, a British publication, a fuel cell-powered system delivers electrical energy capable of powering the nose wheel of a 70-ton aircraft.  “Commercial aircraft could cut their on-ground emissions by one quarter with a new hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion system, according to its creators. “For short-haul aircraft that often take off and land seven times a day, this could save between 200 …