Unique, From A (for Aerodynamics) to Zee

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Ilan Kroo, according to his biography page, is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, an advanced cross-country hang glider pilot, and designer of the Swift flying wing hang glider, unmanned aerial vehicles, a flying Pterosaur replica, America’s Cup sailboats, and high-speed research aircraft.  Currently on a leave of absence from Stanford, he has started Zee Aero, “a bay area start-up company focusing on bringing new technologies to civil aircraft.” Zee Aero, on its first of five sparse web pages, proclaims, “We’re creating an entirely new aircraft,” a heady claim considering the lack of supporting descriptions or illustrations.  But other sources have been made available, including Zee’s patent applications, which show a slim tricycle-gear fuselage surmounted by variously …

Aviat Flies Dual-Fuel Airplane to Oshkosh

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Your editor spent much of his time at AirVenture 2013 in or around the Innovation Pavilion, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s nod to experimentation on a grand scale. Flanking the doors into the pavilion were two approaches to making flight more efficient, the LAM Ailerons on a Cessna Corvallis and a dual-fuel system on an Aviat A1-C Husky CNG; “CNG” standing for “compressed natural gas.” Stu Horn, President of Aviat Aircraft, is proud of the all-American nature of the airplane, most components other than avionics having their origin in this country.  Even the fuel for this proof-of-concept Husky is a domestic product, and a possible reflection of its back-country home.  Afton, Wyoming, where Aviat makes Huskies, has resurrected the Pitts Special, …

Dr. Seeley at AirVenture 2013

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Imagine being able to walk one morning from your front door to a nearby small airport, step into an electrically-powered small airplane, point to a destination on an illuminated map on the airplane’s display screen, and be whisked to your destination so quietly that your passage overhead will not wake your neighbors.  This is part of the dream that Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and President of the CAFE Foundation, presented to an appreciable and appreciative crowd on Friday, August 2 at the Rotax Pavilion during the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture 2013. His talk, “The CAFE Foundation’s Green Flight Challenge Program: Toward a New Transportation Mode,” was a roadmap to how the CAFE Foundation, NASA and corporate sponsors will present five …

Three Electric Airplanes Fly at AirVenture 2013

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Electric aircraft have flown for the last six years at the big Oshkosh AirVenture airshow.  Randall Fishman started the movement in 2007 showing his ElectraFlyer trike, and then flew his ElectraFlyer C, a single-seater derived from the Moni motorglider the following year.  He won the 2008 Stan Dzik Memorial Award For Design Contribution “for the installation of the Electric-Motor power train” and the Dr. August Raspet Award.   Last year he displayed his ElectricFlyer ULS, a twin-boom pusher with soaring capabilities. Others have followed, with Yuneec cruising overhead in 2010, winning the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP) prize for the craft’s “significant commercial potential” and “compelling design.” Dale Kramer, flying his twin-Joby-motored eLazair around the ultralight circuit in 2011, showed the …

Yuneec Returns to America as Greenwing

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Under the direction of CEO Tian Yu, Yuneec International is back in the U. S. as Greenwing International, selling the single-seat e-Spyder and two-seat e430, as well as a range of motors, controllers, and battery packs. Based at Cable Airport near Los Angeles, California, the group has been assembling and testing the first of the Flightstar-based e-Spyders and will have several on hand at AirVenture 2013 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin next week. The group recently had an illustrious name as test pilot. Erik Lindbergh shares his thoughts about his first flight in an electric airplane. “After five years working to accelerate the development of the electric aircraft industry I have finally realized my dream to fly an electric aircraft, thanks to …

Brien Seeley to Speak at AirVenture’s Innovations Pavilion

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and head of the CAFE Foundation, presented his vision for the future of small, electric commuter aircraft at the seventh annual Electric Aircraft Symposium held in late April at Santa Rosa, California.  He gave a forceful, detailed picture of why we need to lift some of the traffic from the highways and examined the benefits that society and the environment would accrue from such sweeping changes. Imagine, for instance, not having to build another highway or on-ramp because existing roads were capable of handling the decreased surface traffic without further expansion.  Think of being able to hop over traffic on a 50-to-400 mile excursion – something not handled well at all by current surface or aerial …