Floating Over the Danube: The Vision of the Little Tailor of Ulm Lives

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The beautiful blue Danube River of Strauss waltz fame, “…Rises in the Black Forest mountains of western Germany and flows for some 1,770 miles (2,850 kilometers) to its mouth on the Black Sea. Along its course, it passes through nine countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine,” according to the Encyclopedia Britannica. In 1811, Albrecht Ludwig Berblinger, a tailor in the city of Ulm near the headwaters of the second longest river in Europe, tried a novel idea – flying across the river on a nicely sewn-together hang glider.  His splashdown marked the end of his aeronautical career, but made him famous and an unlikely harbinger of things to come. City fathers have announced, “In the spirit of Berblinger, and continuing his vision, the City of Ulm aims to promote …

A Second Slovenian Self-Launching Sailplane – With a Solar-Powered Trailer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Tine Tomazic of Pipistrel alerted the blog that his firm started series production of their Taurus Electro G2, a first for a two-seat electric aircraft, according to Pipistrel, claiming 20 customers who will receive their G2’s by year’s end. Improvements over the prototype led to the “rev.2” series version of the self-launching sailplane, which also is the first electrically-powered craft to exceed the performance of its two-stroke Rotax-powered alternative, according to Tomazic. Pipistrel expands on this.  “Taurus Electro G2 can use a shorter runway, climbs faster and performs much better than the gasoline-powered version when it comes to high altitude operations. All this is possible thanks to the specially-developed emission-free Pipistrel 40kilowatt electric power-train.”  The clean sailplane design (40:1 glide …