EAS VIII: Dr. Jaiwon Shin Brings NASA to CAFE

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

The CAFE Foundation was honored this year to have Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Associate Director for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), speak at the eighth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium.  His responsibilities at the agency, and his earnest regard for CAFE and its direction were evident during his talk. According to his NASA biography, “Dr. Jaiwon Shin…  manages the agency’s aeronautics research portfolio and guides its strategic direction. This portfolio includes research in the fundamental aeronautics of flight, aviation safety and the nation’s airspace system.”  Such tasks include overseeing the next generation (NextGen) air traffic control system, funding promising research projects, crafting policies that will assure ongoing progress in creating cleaner, safer flight vehicles, and coordinating …

NTSB Releases Initial Report, Recommendations on Dreamliner Battery Fires

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

January 2013 was a time of great concern for operators of the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner.” On the 7th, an empty 787 operated by Japan Airlines experienced a fire in the main battery pack.  On the 16th, an All Nippon Airways 787 made an emergency landing and evacuated everyone on board on emergency slides after the flight crew responded to a computer warning of smoke inside one of the electrical compartments.  Other incidents pointed to issues in the use and transport of lithium-ion batteries such as those used in the big Boeing. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has directed several recommendations to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), derived from the agency’s ongoing investigation of the Japan Airlines incident only, at …

A Light Twin in the Business Community

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Announced at Friedrichshafen’s Aero Expo and displayed (at least in model form) at the 2013 Paris Air Show, the Elektro E6 is the technology platform for a future, all electric transport aircraft. With low CO2 emissions, noise and vibration, the six-seat, two-motor airplane features full carbon composite structure.  Solar cells on its high wing could help extend the range for this machine to 500 kilometers (310 miles), predicted if battery developments continue at their current pace for the next six years.  The light twin would boast a payload of 480 kilograms (1,065 pounds). The E6 comes about as part of an Agreement of Cooperation between PC-Aero GmbH and EADCO GmbH.  Rosario De Luca’s EADCO (European Aerospace Design Consultants), capable of supporting …

Could This Be the Ford Bi-Motor?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The original Ford Tri-Motor had a body by Ford and three Pratt & Whitney radial engines arrayed across its nose and wings.  The Phantom Eye has a body by Boeing, and two 2.3-liter Ford engines fueled by the hydrogen the airplane carries in its bulbous fuselage. It first flew last June, but hit a snag on landing, or at least dug in and twisted a landing skid, rendering it inoperable until this year. Boeing performed software and hardware upgrades, including strengthening the landing gear.  Its second flight was a big success with a successful landing – a great one even, since the airplane is reuseable.  This is particularly helpful for Boeing, which funded the project out of its own pocket. …

Fastest Electric Vehicle Design at EAS VI

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Brien Seeley, President of the CAFE Foundation, has made the following announcement: “The Chief designer of the F-22 Raptor has prepared another spectacular design: The World’s Fastest Electric Vehicle. This new aircraft design will be presented along with the other outstanding talks at next week’s CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium, April 27, 28 in Santa Rosa, California (Sonoma Wine Country). This symposium, dedicated to the burgeoning new domain of emission-free flight, now has representatives from Boeing, Bosch, IBM, Honda, Nortrhop-Grumman, Japan Air Lines, Rolls-Royce, Siemens, Aerovironment, FAA, Cummins, Cessna, Lycoming and many other companies enrolled to participate.” The high-speed electric may be a response to Ivo Boscarol’s pledge to put up $100,000 of his Pipistrel G-4 winnings at last year’s …

The Sixth Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium

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

The CAFE Foundation will hold its sixth Electric Aircraft Symposium on April 27 and 28, 2012 at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California and at the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, site of the Green Flight Challenge. Not only will there be a stellar lineup of speakers, but flying demonstrations of electric and hybrid aircraft, a first at any EAS. Jack Langelaan, team leader for the GFC-winning Electro Taurus G4 team, and Tine Tomazic from Pipistrel will share insights on the design and flight of the 403.5 epmpg aircraft.  David Calley, Chief Technical Officer for Motor Excellence, will describe ideal low-RPM motors for electric aircraft, and Mark Moore from NASA’s Langley Research Center will share breakthroughs in distributed …

Boeing’s PhantomEye Powers Up

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

While AeroVironment’s Global Observer High Altitude Long Endurance aircraft has flown at the NASA Dryden Flight Test Center, Boeing’s PhantomEye HALE is in pieces but undergoing testing prior to being shipped to Dryden.  PhantomEye’s hydrogen-fueled engines are being tested at Santa Clarita, California and airframe parts are being prepared for flight at Boeing’s St. Louis, Missouri plant.   AeroVironment’s craft has now flown with fuel cells providing electricity to run the four wing-mounted motors.  PhantomEye uses hydrogen stored in eight-foot diameter tanks in its fuselage to directly fuel the twin Ford 2.3-liter modified engines.  At altitude, a three-stage turbocharger will be required to provide air for an efficient fuel burn. Both unmanned aerial vehicles have similar missions, to fly at 65,000 …

Another Cure for Range Anxiety

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Or at least an approach to provide angst-free cross-country flying, as Michael Friend explained in his Electric Aircraft Symposium presentation last April at Rohnert Park, California.  Friend, a Boeing engineer closely tied to the company’s early fuel cell work, is the owner and pilot of N787M, one of the earliest production kit Silence Twisters.  The Twister is a Spitfire-like, retractable-gear light aircraft capable of cruising 146 on its Jabiru 80-horsepower engine.  It’s capable of full aerobatic flight, and was converted to electric power in Germany for possible airshow demonstrations.  The Twister’s designers also plan a lengthened wing that would make motor gliding possible. Friend noted the difference in energy density between available batteries and gasoline, explaining that 10 kilograms of …

ENFICA-FC – A Speed Record for Hydrogen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Professor Guilio Romeo of the Politecnico de Torino, Italy is a man of many firsts.  Last year, his team fielded Skyspark, a Pioneer 300 powered with an electric motor fed by batteries.  This year, in a totally new development, Professor Romeo coordinated the activities leading to a successful hydrogen-powered electric aircraft, and set a world speed record to top off that accomplishment. The Skyleader 150 Zero CO2 light sport aircraft, built by JIHLAVAN airplanes, Ltd. in the Czech Republic, was fitted with Intelligent Energy proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells from the United Kingdom, an inverter and power management system by Italy’s Mavel Elletronica, and a motor at least partially designed by the University of Pisa, Italy.  Tanks and a high-pressure fuel …

Boeing SolarEagle – The Five-Year Flyer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Whether ferreting out insurgents in Afghanistan or monitoring agricultural trends in America, the ability to stay overhead and continue in a mission is of great importance for an aircraft providing aerial intelligence. Our recent stories about 200-foot span, hybrid electric HALE (High Altitude Long Endurance) aircraft being tested at NASA Dryden Test Flight Center at Edwards Air Force Base showed a pair of large aircraft with the ability to stay up for a week, a persistence of overhead vision that is astonishing.  Now Boeing has announced a bigger, wildly more persistent vehicle, the SolarEagle, 435 feet in span, capable of floating around at 60,000 feet on solar/electric power for five years.  The 6,000 pound airframe can carry a payload of …