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 …

A Different Kind of Hybrid Aircraft

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

A father and son team have done amazing things with the Colomban MC-15 Cri-Cri: Hugues Duval, the son setting a world speed record at last year’s Paris Air Show, and Yves, the father, resurrecting a decade-old airshow act. At an airshow in Gergy-Pontoise, France this year, according to Anne Lavrand, head of Electravia and motor supplier to the little electric speedster, “Spectators were able to admire the return of the famous Shuttle Bretonne,” a Broussard liaison aircraft carrying the Cristalline Cri-Cri aloft. Anne Lavrand explains, “At the end of the 90s, Yves Duval, Hughes’ father, presented in airshows the “Breton Shuttle”: a Broussard with a small Cri-Cri on its top for the take-off, then… during flight, Cri-Cri takes off from the …

32 and Counting as E-Spider Lifts Two

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, founder and head of Electravia in Sisteron, France, emailed to tell of her latest creation before packing up to attend the Basse-Ham, France powered paraglider meet and airshow, the Mondial de Paramoteurs.  She wrote, “I hope this new realization will have some success there!” She announced “first flights of the E-SPIDER, the first 2-seater electric powered paraglider in the world.”  The 32nd aircraft flown with her power system attached, it reflects what this hard-working woman has been able to accomplish since 2007, with customers in Europe, Australia, Brazil, China, Taiwan, the USA and Canada.  It joins an array of single and twin motor ultralight aircraft, motorgliders, trikes, hang gliders, and paramotors electrified by Electravia.  Anne’s team has even …

Electravia Makes a Good Showing at Aero Expo

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, founder and President of Electravia, continues to find ways to expand her company’s product offerings while offering well-integrated packages of reasonably-priced electric aircraft and components. At this year’s Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany, her firm displayed the fuselage of the Electrolight 2, a modified Fauconnet sailplane, fitted with a 30-hp Lynch-type motor, controller, and batteries.  It is the least expensive electric motorglider on the market at only 30,000 Euros ($39,600), and allows powered flight for recharging costs of about 0.65 Euros per hour (86 cents).  The motor, normally graced by one of Anne’s wooden e-Props, had a forward-folding “clap propeller” or “bec de canard” (literally, the beak of the duck), a variant on the light carbon fiber propellers …

Deturbulating a Record Flight

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

Sumon K. Sinha, Ph.D., P.E., and head of Sinhatech, had a part in the recent Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) record by Mr. Jean-Luc Soullier and recorded in a blog entry on March 10. Dr. Sinha wrote that, “CAFE Foundation’s Blog on March 10th, 2012 did not mention that the Colomban MC-30 aircraft had Sinhatech’s Deturbulator tape treatment on the wing upper surface as shown in the attached photograph. I would like to have this added to complete the description of the aircraft.” Sinhatech Deturbulator tape is an innocuous-looking strip applied along the span of a wing at a point which will trigger a response from the tape, which oscillates in the airflow, increasing lift and mitigating skin friction, according to …

Going Vintage Electrically

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 4 Comments

On December 21, 2011, Samy Dupland test flew Electravia’s latest adaptation of its electric power systems.  The Electrolight 2, a Fauconnet A60 on which Electravia head Anne Lavrand and Dupland mounted their 26 hp motor and power pack, is a French version of the Scheibe L-Spatz (Sparrow) standard class sailplane. With a 5.55 kilowatt hour lithium polymer battery pack, the electric microlight glider can stay up for one hour, 45 minutes or gain up to 3,000 meters (9,842 feet).  Its cruising speed is between 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour) and 150 km/h (93 mph), with its range doubtless dropping at higher speeds.  Its maximum weight is 315 kilograms (693 pounds) with a recovery parachute, right at the …

Lighting Up the Electric Firefly

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

One highly enjoyable aspect of writing this blog is waking up in the morning to emails from France, announcing some exciting developments for those who love small aircraft. Fabrice Tummers from Luxembourg Special Aerotechnics (LSA) and Anne Lavrand from Electravia alerted your editor to a cooperative venture in which they swapped out the original Eck/Geiger motor/controller and Helix propeller combination  (with which the airplane set a class speed record) on LSA’s MC-30e Luciole (Firefly) for an Electravia power package. Since many of the Michel Colomban-designed MC-30s are powered by a Briggs & Stratton V-twin that produces about 26 horsepower, the new electric motor setup provides a great opportunity to compare electric and internal combustion performance. It should be a fair …

Electravia, Cri-Cri Set Speed Record at Paris Air Show

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand of Electravia in Grenoble, France, shares this exciting news from the Paris Air Show today. “A new speed world record for electric aircraft : 283 km/h ! (175.46 mph) “Hugues Duval holds the world speed record for an electrically powered aircraft after reaching the top speed of 283 km/h during his presentation flight today in the 49th Paris Air Show (Saturday 25th of June, 2011). “This electric Cri-Cri is powered by two electric propulsion systems ELECTRAVIA (35 HP each), two special high-speed propellers E-PROPS and 3 kWh of KOKAM Lithium-Polymer batteries (24 kg). “This flight has shown to key actors of [the] aeronautics world present at [the] Paris Air Show 2011 that electric engines are a real alternative …

E-Fenix, the Two-Seater Trike

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, Electravia’s General Manager, announced the E-Fenix, the first two-seat electric paratrike.  Developed with Planète Sports & Loisirs, a leisure activities company based on Re Island, off the coast of La Rochelle, France, the trike will carry visitors on discovery flights over the scenic island. E-Fenix has an electric propulsion system from Electravia, which includes a 35-horsepower GMPE 104 motor, an E-Props QD2 four-blade propeller, and a six kilowatt-hour Kokam Lithium-Polymer battery.  All is carried aloft on a 38-square-meter ITT Bulldog wing, which can fly 35 minutes with two persons aboard, and 55 minutes with only the pilot.  First flights took place on May 12th, with Michaël Morin as test pilot. Reported to be “very silent and comfortable,” the trike …

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

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

EADS, the Airbus people, gained a high degree of publicity with their four-motor Cri-Cri, as reported here previously, but a new contender has outraced it. Didier Esteyne flew the EADS plane for the press and showed it to good advantage.  His mount was powered by four 15-horsepower electric motors, paired in pods on either side of the plane’s nose. The contra-rotating propellers gave a good performance judging from the in-flight video. EADS’ 60 total horsepower gave it a top speed of 141 miles per hour, but that was eclipsed by another electric Cri Cri, this one with a single 25-horsepower Electravia brushed motor on each stalk.  Bigger motors swinging bigger propellers gave it a speed advantage and a world record of 262 kilometers per …