Chip Yates Charges Up for New Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Whether the marketing department at Chip Yates’ Flight of the Century enterprise chose an eponymous 235-horsepower Piper “Charger” to carry the inflight recharging batteries for upcoming tests, the name reflects Yates’ own driven personality.  He’s set a world’s record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, soaring uphill on a UQM-powered motorcycle, used the same bike to set Bonneville Salt Flats records, then pulled the bike’s motor, popped it into a Long-Eze, and proceeded to set speed and time-to-climb records.  He’s announced plans to cross the Atlantic Ocean, duplicating Lindbergh’s flight with an electric airplane and the added and unprecedented technology of mid-air recharging. This will require extensive testing of the battery pack, tethering, docking and shuttling technology and the …

72 Hours of Flight, Exercise, Rest, and Hypnosis

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The first Solar Impulse airplane, HB-SIA, has demonstrated repeatedly that it can stay up all day and all night.  The idea of perpetual flight has enticed designers for years, but the idea of a perpetual pilot has not – until the space age.  Charles Lindbergh had a restless night before his May 20, 1927 takeoff for Europe and spent much of the 33-1/2 hour flight battling his nearly overwhelming need for sleep.  A solar-powered flight will be considerably slower, and thus longer in duration, than Lindbergh’s epic voyage, however. With planned flights for HB-SIB, the second Solar Impulse craft, anticipated to span continents and oceans, the need for maintaining pilot health and alertness becomes imperative. As the team explains, “Over …

E-volo (Doesn’t) Hit the Ceiling

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

According to its makers, “e-volo’s Volocopter is a revolution in aviation made in Germany.  Safer, simpler, and cleaner than normal helicopters, it has a unique way of moving – a groundbreaking innovation. The Volocopter is an environmentally friendly and emission-free private helicopter. Instead of one combustion engine, eighteen electrically driven rotors propel it.” Alexander Zosel, managing director of e-volo, says that the VC200’s maiden flight and first test flights in the dm-arena in Karlsruhe, Germany on November 17 are precursors of coming production models. “There are already numerous requests for the Volocopter from around the world,” he added. The two-seat vehicle made several flights lasting several minutes each, climbing within the gymnasium but not presenting any danger to hanging lights …

An Atlantic Crossing With Mid-Air Recharging

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Chip Yates, already famous for his high-speed motorcycle racing with eight world records, four national records, and a world record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb among others, wants to make aviation history with a flight across the Atlantic, emulating Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 crossing – but this time with an electric airplane.  Even more exciting, the voyage is planned to include inflight recharging of the airplane. For starters, Yates’ team, composed of aerospace engineers and energy specialists, has purchased a Rutan Long-EZ, removed its gas-burning powerplant, and is converting the airplane to electric power, which they might adapt from Yates’ racing motorcycle, claimed to be the world’s most powerful road-racing electric superbike.  That unit puts out 258 horsepower and …

Green Flight Challenge Winners

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

Monday, October 3 was the second day of Nobel Prize announcements, but also marked the Green Flight Challenge Expo, sponsored by Google and staged under the control tower on Moffett Field, home of NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California. The four airplanes that flew in the Challenge at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma Country Airport in Santa Rosa, California were joined by Greg Stevenson’s full-size mockup of his GFC design and a Pipistrel Virus that had won an earlier NASA/CAFE Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Challenge.  Stevenson’s airplane was a reminder that there were numerous entrants that, for a variety of reasons, could not attend.  There is a huge number of aircraft in the wings, so to speak, that will fill these …

Google to Sponsor Green Flight Challenge

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

Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google to bring historic firsts to aviation Aviation’s largest ever prize to be awarded at Moffett Field October 3 during exposition hosted by NASA SANTA ROSA, CA (July 29, 2011) – The CAFE Foundation announced today that Google will sponsor the NASA Centennial Challenge flight competition known as the Green Flight Challenge (GFC). CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) will conduct the event from September 25 through October 2, 2011 at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport.  The NASA-funded prize purse of $1.65M makes this the largest ever prize for aviation.  Competing aircraft must demonstrate at least 100 mph and 200 passenger MPG on a 200 mile flight.  The aircraft in the Green Flight Challenge sponsored …

A Trio of Winners at Friedrichshafen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Erik Lindbergh, as part of his Lindbergh Foundation, has instituted a suite of prizes to recognize and , “Accelerate development of practical electric flight, and stimulate meaningful advances in the emerging electric aircraft industry.”    Having presented four prizes at last year’s Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture, Lindbergh followed up at Aero-Friedrichshafen 2011 as part of the Berblinger Competition – which drew 24 entrants and eight aircraft that actually completed the Friedrichshafen-Ulm-Friedrichshafen out-and-return course.  With sponsors including Sergei Sikorsky, son of Igor Sikorsky, a competitor for the original Orteig Prize that prompted Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 New York to Paris flight; His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, who backs LEAP; and Messe-Friedrichshafen, hosts to the Aero 2011 and to the First …