Look Up and Say Cheese!  Autonomous Mapping from the Elektra One Solar

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Had the residents of Landshut, a 13th-century city in Lower Bavaria, chanced to look up at the right time over the last few weeks, they might have glimpsed a bright yellow shape looking back at them.  Calin Gologan’s latest Elektra One Solar carries a suite of cameras that can transmit 2D movies in 4K resolution to a ground station up to 40 kilometers (25 miles) away.  Through sophisticated software, the images can be translated into 3D maps with a resolution of five centimeters (just under two inches), the primary mission of the flights. Partner ViaLight, a 2009 spin-off of the DLR (the German Aerospace Center), provided the hardware and software that allows up to 100 Gbps (gigabits per second) data …

Traveler Hybrid – An Electrifying Transformation

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Urs Villiger, with the assistance of, “A network of aviation specialists…under the leadership of Calin Gologan CFD Consultants,” crafted a sleek four-seater, the Traveler TR230.  That airplane, originally flown with an internal combustion engine, has apparently been recrafted as a hybrid craft.  Gologan, along with Dr. Volker Kassera, did the majority of the aircraft’s design. First flown on December 4, 2015, the gas-powered Traveler was very much a fixed landing gear airplane, replete with wheel pants.  The large canister under the cowling and forward part of the fuselage is a so-called “Swiss muffler,” a great deal like a “glass-pack” used by American hot-rodders in the 1950’s.  It was developed by experimenters in Switzerland to comply with noise regulations.  The major …

SolarStratos Makes First Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

SolarStratos, a feather-light 450 kilogram (990 pound), solar-powered airplane, lifted off for the first time on May 5 in Payerne, Switzerland.  Considering its 24.9 meter (81.69 feet) wingspan, the airplane shows designer Calin Gologan’s ability to squeeze performance from every gram of structure.  It flies nicely, too, with test pilot Damian Hischier enthusing, “The plane is very nice to [fly].  [Its] reactions are healthy, and we see that it was well designed.” Sharing Payerne Airport with Solar Impulse, SolarStratos represents a different kind of adventure, ready to make five-hour flights to 75,000 feet (two hours up, five hours down).  Such flights can carry a pilot and scientific measuring equipment, or for those lucky enough to have the price of admission, …

Smartflyerchallenge – Europe’s First Fly-In for Electric Powered Aircraft

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Air meets have been an important part of aviation history, bringing pilots, planes nad the public together in a symbiotic gathering.  This was true in aviation’s genesis; things gaining a tremendous impetus with air meets throughout Europe and America following Wilbur Wright’s 1908 public demonstrations near Le Mans, France. René Maier, ex-Colonel of the Swiss Army and current President of the newly formed organization team for an annual event organized at the Grenchen Regional Airport, has announced the SmartFlyer Challenge, touted as the first fly-in for electric aircraft.  The event, to be held September 9 and 10, 2017, will make Grenchen “the center of electric flight,” according to the organizers.  Static and air displays of electric and hybrid-electric powered aircraft …

Elektra One Solar or Luminati VO-Substrata?

Dean Sigler Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Your editor saw a news item from Sun ‘n Fun about a new solar-powered airplane and recognized the design as one from Calin Gologan’s PC-Aero, an aircraft design and consulting firm in Germany. General Aviation News credited the airplane’s design and construction to Luminati Aerospace in New York state.   The story did not mention Gologan’s involvement, though, a possible oversight.  An alert reader commented on the similarity of the airplane to the Elektra One Solar. A few months later, your editor saw an Associated Press story from Calverton, New York, which explained, “Pilot Robert Lutz flew the VO-Substrata aircraft for about 20 minutes in the first test flight opened to the public. The white aircraft features wing-mounted solar cells and has a wingspan …

EAS IX: Chip Erwin Gets Personal with Electric Flying

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), alas, haven’t lived up to their early hype, 100 manufacturers selling only 235 units in the United States last year.  That bothers Chip Erwin, who would like a Personal Sport Aircraft (PSA) option.  He’s working through his company, Aeromarine LSA, to do something about that. Chip explains that high prices for LSAs, brought on by doubling Rotax prices over the last decade and quadrupling of once cheap European labor rates, has put what were to be $50,000 airplanes into the $150,000 price range, barely able to compete with used Cessnas and Pipers. Having demonstrated two-stroke engines and an Electravia motor on his imported Zigolo ultralight glider, he has displayed an alternative motor designed by Don Lineback, …

Germany to Two Places in Austria – On Solar Wings

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

e-Genius spent July 4 crossing the Alps both ways from Germany to Italy, a first for a two-seat, battery-powered airplane.  Although the Elektra One Solar from PC-Aero GmbH is lighter and seats only one, its flights starting two weeks before and ending two days before e-Genius’s journey are equally proud accomplishments. The outgoing flight started in Unterwössen, Germany on June 25, crossed over the Grossglockner and landed, according to PC-Aero’s description, “In the sunny town of Lienz in East Tyrol, Austria.  The flight took around 2.5 hours. After the successful flight on the south side of the Alps, Elektra One Solar started [on its next trip] on 2 July (few days before the eGenius of the University of Stuttgart also flew …

AEAC Pulls in First 20 Deposits

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation (AEAC) and Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology made joint announcements about their signing a “Training Program Development and Deposit Agreement” for the school to reserve the first 20 delivery positions for “Sun Flyer” solar-electric training aircraft being developed by AEAC.  This first such agreement by a major training program and an aircraft maker is a milestone for this new technology. The press announcement quotes Peter Harris, CEO of Spartan College, saying, “This agreement signifies our commitment to innovation and to serving the next generation of pilots. Spartan College is honored to be the first training school to formalize our collaboration on a complete training system that will make flight training more modern, accessible and economical …

It’s (Green Aviation) Giving Tuesday, 2014

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

If you’ve managed to survive Gray Thursday, Black Friday, and a weekend of NFL games stuffed with blandishments to entice you to the nearest mall (Thanksgiving happened in there somewhere), you’re forgiven if you flinch at yet one more presumptuous tug at your purse strings.  But we’re talking about helping pioneers on the edge of green technology, crafting the stuff dreams are made of – and making those dreams a reality.  On this Giving Thursday, think about contributing to the dream makers who are taking us into a better future of flight.   We share a few suggestions here. Solar Flight Eric and Irena Raymond are the first family of solar-powered flight, now cruising Italian skies in the world’s first two-seat …

AEAC Debuts Sun Flyer at AirVenture 2014

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

Calin Cologan and George Bye staged a joint press event on the Sunday evening before AirVenture started.  Held in the Redbird Tent on Wittman Field, it drew hundreds who saw the Redbird flight simulators and a Diesel-powered Cessna, but were stopped short by the yellow and blue Sun Flyer, a single-seat proof-of-concept version of what will soon be a two-seat battery/solar training aircraft. Forming a new firm based on the strengths of PC-Aero in Germany, and Bye Aerospace and Redbird Flight Simulators in America, they promise an electric training aircraft for the near future.  Unlike the tandem two-seaters PC-Aero is developing in Germany, American Electric Aircraft Corporation will produce a side-by-side craft, often preferred for communication between instructor and student. In this Da …