Airbus and Local Motors Team up For Cargo Drone Competition

Dean Sigler Announcements, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Richard Glassock, a long-time contributor to the blog and now a Research Fellow in Hybrid Propulsion Systems for Aircraft at the Institute for Aerospace Technology, the University of Nottingham, England, shared this news about an Airbus-sponsored contest for cargo drone designs. Local Motors, well known for its 3D-printed automobiles, and Airbus Group, well known for its range of commercial and military aircraft, just completed a design contest that drew 425 entries.  Rewards were significant for the top three places in the competition, with a main award First Place prize of $50,000, a trip to the Farnborough Airshow in England, and a “1-of-a-kind Cargo Drone Flight Jacket with personalized patch.”  Second place earned the winner $20,000 and third place $10,000, with …

Why It Might Be a Good Idea to Register Drones

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

At some point in the not-too-distant future, all those Christmas-gift quadrotors and Star Wars replica drones will be joined by medium-size burger bombers and two-hour-guaranteed delivery aerial vehicles for fast food restaurants and on-line retailers sending their wares to a landing zone near your front door, or perhaps the roof of your apartment.  This probably isn’t what Alfred Lord Tennyson had in mind when he wrote: ” For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, Saw the Vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be; “Saw the heavens fill with commerce, argosies of magic sails, Pilots of the purple twilight dropping down with costly bales;”   (From Locksley Hall, 1835) There are already rules …

Hybrid Quadrotor Can Stay Aloft 2.5 Hours

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

Richard Glassock did his graduate work on small hybrid gas-electric systems, and keeps your editor current on that part of the aeronautical power spectrum.  He recently shared one promising example of such technology in the drone market.  Where current quadrotors are limited in size, power, and flight duration, the Quaternium Hybrix 20 is larger, heavier, and can fly for up to 2.5 hours, according to its makers.  The, according to its Spanish maker Quaternium is six times the endurance of current camera-bearing drones. The 20 weighs 11.3 kilograms (25 pounds) empty and can carry a 7 kilogram (15.4 pounds) payload.  It approaches the current limit on the Small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS) of 25 kilograms (55 pounds) and does not …

Recharging in Flight – Two Approaches

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Two videos made available in the last two days highlight  different approaches to recharging an electric airplane in mid-air, one for a full-size, trans-Atlantic flight attempt, and the other for a miniature drone which could fly persistently in a battle zone.  Both have been reported in this blog recently, but without the helpful animation. VIDEO WITHDRAWN BY REQUEST (PLEASE NOTE:  Chip Yates sent the following message today, August 23:  “The video of the mid air recharging was done without any involvement from us and by some unknown third party. We have no knowledge of how that video came to be or why the plane is flying backwards.  Please make it clear to your readers that this is an unauthorized video done by some enthusiast …