Airbus E-Fans 2.0 and 4.0 Dropped in Favor of E-Fan X

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Much like waiting for the single-person ram-jet helicopter to show up in your garage, you’ll be left hanging for a two- or four-seat Airbus e-Fan to grace your hangar.  Although not sharing the news in its “Innovation” or press release sections on its web site, Airbus has announced that it’s dropping plans to produce an E-Fan family of personal aircraft.  It will move instead into developing a larger, more powerful aircraft, the E-Fan X, that could fly within three years. Airbus started with a four-motor rendition of the Cri-Cri, four MGM Compro units twirling contra-rotating propellers and producing 60 horsepower.  Their “Innovation” program followed that with the tw0-seat E-Fan, and announced plans to build these in series at their cleverly named …

Navette Brettone Carries On

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The April, 2013 issue of Info.Pilote magazine, a French publication, features the air-show pairing of the electric Cri-Cri E-Cristaline, powered by two Electravia GMPE 104 motors and riding atop a Broussard – what the DeHavilland Beaver might look like if it had been built in France. The great photos by Jean-Marie Urlacher are supplemented by a dynamic video showing a typical airshow lofting and separation – something that happens quickly even in slow motion. Info.Pilote has an informative table comparing the Navette Brettone (Brittany Shuttle), named for the sponsoring ferry boat operation, with the Navette Spatial, our space shuttle/Boeing 747-100 combo. While the big Boeing spans 196 feet, the Broussard is a relatively petite 45 feet.  The Space Shuttle riding …

Can You Top These?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Anne Lavrand of Electravia  sends news that Jean Luce Soullier’s speed record set last September has been ratified by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI).  He now holds four FAI world records, and Ms. Lavrand’s total climbs to five, including the speed record set by Hugues Duval flying the MC15E twin electric Cri-Cri down Le Bourget’s main runway at 283 km./hr. (175.46 mph) during the 2011 Paris Air Show. 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 …

UAVs, Canine First Officers, and Semi-automated Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and President of the CAFE Foundation, will speak on “The CAFE Green Flight Challenge Program,” at the Unmanned Aircraft Systems conference at San Diego, California, October 10 through 12, 2012. His talk fits well into the conference’s sub-title, “Opportunities, Needs and Challenges,” and will probably reflect the direction he’s been pointing to with recent CAFE presentations on aerial commuting and pocket airports.  The Green Flight Challenge certainly showed that the nascent technology is capable of giving fast, short-range transport at a potentially economical price. The conference will focus on military uses of UAVs and how to integrate them with existing hardware and systems. Since many military-based unmanneds will be navigating our civilian skies in the near future, civilian …

Electravia, Cri-Cri Set Speed Record at Paris Air Show

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand of Electravia in Grenoble, France, shares this exciting news from the Paris Air Show today. “A new speed world record for electric aircraft : 283 km/h ! (175.46 mph) “Hugues Duval holds the world speed record for an electrically powered aircraft after reaching the top speed of 283 km/h during his presentation flight today in the 49th Paris Air Show (Saturday 25th of June, 2011). “This electric Cri-Cri is powered by two electric propulsion systems ELECTRAVIA (35 HP each), two special high-speed propellers E-PROPS and 3 kWh of KOKAM Lithium-Polymer batteries (24 kg). “This flight has shown to key actors of [the] aeronautics world present at [the] Paris Air Show 2011 that electric engines are a real alternative …

EADS Pulls Off Electric Hat Trick at 2011 Paris Air Show

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

At the 2011 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget this week, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company N.V. (EADS) showcased at least three electric flight vehicles – two emonstrating current reality and one pointing toward a cleaner future for short-to-medium range airliners. Cri-Cri, the four-motored, contra-rotating props on stalks aerobatic wonder, did indeed perform at the 2011 Paris Air Show, doing six-minute routines daily at the show.  Didier Esteyne, the plane’s obviously accomplished pilot, explains things in this video. Emmanuel Joubert, Program Head for the All-electric Cri-Cri at EADS, explained the plane’s advantages.  “In all-electric mode, the plane’s performance during climb and aerobatics is better compared to a conventional aircraft of this type.  This allows the pilot to really …

E-Fenix, the Two-Seater Trike

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, Electravia’s General Manager, announced the E-Fenix, the first two-seat electric paratrike.  Developed with Planète Sports & Loisirs, a leisure activities company based on Re Island, off the coast of La Rochelle, France, the trike will carry visitors on discovery flights over the scenic island. E-Fenix has an electric propulsion system from Electravia, which includes a 35-horsepower GMPE 104 motor, an E-Props QD2 four-blade propeller, and a six kilowatt-hour Kokam Lithium-Polymer battery.  All is carried aloft on a 38-square-meter ITT Bulldog wing, which can fly 35 minutes with two persons aboard, and 55 minutes with only the pilot.  First flights took place on May 12th, with Michaël Morin as test pilot. Reported to be “very silent and comfortable,” the trike …

Would You Believe There Are Two Electric Cri-Cri’s?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

EADS, the Airbus people, gained a high degree of publicity with their four-motor Cri-Cri, as reported here previously, but a new contender has outraced it. Didier Esteyne flew the EADS plane for the press and showed it to good advantage.  His mount was powered by four 15-horsepower electric motors, paired in pods on either side of the plane’s nose. The contra-rotating propellers gave a good performance judging from the in-flight video. EADS’ 60 total horsepower gave it a top speed of 141 miles per hour, but that was eclipsed by another electric Cri Cri, this one with a single 25-horsepower Electravia brushed motor on each stalk.  Bigger motors swinging bigger propellers gave it a speed advantage and a world record of 262 kilometers per …

What’s Small and Green and Has Four Motors?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

At the extremely opposite end of the scale of its big brothers and sisters in the Airbus family, the Green Cri-Cri graced EADS’ (European Aeronautic Defense and Space) display at the second Green Aviation Show  (L’Aviation Verte) held at Le Bourget’s Aviation and Space Museum (Musee’ de l’Aire et de L’Espace) between June 18 and 22, 2010. LIke its bigger siblings, the Cri-Cri has four motors, two on each nose pod protruding on stalks like insect antennae from the nose of the miniscule craft and driving counter-rotating propellers.  The two small outrunner motors on each pod appear to spin with the propellers, and are probably concealed inside the spinners. EADS Innovation Works partnered with Aero Composites Saintonge and the Greencri-cri …