EAS IX: Low Aspect Ratio Airplanes – Against the Grain

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Barnaby Wainfan is a technical fellow with Northrop-Grumman, but possibly best known for the FMX-4, well known as the “Facetmobile.”   His talk on “Low Aspect Ratio Electric Airplanes gave attendees at the ninth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium a great deal of counter-intuitive insights into how a successful airplane can look and work. The FMX-4, he pointed out, is a low-aspect-ratio, light weight, single primary structure, low-parts-count airplane with benign flying qualities.  When, as he told his audience, he decided to stop talking and start testing, he began with X-Plane computer simulations to check out his theories and studied simple, fast-building structures that would get him into the air expeditiously. N117W was easier to build than curved sticks, and despite its …

EAS IX to be A Gala Gathering

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Seeley sent this along today. On May 1, 2, 2015, the world’s leading experts will converge for the 9th Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium in the beautiful Sonoma Wine Country. The confirmed presenters include: Airbus on “The e-Fan Design” Michigan’s Satki3 CEO Ann Marie Sastry on “Solid State Energy Storage” Italy’s Eric Raymond of GFC I Team-eGenius on “Sunstar and the SunSeeker Duo” Slovenia’s Tine Tomazic of GFC I Team Pipistrel USA on “Converting GA Aircraft to Electric Propulsion” UCR’s Zach Favors on “Beach Sand for Long Cycle Life Li-ion Batteries” Northrop-Grumman’s J. Philip Barnes on “Regenerative Electric Flight” NASA’s Dr. Eric Darcy on “Battery Safety” Ford/Ricardo’s Neil Johnson on “Li-ion BMS & Gauging” Launchpoint’s Michael Ricci on “Propulsion by …

EAS VIII: Barnaby Wainfan and ESTOL Possibilities

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Barnaby Wainfan is an aeronautical engineer with Northrop Grumman and famous for at least two things: his Edison 2, a light car with incredibly low Cd  that won the Progressive Automotive X-Prize in the Mainstream class and his FMX-4 Facetmobile, an airplane that looks like a private pilot’s F-117 and flies stably and safely.  (Video courtesy of Barnaby Wainfan.) Wainfan told the eighth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium audience that short takeoff and landing (STOL) performance is relatively easy, requiring low wing loading and high power.  Efficient (e)STOL is harder. The problem is getting a reasonable cruise speed and good range with the big wing required for short takeoffs and the high drag required for short landings.  He advised his audience …

EAS VIII – A Day and a Half You’ll Never Forget

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Who would pass up a chance to stay at a nice resort, attend lectures that challenge and inspire, and meet at poolside with speakers who bring some of the sharpest minds in the world to bear on some of the biggest problems we all face?  Let’s face it.  Global warming probably won’t be going away anytime soon, and aviation seems destined to play a bigger part in polluting our otherwise near-perfect atmosphere. Unless…we learn how to make our favorite activity (in the top five for most of us, anyway), into a more responsible way to travel and recreate.  Since solving the problems which go with that responsibility will involve the best in aerodynamics, power systems and new, efficient technology, the …

David Birkenstock and Ultimate Efficiency

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

According to his biography on Airliners.net, “David Birkenstock is a pilot for an east-coast charter and management firm, flying the Turbo Commander 690B and the BeechJet 400A. When he’s not flying, he’s working on modifying a light sport airplane for pressure thrust, hoping to enter it into the NASA Personal Air Vehicle Challenge. He has posted more information about pressure thrust at PressureThrust.com.” Birkenstock’s presentation at the fifth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California on April 29, 2011 extended his thoughts on pressure thrust, an outgrowth of Fabio Goldschmied’s theories that are well represented in the CAFE Foundation’s library. Most surprising (or maybe not surprising at all) in his talk were comments by major players in the aerospace …