An Image of the Future at the 2017 Sustainable Aviation Symposium

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The Seeleys and SA board members did themselves proud for this year’s Sustainable Aviation Symposium.  Your editor visited the grand ballroom in the San Francisco Bay Pullman Hotel the night before the meeting was to take place.  All the tables, chairs and stage were in place, but the room was otherwise bare.  Early next morning, your editor trudged downstairs again, to be met with an astonishing sight.  At the back of the ballroom, a pair of exotic geometric shapes glowed in blue and green lighting.  Somehow, a 50-foot wing and substantial streamlined shape had materialized overnight.  Already, attendees were peering up at the extremely twisted tips of the wings and trying to analyze what they saw before them. Aspirational Geometries …

TAG – You’re Down!

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Nailing the landing is a big test for gymnasts, birds, and in the near future – for electric commuter aircraft.  Landing in an impossibly short distance seemed like a mission only for helicopters until recently.  Fixed-wing machines seem at a disadvantage here, rotary-wing craft having the edge in being able to set down almost anywhere, and on the proverbial dime.  Brien Seeley’s TAG may make it possible for fixed-wing craft to emulate birds. Fixed-wing craft have the advantage in point-to-point speed – a big selling point for commuter craft.  High cruising speeds and short ground runs seem mutually exclusive, although new designs and inspired amateurs are showing the way to combining the best of both worlds. First, it’s apparent from …

Learning About Energy Regeneration from Birds

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Phil Barnes has one of the most fascinating web sites on the Internet, combining his aerodynamic expertise and love of soaring birds with his radical approach to staying up perpetually (or until the pilot grows exhausted).  Albatross, birds he’s studied for decades, soar along the tops of ocean waves, seeking food for themselves and their broods, often traveling thousands of miles before setting down.  They have the advantage of bifurcated brains, able to stay awake in one hemisphere of the brain while the other hemisphere nods off, a trait they share with dolphins. Would it be possible for humans to tap the energy in the air to soar for indefinite periods?  Could truly fuel-free flight be a reality?  Phil is …