An Image of the Future at the 2017 Sustainable Aviation Symposium

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The Seeleys and SA board members did themselves proud for this year’s Sustainable Aviation Symposium.  Your editor visited the grand ballroom in the San Francisco Bay Pullman Hotel the night before the meeting was to take place.  All the tables, chairs and stage were in place, but the room was otherwise bare.  Early next morning, your editor trudged downstairs again, to be met with an astonishing sight.  At the back of the ballroom, a pair of exotic geometric shapes glowed in blue and green lighting.  Somehow, a 50-foot wing and substantial streamlined shape had materialized overnight.  Already, attendees were peering up at the extremely twisted tips of the wings and trying to analyze what they saw before them. Aspirational Geometries …

Vimeo Viewing of First Ever Electric Aircraft Charging Station

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Brien Seeley, President of the CAFE Foundation, points us toward a video his son Damon just posted to Vimeo.  It depicts part of the 2011 Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google, for which the Foundation played host. Dr. Seeley explains, “NASA’s Chief Technologist Joe Parrish refers to the Wright Brothers in the video as Sonoma County Supervisor Mike McGuire and I cut the hose to a gasoline dispenser nozzle.”  The symbolic hose is then proudly replaced by a very real electric charging station for airplanes, capable of providing a continuous 9,600 Watts to each of 12 aircraft and used to charge the Pipistrel G-4, e-Genius and Embry-Riddle’s hybrid Stemme during the contest. The video features great in-flight footage of …

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 …

No Cracks About Glass Runways, Please

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

My daughter Ann sent me a video about an astonishing and novel use of materials – glass highways that interact with drivers and collect solar power.  Sharing this with Dr. Seeley caused him to share it with his sons, who had immediate feedback.  Damon Seeley is co-founder and partner with Cameron McNall in Electroland, a collaborative design firm that creates interactive displays involving light, sound, and a variety of media.  He thinks, “The idea is sound,” but shares some caveats based on his experience.  “I’m sure they have wildly optimistic cost projections of what it takes to produce and install these.  Also I now have 5 years’ experience with the extreme unpredictability of sandwich constructions under real-world shear loading from …