The Electric Firefly Sets Two World Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean-Luc Soullier has converted Michel Colomban’s two-cylinder internal combustion MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) into an electric aircraft – not without some teething problems, but with plenty of promise.  His group, LSA, Luxembourg Spécial Aerotechnics, consists of Jean-Luc, Martin Marschner von Helmreich, and Fabrice Tummers – and has terrific ambitions. Fabrice, in response to questions about the record attempts, sent the following: “Our target in 2011 is to realize the totality of the world records of the F.A.I. in the category RAL 1E, and cross the Mediterranean Sea.  The first attempt [a speed record] was not ratified by the F.A.I. but the medium speed recorded was 160 kilometers per hour (99.4 mph) over 15 kilometers. (9.3 miles)” With the 118 pounds of batteries …

Elektra One Video and a Correction

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

This morning, your editor entered the press release and a photo of the PC Aero Elektra One in flight, noting that the landing gear was probably retracted to allow the low energy use reported by Calin Gologan, the plane’s designer.  The video and its accompanying text belie that assumption, and promise even better performance when the airplane is reconfigured in the near future. “Elektra One performed the first flight on 19 Mar. 2011 at the Augsburg Airport in Germany.  Jon Karkow, a well known test pilot and aircraft engineer performed the first flight.  Flight characteristics and engne parameter were tested. The test pilot was very satisfied with the results.  Three flights were performed. The climbing rate was 400 ft/min.  A …

Elektra One Has First Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The brief press release and single photograph from PC-Aero says it all: “ELEKTRA ONE from PC-Aero performed successfully its First Flight for about 30 minutes. Using only 3 kWh of energy. “The internal First Flight was performed by the well known testpilot Jon Karkow.  He did the first check for the flight performance and characteristics of the electric aircraft and briefed the german testpilot Norbert Lorenzen for the next official First Flight.” Although static tests were completed late last year, speculation that Germany’s tough certification laws held up test flights ran through some of the aviation press.   The angle of the photograph makes it difficult to tell whether the center-line landing gear was retracted or not, but the low energy …

Lucky 13 to Fly in Green Flight Challenge

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 4 Comments

Following rigorous evaluations of all aircraft to ensure they meet all standards for the contest, Dr. Brien Seeley, President of the CAFE Foundation, announced the 13 entrants who will compete in the Green Flight Challenge at Santa Rosa, California between July 11 and 17, 2011.  This exciting event will offer the public a first view of some incredible designs and resourceful competitors.  Since the minimum performance required for consideration includes things such as the ability to fly a 200 mile course at 100 mph or better average speed, the ability to clear a 50-foot barrier on a 2,000 foot runway during both takeoff and landing, and the efficiency to attain at least 200 passenger miles per gallon during the overall flight, all aircraft are obviously the most …

First Rollout of a Green Flight Challenge Flyer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC 0 Comments

On November 22, 2010, PC-Aero rolled out Elektra One with a running motor, the Geiger HP-13.5 unit normally found on paramotors, trikes, and the Swift flown by Manfred Ruhmer.  Testing and the public unveiling took place at the Rotortec Company in Gonsried, Germany.  The airplane had shed the tricycle gear  it displayed at the Friedrichshafen Expo for Sustainable Mobility, where it had been a centerpiece in June, 2010.  It now sports what looks like a center-line retractable gear much like that of the Fournier motor gliders. A month later, December 22, the team “performed successfully the static tests of Elektra One for the German Ultralight Certification. The structure of the aircraft (wing, fuselage and tails) [were] loaded up to limit load.”  Test flights …

Green Flight Challenge: Elektra One Progress

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Dipl. Ing. Calin Gologan, President of PC-Aero, showed the completed version of Elektra One, a Green Flight Challenge contender, at Friedrichshafen’s Expo for Sustainable Mobility in June. Over the last two years, PC-Aero has designed a series of light, electric-powered aircraft.  As Gologan explains, “Using the existent technology it is possible to fly with a one- and a two-seat aircraft without CO2-emission for more than 3 hours, without noise and for lower operation costs in comparison with classic aircrafts. This is the future of leisure aviation as a bridge to the next step: electric transportation.” Just two months after its debut at Aero 2010, Elektra One graced the halls again as part of “The Electric Avenue”.  Surrounded by electric vehicles of …

PC-Aero’s Elektra One

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 14 Comments

Dipl. Ing. Calin Gologan, an exhibitor and presenter at this year’s E-Flight Expo at Friedrichshafen, will be at the fourth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, discussing the design and technology he hopes will imbue the winning entry in next year’s Green Flight Challenge.   He notes that the GFC, “the world’s largest prize…awarded in general aviation,” was a major incentive in his pressing forward with an environmentally conscientious design. His Elektra One is part his PC-Aero’s ambitious campaign to fly three different electric aircraft in the next few years, the single-seat “One,” two-seat “Two,”, and most ambitiously, a four-seat “Four.” With at least the shell of Elektra One at the Expo, Gologan is making good progress toward completion of his GFC machine, the prototype for …

The Future is Electric, and Attracting Attention

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized 0 Comments

FlightGlobal.com, the online version of Flight International Magazine, has an overview of the electric aircraft scene in its April 6, 2010 release.   Among the many producers and proponents of electric flight noted in the article, Dr. Brien Seeley of the CAFE Foundation is quoted extensively, as is Calin Gologan of PC-Aero in Germany, both to present at the fourth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, at Rohnert Park, California on April 23 and 24.  The article ponders the hopes of two hybrid electric aircraft powerplant developers, George Bye, featured in a February 21 entry in this blog, and Flight Design’s Oliver Reinhardt, the firm’s technical director.  Both face the issue of retrofitting existing light planes with their new engines, and the challenge …