The Green Speed Cup – Fourth Edition

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Robert Adam helps run the Green Speed Cup, a time, speed and economy run for aircraft in Germany.  The rules for this year’s contest elucidate the intent and ambitions for the event: “The GREEN SPEED CUP is an aviation competition focusing on efficient flight. The emphasis lies on fast and energy saving transportation. The competition is meant to develop new methods to reduce energy consumption of motor driven aircraft using external energy sources like lateral winds and updrafts. In making the ability of certain aircraft and techniques transparent, the competition shall set new standards in general aviation.” The Cup provides a sounding board for discussion of energy efficient flight and the changing experience of flying while exploring new techniques and …

EAS VIII: Calin Gologan and George Bye Make a Sunlit Announcement

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Calin Gologan of PC-Aero GMBH in Germany and George Bye of Bye Aerospace in Colorado made an auspicious announcement about practical solar-electric propulsion advances for manned and unmanned aircraft.  Their presentation at the eighth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium pointed toward a possible rebirth in flight training at prices not seen in decades.  Their two companies are forging an alliance called the Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation (AEAC), which will produce a two-seat, side-by-side sport and training aircraft called the Sun Flyer.  As stated in their press release, “The Company will bring to market the first U.S.-sponsored, practical all-electric airplane serving the training, recreational and general aviation markets.” Gologan and Bye’s talk at the Symposium focused on their joint plans to create …

Silent Falcon in Production

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Bye Aerospace has announced initial production its small unmanned aircraft system, the Silent Falcon™.  Produced by Silent Falcon UAS Technologies (SFUAS), a former subsidiary of Bye Aerospace, Inc., the Silent Falcon is a mere 25 pounds, but is able to perform six- to 12-hour missions on a mix of battery and solar power. The airplane, of all composite construction, will serve both military and civilian markets, with its small size and quiet operation able to serve well in either capacity.  Its size and weight are virtues in a competitive market, giving “unprecedented performance and value… ready for the market place,” and already in “low rate initial production,” according to John Brown, President of SFUAS.  He adds that “sales teams are …

Reaching for the Sun

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

SolarStratos, a two-seat, solar-powered airplane, is being readied for record flights in Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland, just a 25-minute drive from the Solar Impulse hangars in Payerne. Its makers claim that it is the first commercial solar two-seater aircraft in history, and will be the first solar-powered airplane with a pilot to enter the stratosphere.  These heady claims are described on the project’s web site as a “crazy bet,” but it’s too early to make such judgments.  Calin Gologan of PC-Aero GmbH designed the base craft, an expansion of his earlier ultralight electric aircraft, Elektra Two.  The “Record” version of this craft, despite SolarStratos’ extended 20-meter (65 feet, 7 inch) wingspan, weighs a feathery 140 kilograms (308 pounds) empty, and only 350 …

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 …

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 …

PC-Aero Introduces Solar Elektra One, Solar Trailer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Dr. Birgit Weißenbach, press and marketing director for the firm, announces that PC-Aero and Calin Gologan will appear at the ILA (Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung, or International Aerospace Exhibition) Berlin Air Show being held between September 11 and 16 at Roger Airfield, about 11 miles southeast of the city. They will be showing, for the first time, their operational Electric Flight System, comprising their electric and solar-powered Elektra One Solar aircraft and a mobile solar charging station, the trailer in which the motorglider can be transported. Dr. Weißenbach notes that “At the Aero in Friedrichshafen/Germany this year we presented only a mock-up of the Elektra One Solar (Editor’s Note: as they did at AirVenture 2011, showing only stuck on, but …

Aero-PC and SolarWorld, Ford and SunPower Light Up Transportation

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With electric aircraft showing the possibilities of a greener future, it’s rewarding to see similar efforts to produce cleaner, off-the-grid ground transportation. Calin Gologan had a gala week at AirVenture, speaking at the Electric Aircraft World Symposium to detail his Elektra One Green Flight Challenge entrant and to introduce his Elektra Two and Four two-seat and four-seat, respectively, electric aircraft.  He was awarded the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP) for the quietest electric aircraft by Erik Lindbergh, Charles’ grandson. Saturday, July 30 saw Norbert Lorenzen, test pilot for PC-Aero and owner of a flight school near Landshut, Germany, take Elektra One for a spin around the Oshkosh airspace.  Note Molt Taylor’s Aerocar zipping by between the 15 and 18 second …

PC-Aero Wins Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Vision Award

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A Green Flight Challenge entrant, PC-Aero’s Elektra One, has won the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Vision Award at AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, becoming the latest winner of this important award for innovation in the pursuit of “green” aviation. Past winners of the Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft include: Pipistrel: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen Best  Electric Aircraft LZ Design: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen Best  Electric Propulsion System Solar Impulse: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen  Outstanding Achievement Award Yuneec International: 2010 AirVenture Best  Electric Aircraft Sonex: 2010 AirVenture Best Electric Aircraft  Subsystem Lange Aviation: 2010 AirVenture Individual  Achievement Award According to Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh and founder of LEAP, the organization’s, “Programs recognize, inspire and incentivize the innovation that drives our culture, economy and future.  The LEAP …

Elektra One Flies Into Oshkosh with Solar Cells

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

As described before in this blog, PC-Aero’s Elektra One is a single-seat electric airplane with an Eck/Geiger 13.5 kilowatt motor in the nose, and now at least partially solar powered. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r03nim-6qBw&feature=related Designer Calin Gologan gives a walkthrough of the design features which make Elektra One such an efficient airplane, and one likely to give other competitors in the Green Flight Challenge a good run.  While he describes the thin carbon-fiber shells which comprise the airplane’s primary structure, notice the light shining through.  That thinness helps explain Elektra One’s 100 kilogram (220 pounds) empty weight, only about 100 pounds of which is structure.  The motor is 4.7 kilogram (10.34 pounds) and the controller is a 270 gram (9-1/2 ounce) model airplane …