Electrified Minions of Mignet

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In the 1930’s, Henri Mignet energized the flying world with his Pou-de-Ciel (literally, Louse of the Sky), which bore the more common and somewhat cuter appelation, “Flying Flea.” Adherents to Mignet’s “formula” of tandem wings and simplified flying controls continue to produce variants on the formula. One of the most interesting is the Pouchel, an ultralight model popular in France with over 120 plans sets sold to members of APEV (Association pour la Promotion des Echelles Volantes – Association for the Promotion of Flying Ladders), which used a commonly available aluminum ladder as its basic fuselage structure. Because of the plane’s popularity and a fear of liability suits that might ensue, the ladder manufacturer asked the organization to forego using …

An Understandable Passion

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IPSA, the Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Advancees, headquartered in Paris and Toulouse, France, has a “Green” program associated with its aeronautical engineering program. Its students have designed Buselec 2, a 14.6 meter (47 feet) span, two-seater, electric-powered airplane, which will be constructed with assistance from Daniel Dalby, the originator of the Pouchelec, an electric-powered outgrowth of the Mignet tandem-wing ultralight, and Bela Nogrady, director of the Protoplane company. (More about both of these gentlemen and their creations in near-future posts.) Motor choices have not been made at this point, but Michael Dalby, head of the Mecadalby company, explains that, “One of our partners is working on a [brushless motor] especially planned for aviation.” This motor will produce at least 20 …