A 24-Volt Airplane Motor?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Biofuels, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

One of the big surprises in last month’s webinar hosted by the EAA and presented by Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation Services/Adventure Aviation was the 24-Volt motor being developed for the EMG-6 ultralight motorglider. High and Low Voltages Many, if not most of the electric motors flying on existing craft are higher voltage units.  For sake of an off-handed definition, we’ll divide low and high at below and above 50 Volts, something OSHA delineates in its regulation 29 CFR 1910.303(g)(2)(i), which “generally requires “’live parts of electric equipment operating at 50 volts or more’ to be ‘guarded against accidental contact by use of approved cabinets or other forms of approved enclosures’ or by other specified means.”  In its explanation, the …

Brian Carpenter’s EMG-6 Webinar

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Brian Carpenter, designer of the EMG-6 motorglider which he’s shown over the last several years at AirVenture, will stage a webinar to discuss “the design and development concepts of this new electric motorglider.”  His talk will have special “Emphasis on the integration of the electric propulsion concepts that he believes will change the face of the light aircraft and ultralight industry.” Your editor has visited Brian’s Corning, California workshop several times, and always found new and innovative approaches to producing a low-cost, self-launching motorglider, with several ways to simplify construction and to power the craft.  It will be interesting to see progress on the newest motor (apparently still under development) Brian has presented on his web site. He has been …

Controversial at CES 2016

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

Making a lot of column inches of traditional newsprint and reigning as clickbait on the Internet, the Ehang 184 is an eye-catching Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) causing a bit of controversy in the media.  Unveiled at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016), it drew concentric circles of photographers who normally save their enthusiasm for the lovely models showing off the newest iPhone or PlayStation. Coming from a firm that already makes hobby drones, the 184 (one passenger, eight motors, four arms) can carry its trusting passenger up to 20 miles, depending on who’s reporting.  Its 14.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack allows a maximum of 23 minutes of flight, and at 60 mph, a quick hop to a nearby destination, which …

Two Ultralights Promoting Electric Power

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Several electric aircraft graced the flight lines and display tents at Oshkosh this year, while several that had flown in previous years stayed home.  It shows a growing market segment – one apt to continue growing as batteries and components improve.  The ultralight area showed the greatest number of new developments, with two aircraft showing how one might achieve battery-powered flight on a budget. Chip Erwin and the Aviad MG-12 Zigolo Several have noted the Aviad MG-12 “ Zigolo” (named after a small bird – not as some surmise, a “gigolo”) from Italy has the look of a Mike Sandlin Basic Ultralight Glider, although it also has elements of other early Part 103 machines and carries a complete aircraft kit …

The Really Incredible H. U. L. C.

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

One of the things that attracted your editor to the idea of electric flight was the introduction of powerful little permanent magnet motors in model airplanes.  With people like Jean-Luc Soullier and Brian Carpenter having used or exploring the use of model aircraft motors on their small, but people-carrying aircraft, we know that flight with these little marvels is possible. But nothing prepares one to take in the flight of an attractive (human) model carried aloft by two H. U. L. C. (Heavy Ultra Lift Crane) model helicopters. According to The Blaze, “’This is the first time in the world that a human person is being lifted by a remote-controlled aircraft,’ said Tobias Wagner, Heligraphix and H.U.L.C. pilot.” “The team …

EAS VIII – A Day and a Half You’ll Never Forget

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Who would pass up a chance to stay at a nice resort, attend lectures that challenge and inspire, and meet at poolside with speakers who bring some of the sharpest minds in the world to bear on some of the biggest problems we all face?  Let’s face it.  Global warming probably won’t be going away anytime soon, and aviation seems destined to play a bigger part in polluting our otherwise near-perfect atmosphere. Unless…we learn how to make our favorite activity (in the top five for most of us, anyway), into a more responsible way to travel and recreate.  Since solving the problems which go with that responsibility will involve the best in aerodynamics, power systems and new, efficient technology, the …

EMG-6 Takes First Hops

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Brian Carpenter of Adventure Aircraft Inc. (part of his Rainbow Aviation Company) must trust his engineering, since he acted as his own test pilot for the first flights of his EMG-6 ultralight glider, a craft with options of mounting one, two, three (or even four, as Brian suggests) electric motors.  As an ultralight motor glider it can carry a pilot, ballistic parachute, and a small powerpack with one motor, controller and batteries.  Depending on the pilot’s weight, the airplane might be able to self launch and reach soaring altitude, or for heavier payloads, use the motor as a sustainer unit after a ground or aircraft tow to seek out distant thermals. While waiting for this next development, look at the …

EMG-6 Progress

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 5 Comments

Your editor has been on a road trip for several days, visiting the great Motel 6’s of California, and incidentally dropping in at Corning, California to stock up on olives and meet with Brian Carpenter, head of Rainbow Aviation.  He holds forth there as dealer for the full line of Quicksilver ultralight aircraft, does flight training, and with his wife Carol, presents training classes on repairing ultralight, light sport, weight shift, and even powered parachute type aircraft.  The pair has written several books on these topics. Brian recently teamed with Quicksilver to manufacture a kit aircraft that will eventually include one or more electric motors for propulsion.  With many ingenious features and a low introductory price, the all-metal airplane could …

Plettenberg’s New Motors – Ready for Real Airplanes?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 5 Comments

Plettenberg is well known in the model airplane world for its large and powerful electric motors that pull or push giant-scale models – sometimes half the size of their real counterparts – into the air.  Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation is even using them on his EMG-5 and EMG-6 ultralight aircraft.  Jean-Luc Soullier had two of them on an electric Cri-Cri.  His forum details that adventure and subsequent projects.  These Predator motors weigh a little over four pounds and can put out 15 horsepower and up to 99 pounds of thrust with the right propeller. Going beyond their model motors, Plettenberg has bold thoughts to share about its new, bigger and less model-like units, including their 150 kilowatt Nova series …

EMG-5 Pulls Forward

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Brian Carpenter of Tangent Aircraft Development in Corning, California is crafting one of the more exotic ultralight aircraft in the history of ultralights. Your editor visited his shop in late September, and viewed progress at that point. Brian had most of the previously clecoed fuselage disassembled, and was weighing parts and options for shaving ounces. He has now turned to producing an on-line newsletter to keep followers posted.   In his first EMG-5 newsletter, Brian provides a quick look at the rapid reassembly and refinement that has taken place since. “The month of October has been our first full month to work uninterrupted on the project. We have made significant gains on the prototype as well as tooling for the …