Three June Races Electrified

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Every June, three races provide insight into how much electric power has become a regular part of motorsports: The Isle of Man TT Zero motorcycle race, the 24 Hours of LeMans, and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.  This year, there were disappointments as well as triumphs, but progress nonetheless. Isle of Man TT Zero For followers of electric two-wheeling, this year’s Tourist Trophy (TT) Zero had one high moment, a record-setting run by Michael Rutter on a Team Mugen bike, which did one lap at 121.824 mph (18:34.956 for the 37.75 mile course).  Admittedly, because of the relatively low energy density of batteries to petrol, the electric bikes do a single lap compared to the six laps on the …

A First Electric Helicopter with a Humanitarian Mission

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Brammo, one of the first American electric motorcycle makers, established itself as an early competitor in racing, and after less than a decade in the new arena, sold the motorcycle racing enterprise to Polaris Industries Inc.  “Following that announcement, Brammo confirms its exclusive agreement to supply its electric powertrains to Polaris for inclusion in motorcycles and other on-road and off-road vehicles.”range of vehicle OEMs.” From Motorcycles to Helicopters Surprisingly, that range of vehicle OEMs includes a successful electric helicopter launch. According to the Portland Business Journal, “Brammo lent its expertise to a Tier 1 Engineering launch of a battery-powered manned helicopter last month. The launch included the first hover taxi and a record five-minute cruise flight to 400 feet altitude.” …

Motorcyclist Hums with Electric Bike News

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 0 Comments

One tenet of the CAFE Foundation’s outlook is that electric automobiles will be a major source of the new technology that will make electric aviation a practical reality.  Large-scale production numbers for cars mean lower prices, ubiquitous motors and batteries, and demonstrated performance.  Motorcycles offer another source for equipment that could see aircraft applications, since cycles share some of the same criteria for success, including light weight, compactness, and high output of both power and torque – especially true in the ultralight and light sport aircraft range. The motorcycle community’s normally lukewarm assessment of the prospects for battery-powered two-wheelers is heated up considerably in the November issue of Motorcyclist, and that bodes well for electric aircraft. Normally crowded with Harley, …