Aerovel Autonomously Performs Takeoff, Flight, and Landing – Twice!

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

As explained on their YouTube posting, Aerovel’s autonomous flight of their Flexrotor aircraft shows a remarkable level of adaptability and control.  “In what are believed to be the first-ever flight cycles of an unmanned aircraft based on an unmanned boat, Flexrotor launches from a remotely-controlled skiff while underway, climbs out as a helicopter, transitions to wing-borne flight, images the skiff while flying at low and high speeds, transitions back to thrust-borne flight, and retrieves autonomously onboard. The aircraft then shuts down, is automatically refueled and restarted, and repeats the first flight, finally being secured onboard in a docking station.” Aerovel notes that the boat was radio controlled, but the Flexrotor Pandora flew the mission on its own and without human …

A Tea Room in the Sky

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized 4 Comments

Richard Glassock is an Australian graduate student and designer working in autonomous aircraft, long-distance sailboats, and a light hybrid power system made from off-the-shelf model aircraft components.  He’s even made a design study of something that would really cause a stir in the world of electric sailplanes. “I just want to send you some pictures of a concept model I’m working on. The idea is for a 6- seat sailplane, I thought about this 10 or 15 years ago when I first started getting to cloudbase in a hang glider. It is a magical world, particularly in an open air type vehicle: wouldn’t it be wonderful to share with friends.  Now it seems to have turned out to be an …