Even with Batteries, Paul MacCready Was Right

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Paul MacCready repeatedly urged us to do more with less, getting big results from modest use of materials.  That philosophy may be upheld yet once again by researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) Institute of Soft Matter and Functional Materials. As reported here many times, people like Dr. Yi Cui at Stanford University, researchers at MIT, the Fraunhoffer Institute in Germany and many others are attempting to find the magic combination of ingredients that will allow us to transcend the weight penalty we currently trade for payload in heavier-than-desired electric aircraft. Scientists at the HZB, led by  by Prof. Matthias Ballauff have directly observed for the first time a lithium-silicon half-cell during its charging and discharge cycles.  Dr. Beatrix-Kamelia …

A New British Club for HPAs

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

For the last six decades, the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS) has overseen records keeping for human powered aircraft (HPAs).  They report, “The Man Powered Aircraft Group of the Royal Aeronautical Society originated in 1959 when the members of the Man Powered Group of the College of Aeronautics at Cranfield were invited to become a group of the Society. Its title was changed from ‘Man’ to ‘Human’ in 1988 in recognition of the many successful flights by woman pilots.” Mr. Henry Kremer turned the wistful dreams of many to serious competition by donating over 275,000 pounds sterling ($440,000 at today’s exchange rates) in prize money for achievements such as flying a figure eight around to markers a half-mile apart and starting …

Kickstarter Kicks Off Synergy Fund-Raising Drive

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

John McGinnis, designer and promoter of the Synergy aircraft, had a brief twinge of regret when Kickstarter, the crowd source funding site, turned down his project for inclusion in their site.  Luckily, the gloom was dispelled when friends and supporters prompted Kickstarter to change their mind.  A great deal of this was brought about by the eloquent efforts of Patrick Panzera of Contact Magazine, Howard Handelman, a friend and supporter of John’s, and Brian D. Wendt, Aeropunk.com blogger. John’s press release, issued today, spells out the importance of Kickstarter’s decision. “Kalispell, MT, May 16, 2012: “Since its unveiling last year, John McGinnis’ award-winning1 Synergy aircraft project has garnered a lot of critical attention for its advanced aerodynamics, but its sexy looks …