EAS VIII: Across the Atlantic – Twice

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean-Luc Soullier, holder of Fédération Aéronautique Internationale records for speed and altitude in an aircraft almost lighter than its pilot, has a greater series of ambitions to expand the range and speed of electric aircraft. Having stretched the limits of his Colomban MC-30e with two different motors, he’s looking at a longer-spanned, cleaner aircraft – the Windward Performance Duckhawk – as a means of getting higher speed and much longer range for a truly formidable (tres formidable) crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, not once, but twice. The airplane, with a Rotex motor on the nose and a specially-designed Arplast three-bladed propeller, will weigh a mere 105 kilograms (231 pounds) empty – without batteries. This is considerably less than the lightest …

Perlan Project Gets Good Press in the New York Times

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Science reporter Matthew Wald visited the Perlan Project in Bend, Oregon recently to see for himself an aircraft that just might conquer the heights – 90,000 feet – in a world-record attempt that will investigate the polar vortex and the ozone hole. His report in the October 21 New York Times highlights the intellectual investment in the project, with extremes of aircraft design reaching toward extreme goals.  Perlan II will fly higher than any powered or unpowered aircraft in a sustained fashion.  Zoom climbs in which American and Russian fighters emulated rocket ships to reach altitude records were more ballistic than controlled.  Those who recall The Right Stuff will remember Chuck Yeager’s frantic and finally unrecoverable tail slide back from …