Going After New Records and New Adventures

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Already holder of all the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) world records for light electric aircraft, Jean-Luc Soullier of AeroSkyLux has announced his latest endeavor, the Etlantic Project.  Since he achieved these records in a microlight MC-30 with a Lynch-type Electravia motor, he has searched for a higher-performance airplane and power system. SUB-CLASS TYPE OF RECORD PERFORMANCE DATE CLAIMANT STATUS ID RAL1E Speed over a straight course 189.87 km/h 2012-09-29 Jean Luc Soullier (BEL) ratified – current record 16638 RAL1E Altitude 2366 m 2012-02-27 Jean Luc Soullier (BEL) ratified – current record 16497 RAL1E Distance over a closed circuit without landing 50.13 km 2012-02-27 Jean Luc Soullier (BEL) ratified – current record 16496 RAL1E Speed over a closed circuit of 50 km 136.4 …

Chip Yates Chasing New Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

This morning’s email brought the following missive from Chip Yates, known for his high-speed attacks on Pikes Peak, the Bonneville Salt Flats and the skies above China Lake, California. “More good news for our electric airplane programs in the lead-up to our planned attempts to set 4 FAI official world records shortly, and then break our own top speed record of 202.6 mph for electric planes in front of the 150,000 crowd at the California Capital Airshow in Sacramento October 5-6!” Chip’s normal enthusiasm may have shortened the battery life on this Long-ESA (Electric Speed and Distance) record-setting aircraft, since his pushing the pack’s limit in all three motorcycle and aircraft record attempts probably pushed the envelope a bit too …

Pikes Peak Bikers Are No Pikers

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

100-percent paved for the first time in the 91 year history of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last weekend,  maybe the road’s lack of flying gravel contributed to the extremely quick times. Chip Yates, who had set a world record for his electric motorcycle assault on the course, did not race this year, probably involved with his Flight of the Century program. This year, Carlin Dunne performed the honor of riding the fastest on an electric motorcycle – a Lightning with an IPM liquid cooled, 125kw+, 10,000 rpm motor, as used, according to Lightning’s CEO, in the Chevrolet Tahoe.   Telling Motorcycle.com, “If it can push a 6,000-plus pound truck, think of its performance in a 500-pound motorcycle.” CEO Hatfield …

Small, Quick, and Getting Quicker

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Frédéric Laude reports on the Flying Electron blog about his recent flight in the CC01e, a small canard aircraft designed by Claude Chudzik 30 years ago and pulled from storage to see if it could benefit from electric power. After a first, one-lap-around-the-field flight on March 23, Frédéric made a second flight of 15 minutes the following day.  On landing, the team found that the batteries still had 60-percent of their full charge remaining.  The airplane was stable and easy to fly, despite the presence of a big helicopter that seemed to insist on making the circuits with the petite canard. Problems with the in-line landing gear persisted, though, and the team spent the next several weeks modifying a nose …

Burrito Bombing – A Kinder, Gentler UAV Use

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

An engineering threesome apparently not finding a sense of accomplishment in their daily routine, have developed an integrated hardware and software system to deliver hot burritos in the time it takes to fly them to a customer. Quadrotors are being tested and used for an amazing range of tasks, including taking medicine and other humanitarian deliverables to remote  villages and finding hostages while providing tactical intelligence to ground forces. The hope of tacos being delivered to San Francisco Bay area residents, as advertised on a web site listing itself as a “private beta” link was busted as a hoax by Christina Bonnington of Wired.   She wrote that TacoCopter was the brainchild of, “Star Simpson, an MIT grad who stumbled into the limelight …

Electrics Hit Their Stride at Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Since Chip Yates hit the fastest time ever for an electric motorcycle up Pikes Peak last year, then pulled the UQM motor from the bike and installed it in his Long-ESA (Electric Speed and Altitude) record-setting flying test vehicle this year, other Pikes Peak EVs have demonstrated the benefits of their high torque power units.  Such performance shows the ready applicability of electric motors, with their uncompromised performance at altitude, as being great for hill climbers or aircraft. Toyota, Mitsubishi, and several private individuals entered the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, three finishing in the top 15 of all competitors. Scheduled for July, the hill climb had to be set back to August because of massive wild fires in the area. …

Pipistrel,PADA, and “Gus” Raspet

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Pipistel, the innovative Slovenian company that won the Green Flight Challenge with its G4 electric four-seater, continues to earn plaudits from the aviation industry. At this year’s AirVenture, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual gathering at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the company was honored with the Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award and original and pace-setting design work exemplified in Pipistrel products. The Exerimental Aircraft Association has awarded the “Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award” annually since 1960 “to a person who has made outstanding advancements in the field of light aircraft design and the Experimental Aircraft Association.”  John Thorp, Lockheed engineer and designer, was the first recipient, with those following including Curtiss Pitts, Burt Rutan, Alan and Dale Klapmeier and Gordon Pratt. Taja Boscarol, …

Fastest Electric Airplane Emergency Landing Yet

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Chip Yates is used to going fast, having obtained a private pilots certificate in a mere two months, and test flying an electric Long-Eze conversion (Long-ESA) within two weeks of that, but he didn’t count on making the world’s fastest electric aircraft emergency landing during a record-breaking speed run at Inyokern, California’s desert airport on July 19. With only 58 hours in his log book, Chip managed to make the runway for a bumpy but great touchdown – a great landing being one following which you can reuse the airplane.  We’ve reported that event already, but Chip just released a great video of the white-knuckle event. To help document his record 202.6 mph flight, Chip’s airplane was well instrumented, carried several …

Chip Yates Becomes World’s Fastest Person in an Electric Airplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

On July 19 at Inyokern Airport in California, Chip Yates and his Long-ESA electric airplane set an unofficial world’s speed record for battery-powered flight, hitting 202.6 mph just before a dead cell in the battery pack forced an emergency landing.  It was the airplane’s second test flight. Following a day of taxi tests, Chip, who has been taking flying lessons and recently achieved his Private Pilot’s license, set out to see how fast his 258-horsepower mount could go.  He has become the first person to break the 200 mph barrier for electric aircraft in level flight, beating the previous record by Hugues Duval at last year’s Paris Air Show in an Electravia-powered Cri-Cri.   Duval managed to hit 175 mph on …

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 …