Academy Award Winner, Legion of Honor Recipient Conquer the Channel

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, head of Electravia, shared this news in her blog this morning. Following its initial flight at the Coupe Icare in 2011, the electric airship Iris Challenger was slated to make a cross-English Channel attempt later that year. Unfortunately, prevailing winds prevailed against that November attempt between Dover and Calais. Patience and careful planning finally paid off for pilots Pierre Chabert and Gerard Feldzer, though, and today, they made the crossing from France to Dymchurch, England in two hours and 23 minutes. Built by Airstar (Chabert is founder and president/CEO of the company), the envelope contains 568 cubic meters (20,059 cubic feet) of helium, and can carry a payload of 200 kilograms (440 pounds). Equipped with two electric motors …

Man of La Manche

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 0 Comments

The French call the English Channel “la Manche” (the sleeve), nicely describing the shape of the waterway  while neatly avoiding calling it “English.” Gerard Thevenot, a long-time championship-level hang-glider pilot, celebrated the centennial of Louis Bleriot’s flight across la Manche by flying his hydrogen-powered La Mouette hang glider over roughly the same route Bleriot took between Calais and Dover on August 6, 2009.  Missing the centenary by a few days (Bleriot made the hop on July 25, 1909), Thevenot took an hour and seven minutes to duplicate the trip Bleriot managed in 37 minutes. Having displayed his craft at Aero Expo 2009 at Friedrichshafen, Germany in April, Thevenot also participated in the Coupe-Icare, an aeronautical-artistic fantasia near Grenoble, France before making his …