Controversial at CES 2016

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

Making a lot of column inches of traditional newsprint and reigning as clickbait on the Internet, the Ehang 184 is an eye-catching Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) causing a bit of controversy in the media.  Unveiled at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2016), it drew concentric circles of photographers who normally save their enthusiasm for the lovely models showing off the newest iPhone or PlayStation. Coming from a firm that already makes hobby drones, the 184 (one passenger, eight motors, four arms) can carry its trusting passenger up to 20 miles, depending on who’s reporting.  Its 14.4 kilowatt-hour battery pack allows a maximum of 23 minutes of flight, and at 60 mph, a quick hop to a nearby destination, which …

Another e-Gull takes flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Richard Steeves is an oncologist in Madison, Wisconsin, on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and has hosted your editor’s visits to AirVenture in 2013 and 2014. He recently took delivery of the e-Gull he helped finish at Mark Beierle’s airport workshop near Santa Margarita, California.  The airplane was a pre-owned craft that was rebuilt for electric power in Mark’s shop.  Richard had been a speaker at a symposium on thorium reactors, a subject important to this cancer-fighting radiation specialist, and then vectored over to Mark’s field to see his “new” airplane. Multiply skilled, Richard previously built a beautiful example of Molt Taylor’s Coot amphibian, and spent many happy hours flying along the …