Academy Award Winner, Legion of Honor Recipient Conquer the Channel

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, head of Electravia, shared this news in her blog this morning. Following its initial flight at the Coupe Icare in 2011, the electric airship Iris Challenger was slated to make a cross-English Channel attempt later that year. Unfortunately, prevailing winds prevailed against that November attempt between Dover and Calais. Patience and careful planning finally paid off for pilots Pierre Chabert and Gerard Feldzer, though, and today, they made the crossing from France to Dymchurch, England in two hours and 23 minutes. Built by Airstar (Chabert is founder and president/CEO of the company), the envelope contains 568 cubic meters (20,059 cubic feet) of helium, and can carry a payload of 200 kilograms (440 pounds). Equipped with two electric motors …

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 …

eUP Looks Up and Downloads Data

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

John McClintock, co-founder of eUP Aviation in Lumby, British Columbia, recently spoke with your editor on changes he and Randy Rauck are making to their Electravia-powered hang-glider trike.  They’ve recently campaigned Green1 up and down the Pacific Coast, demonstrating its self-launching and soaring capabilities over California deserts, at Torrey Pines, and in the mountains of Oregon. John was pleased to report that the trike came through that 7,700 kilometer (4,774 mile) bouncing trailer torture test with a perfect bill of health for the e-drive system and its installation. Not content to just enjoy their flights (which they did) the entrepreneur-engineers kept careful records of the details of each flight using an on-board Flytec 5030 hang gliding instrument to collect flying …

Navette Brettone Carries On

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The April, 2013 issue of Info.Pilote magazine, a French publication, features the air-show pairing of the electric Cri-Cri E-Cristaline, powered by two Electravia GMPE 104 motors and riding atop a Broussard – what the DeHavilland Beaver might look like if it had been built in France. The great photos by Jean-Marie Urlacher are supplemented by a dynamic video showing a typical airshow lofting and separation – something that happens quickly even in slow motion. Info.Pilote has an informative table comparing the Navette Brettone (Brittany Shuttle), named for the sponsoring ferry boat operation, with the Navette Spatial, our space shuttle/Boeing 747-100 combo. While the big Boeing spans 196 feet, the Broussard is a relatively petite 45 feet.  The Space Shuttle riding …

Can You Top These?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Anne Lavrand of Electravia  sends news that Jean Luce Soullier’s speed record set last September has been ratified by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI).  He now holds four FAI world records, and Ms. Lavrand’s total climbs to five, including the speed record set by Hugues Duval flying the MC15E twin electric Cri-Cri down Le Bourget’s main runway at 283 km./hr. (175.46 mph) during the 2011 Paris Air Show. SUB-CLASS TYPE OF RECORD PERFORMANCE DATE CLAIMANT STATUS ID RAL1E Speed over a straight course 189.87 km/h 2012-09-29 Jean Luc Soullier (BEL) ratified – current record 16638 RAL1E Altitude 2366 m 2012-02-27 Jean Luc Soullier (BEL) ratified – current record 16497 RAL1E Distance over a closed circuit without landing 50.13 km 2012-02-27 …

A Fix for Dreamliner Battery Woes?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

With Boeing facing financial doldrums because of its ongoing grounding and resulting slump in sales of the 787 Dreamliner, the stakes are high for the company.  That makes today’s Reuters’ report that the manufacturing giant may have found a “way to fix battery problems on its grounded 787 Dreamliner jets” good news for not only Boeing, but for electric aircraft in general.  Readers should read these findings with some caution, though, since another report from Japan gives a different possible cause for the problems.  That said, the two reports might not be mutually exclusive. Many electric light aircraft developers use spacing between cells and some method to circulate cooling air over them.  In Boeing’s two 787 lithium battery packs, eight …

Fifth Anniversary for Electravia Ultralight’s First Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Anne Lavrand, founder and head of Electravia, has over 35 different electric aircraft to her credit, having powered everything from paramotors to a world speed record-holding Cri-Cri  and a speed and altitude record-claiming MC-30. The story officially began five years ago today, though, with a 48-minute flight by an ultralight Souricette, a Michael Barry design with an Electravia-prepared Lynch brushed motor, golf-cart type controller and lithium polymer batteries . In an article from The Times of London, it was given credit as the, “First flight in a conventional light aircraft powered by an electric motor,” and as such a model of frugality.  Barry’s airplane, motor, and batteries might set an owner/builder back 10,000 to 15,000 euros ($13,000 to $19,500) and …

eUP Makes First Canadian Electric Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

John McClintock and Randy Rauck have been developing an electrically-powered hang-glider “trike” for the last year, and Saturday, December 8, Rauck took their Green1 battery-powered hang-glider skyward – Canada’s first electric flight. Taking off at approximately 10:00 a. m., Rauck flew a smooth circuit of the Pitt Meadows airport, southwest of Vancouver, B. C.  The pair have been bench and ground testing their Electravia motor, controller and battery pack as part of their creation of eUP, a firm dedicated to making electric flight possible in ultralight aircraft. In eUP’s press release, McClintock says, “This is a very exciting day in Canadian aviation history. While eUP will offer this system on other aircraft, right now the state-of-the-art in electric flight is …

Paramotors Get Own Web Site – And It Speaks French

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand of Electravia in Sisteron, France has announced a new web site, dedicated to her company’s electric powered paragliders (PPG). Initially, the new web site will promote Electravia’s e-Spider Mono ultralight powered parachute, a 23 kilogram (50.6 pounds) package with: • A 17 horsepower electric motor and controller, an e-Screen, three-inch LED display showing motor and battery status. • an e-Props 1.6 meter (5.25 feet) propeller in Electravia’s unique QD2 arrangement, which offsets blade angles to generate more thrust and less noise. • a Kokam lithium-polymer battery pack (1.55 kWh), with battery management system (BMS) and protection circuit module (PCM). • a charger for lithium-polymer batteries. • a 1.6 meter diameter aluminum hexagonal cage, weighing only 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds). …

The Little Firefly That Could

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

This little airplane is the fastest in its category in the world, unofficially. Flying from Koksijde, Belgium’s military airport, it clocked 189.87 kilometers per hour (117.7 mph) over a 15-kilometer straight-line course, a big improvement over its official speed record set on February 27 of this year. It also holds the official altitude and distance record in its class. Designed by Michel Colomban, one of the engineers for the Concorde, the MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) has a structure weighing only 98 pounds, ideal for adding heavy battery packs as part of its electrification. Its Lynch-type motor, controller and batteries were supplied by Anne Lavrand at Electravia, and have flown in the MC-30 for over a year. These are similar to the motors used …