e-Genius Extends Its Range

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC 1 Comment

Shown at the E-Flight Expo at Friedrichshafen’s Aero 2015, Stuttgart University’s e-Genius had an aerodynamic-looking pod next to one wing, containing an ENGIRO range extender consisting of a Wankel-type engine and a generator.  The unit could, as its name implies, help e-Genius go for new records to add to its already significant collection. Bill Lofton at EV Hangar has detailed the extender, now associated with the e-Genius and in a larger variant on the Equator P2 amphibian being built in Norway by Tomas Broedreskift. Equator’s web site describes its power system: “The hybrid propulsion system being developed by Equator is called EHPS (Equator Hybrid Propulsion System). The engine specific project is being co-funded by Transnova and the company doing the development work …

Powering Imagination at the Museum of Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Powering Imagination, a symposium devoted to that premise and to encouraging the development of electric aviation, achieved both goals on Saturday, February 28 at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.  Organized by Erik Lindbergh and Eric Bartsch, the gathering included two panel discussions and eight presentations that helped define where the world of electric flight might be heading.  Between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., presenters covered a lot of ground. Following Cale Wilcox, the Public Programs Coordinator for the Museum’s, introduction, Erik Lindbergh took the stage to explain the goals of the Powering Imagination organization, including making aviation clean, quiet, exciting and affordable.  This democratization of flight mirrors aspirations of the CAFE Foundation and is reflected in the educational efforts made by …

e-Genius, Klaus Ohlmann Set Records, Records, Records!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

“Records, Records, Records!” heads the news on the Institut for Flugzeugbau (IFB) web site this morning.  The sub-head reads, “Experienced hands plus a high-performance airplane plus one week equals seven world records.”  Admitting to fuzzy math, the writer still draws a clear line to the seven records.  Klaus and e-Genius spent the third week of July in Seeres – La Bâtie, France where they achieved seven FAI (Fédération Aéronautique International) World Records in the Category of Electric Airplanes. According to the IFB, “In two flights (July 18th and 19th) he attained: – Speed on a 100 km round trip : 178.1 kilometers per hour (96 knots, or 110.4 mph) – Speed on a 500 km round trip : 93.03 km/h …

The Green Speed Cup – Fourth Edition

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Robert Adam helps run the Green Speed Cup, a time, speed and economy run for aircraft in Germany.  The rules for this year’s contest elucidate the intent and ambitions for the event: “The GREEN SPEED CUP is an aviation competition focusing on efficient flight. The emphasis lies on fast and energy saving transportation. The competition is meant to develop new methods to reduce energy consumption of motor driven aircraft using external energy sources like lateral winds and updrafts. In making the ability of certain aircraft and techniques transparent, the competition shall set new standards in general aviation.” The Cup provides a sounding board for discussion of energy efficient flight and the changing experience of flying while exploring new techniques and …

Sunseeker Duo Goes Dual

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Irena Raymond became the first passenger of a solar-powered airplane recently, even taking over control of the Sunseeker Duo she and husband Eric built over the last several years.  Her thoughts provoke awe and envy. “Flying the Duo, skimming the white fluffy clouds from above and playing on the sky, I feel like a bird. No limitations, a pure freedom. It’s so quiet! Compared to a normal airplane, it’s like night and day. You need a very good headset in every other powered airplane, but in this airplane you can speak normally even when the motor is running full power, no headset needed. It is unbelievable.” Eric provides some hard data to complement Irena’s understandably poetic words.  “I am expanding the …

Quiet May Be the New Black

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Noisy airplanes are the bane of modern living.  (Well, that and the myriad other intrusive sounds with which we are surrounded.)  People can create and easily get signatures on petitions to close 70-year-old airports surrounded by 20-year-old housing developments, so General Aviation’s survival will at least partly depend on hushing our aircraft. We’ve been privileged to see and hear the passage of e-Genius, Pipistrel’s G4, and Chip Yates’ Long-EAS with a Craig Catto propeller, which emitted a barely discernible howl when it pushed the airplane at full power to a new time-to-climb Guinness record at the California State Airshow in early October 2013, reaching 500 meters (1,640 feet) in one minute, four seconds. This quest for quiet presses on the …

Green Speed Cup Day Two – A Clear Winner

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Robert Adam, one of the organizers of the Green Speed Cup in Germany and pilot of the Flight Design CTLS that ended the competition in seventh place, shared some information on the challenges faced by pilots in this year’s event. “We had 12-15 knots crosswind today (only a little less yesterday) and Tim-Peter (-Voss) managed this demanding taildragger (the SPACEK s.r.o. SD-1 microlight) calmly!”  This very light and short-coupled airplane flies with a variety of two- and four-stroke engines, but Voss’ had a Verner JVC-360 four-stroke unit of 38 horsepower.  It averaged a little over four liters per hour fuel consumption per 100 kilometers (59 mpg) over the practice day and two contest days.  In the Green Flight Challenge, it would …

Green Speed Cup – Training Day is Over and Day One Establishes a Record

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Happily for those of us who champion the idea of electric aircraft, the practice day and day one of the Green Speed Cup in Strausberg, Germany fetched a world electric aircraft distance record for e-Genius and an outstanding showing for all concerned.  This beginning for the third running of the Cup sets a high standard for the coming days. The Green Speed Cup has elements of soaring flight through the use of thermals, careful speed flying that emphasizes fuel economy, and precise flight planning with attention to the planned route, winds aloft, and power settings. Green Speed Cup organizers map out a series of triangular routes to test the limits of piloting skills and airplane efficiency.  As the organizers explain, …

Avoiding Propeller Strikes on Electric Aircraft

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

At last year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium, Ron Gremban, developer of the Prius plug-in hybrid, shared several questions about promoting safety in electric aircraft.  One aspect that provoked deep thought was that of safety for those working around an electric airplane, whose propeller could start quietly and possibly strike an unaware bystander.  During the Green Flight Challenge, it was noteworthy that unlike their gasoline-powered counterparts which idled while awaiting takeoff, the Pipistrel G4 and e-Genius awaited their turn to launch with propellers at rest, only spinning when commanded – and very quietly at that. The question of avoiding prop strikes found at least one answer at EAS VII.  Karl Kaser demonstrated, in model form, his ePropeller Safety Device (eSD), noting “the …

Flying e-Genius for Two Years

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

At this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium, Rudolf Voit Nitschmann, Len Schumann, and Ingmar Geiss shared their well-documented experiences with e-Genius, second place winner in 2011’s Green Flight Challenge.  Flown by Erik Raymond and Klauss Ohlmann, the airplane managed 397.5 passenger miles per gallon on its 200-mile trek around a closed circuit between Santa Rosa, California and the distant geothermal power plants that provided the electricity for its flight. As Voit Nitschmann, leader of the e-Genius team since 2005 noted, one must design electric aircraft around the beneficial aspects of such vehicles to gain the greatest performance.  Originally slated to be hydrogen powered, e-Genius mounts its 59-pound motor on the leading edge of the vertical rudder, more difficult with a heavier …