Tehachapi Soars with New ideas – Day 2

Dean Sigler Biomimicry, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The annual Experimental Soaring Association Western Workshop spills over the Labor Day weekend, starting with a welcome barbecue/potluck Friday evening and an official kickoff on Saturday.  Sunday features more technical presentations and this year – an organization business meeting and a closing talk about moon shots. Pelicans, Albatross and Perpetual Flight Phillip Barnes, an accomplished aerodynamicist, photographer and expert on soaring birds, links all his interests and skills in his web site, How Flies the Albatross. This year, he brought his knowledge to bear on a design for a flying machine that would pull energy from the air it flies through to power its electric motors – Coulomb Keeper. He described the design process behind it in a talk titled, …

Tehachapi Soars with New ideas

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Every year, Labor Day weekend brings sailplane enthusiasts to Jeff Byard’s hangar on Mountain Valley Airport above Tehachapi, California.  It’s a friendly get-together that always has challenges and surprises for the participants. History on the Field This year, attendees were treated to an opening talk by Jeff Byard titled “Soaring, Something for Everybody.”  It lived up to its name, with a review of sailplanes of all types, with many examples right in the presentation hangar. For history buffs, jeff’s hangar, and Doug Fronius’ a few doors away, offer a glimpse of every type of hand-made soaring machine, including Doug’s recreation of Waldo Waterman’s 1911 hang glider, something which has been flown over the California coast. Jeff’s collection includes a Slingsby …

Sustainable Skies in San Francisco – the Sequel

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, SAS, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Getting personal once more, this entry highlights my adventures at the 2018 Sustainable Aviation Symposium as reported in the first person. The Sustainable Aviation Symposium for 2018 began its Saturday session with J. Philip Barnes, the Senior Technical Fellow at Pelican Aero Group, who expanded an idea he has been developing for several years – that of flying on energy generated and stored by a self-launching sailplane’s motion through the air.  With both a single-seat Coulomb Keeper and larger Faraday First model to analyze, Phil turns to seminal works by Glauert and MacCready to create a motor/generator coupled with a propulsion fan that doubles as a propeller and windmill.  Clever use of switching in the control circuitry should enable high-efficiency …