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 …

Friedrichshafen Becomes Elektra

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Birgit Weißenbach, who heads up marketing for PC-Aero, the German firm that produces light electric and solar-powered aircraft, sends two pictures from the company’s display at Aero Expo, now taking place in Friedrichshafen, Germany. The display is overflown by a 1/5-scale model of Elektra Two, their anticipated two-seat electric airplane with solar cells, a design intended for travel, training and flying clubs. Another model, the Elektra Observer LT, represents their unmanned “Very Light Electric Aircraft” with solar cells to allow long-duration civil surveillance. On the floor, Elektra One has its full complement of Solar World solar cells, which supplement its battery power.  Elektra One Solar has longer wings and a larger solar cell area, both extending its range.  Both …

Aero-PC and SolarWorld, Ford and SunPower Light Up Transportation

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With electric aircraft showing the possibilities of a greener future, it’s rewarding to see similar efforts to produce cleaner, off-the-grid ground transportation. Calin Gologan had a gala week at AirVenture, speaking at the Electric Aircraft World Symposium to detail his Elektra One Green Flight Challenge entrant and to introduce his Elektra Two and Four two-seat and four-seat, respectively, electric aircraft.  He was awarded the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP) for the quietest electric aircraft by Erik Lindbergh, Charles’ grandson. Saturday, July 30 saw Norbert Lorenzen, test pilot for PC-Aero and owner of a flight school near Landshut, Germany, take Elektra One for a spin around the Oshkosh airspace.  Note Molt Taylor’s Aerocar zipping by between the 15 and 18 second …

PC-Aero Wins Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Vision Award

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A Green Flight Challenge entrant, PC-Aero’s Elektra One, has won the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Vision Award at AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, becoming the latest winner of this important award for innovation in the pursuit of “green” aviation. Past winners of the Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft include: Pipistrel: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen Best  Electric Aircraft LZ Design: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen Best  Electric Propulsion System Solar Impulse: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen  Outstanding Achievement Award Yuneec International: 2010 AirVenture Best  Electric Aircraft Sonex: 2010 AirVenture Best Electric Aircraft  Subsystem Lange Aviation: 2010 AirVenture Individual  Achievement Award According to Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh and founder of LEAP, the organization’s, “Programs recognize, inspire and incentivize the innovation that drives our culture, economy and future.  The LEAP …

Elektra One Flies Into Oshkosh with Solar Cells

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

As described before in this blog, PC-Aero’s Elektra One is a single-seat electric airplane with an Eck/Geiger 13.5 kilowatt motor in the nose, and now at least partially solar powered. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r03nim-6qBw&feature=related Designer Calin Gologan gives a walkthrough of the design features which make Elektra One such an efficient airplane, and one likely to give other competitors in the Green Flight Challenge a good run.  While he describes the thin carbon-fiber shells which comprise the airplane’s primary structure, notice the light shining through.  That thinness helps explain Elektra One’s 100 kilogram (220 pounds) empty weight, only about 100 pounds of which is structure.  The motor is 4.7 kilogram (10.34 pounds) and the controller is a 270 gram (9-1/2 ounce) model airplane …

A Useful Spreadsheet and GFC Handicapping Tool

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

For analyzing the greatest economy from an aircraft’s design, Howard Handelman, a highly-engaged reader of this blog, provides a link to his web site, which includes a downloadable spreadsheet he has devised that will give the inquiring reader hours of enjoyment. Handelman, self-described as, “just a retired IT guy,” with “weak math skills,” but a “compulsively curious” nature, has devised a tool for analyzing any airplane’s performance based on a few known variables, and which he has applied to many of the Green Flight Challenge’s aircraft. The basis for his analyses is his “triangle tool,” a wedge that can be used to help design propellers, “test [the] truth” of claimed aircraft performance, and estimate brake horsepower in real life circumstances (at …

The Electric Firefly Sets Two World Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean-Luc Soullier has converted Michel Colomban’s two-cylinder internal combustion MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) into an electric aircraft – not without some teething problems, but with plenty of promise.  His group, LSA, Luxembourg Spécial Aerotechnics, consists of Jean-Luc, Martin Marschner von Helmreich, and Fabrice Tummers – and has terrific ambitions. Fabrice, in response to questions about the record attempts, sent the following: “Our target in 2011 is to realize the totality of the world records of the F.A.I. in the category RAL 1E, and cross the Mediterranean Sea.  The first attempt [a speed record] was not ratified by the F.A.I. but the medium speed recorded was 160 kilometers per hour (99.4 mph) over 15 kilometers. (9.3 miles)” With the 118 pounds of batteries …

Elektra One Has First Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The brief press release and single photograph from PC-Aero says it all: “ELEKTRA ONE from PC-Aero performed successfully its First Flight for about 30 minutes. Using only 3 kWh of energy. “The internal First Flight was performed by the well known testpilot Jon Karkow.  He did the first check for the flight performance and characteristics of the electric aircraft and briefed the german testpilot Norbert Lorenzen for the next official First Flight.” Although static tests were completed late last year, speculation that Germany’s tough certification laws held up test flights ran through some of the aviation press.   The angle of the photograph makes it difficult to tell whether the center-line landing gear was retracted or not, but the low energy …

First Rollout of a Green Flight Challenge Flyer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC 0 Comments

On November 22, 2010, PC-Aero rolled out Elektra One with a running motor, the Geiger HP-13.5 unit normally found on paramotors, trikes, and the Swift flown by Manfred Ruhmer.  Testing and the public unveiling took place at the Rotortec Company in Gonsried, Germany.  The airplane had shed the tricycle gear  it displayed at the Friedrichshafen Expo for Sustainable Mobility, where it had been a centerpiece in June, 2010.  It now sports what looks like a center-line retractable gear much like that of the Fournier motor gliders. A month later, December 22, the team “performed successfully the static tests of Elektra One for the German Ultralight Certification. The structure of the aircraft (wing, fuselage and tails) [were] loaded up to limit load.”  Test flights …

Green Flight Challenge: Elektra One Progress

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Dipl. Ing. Calin Gologan, President of PC-Aero, showed the completed version of Elektra One, a Green Flight Challenge contender, at Friedrichshafen’s Expo for Sustainable Mobility in June. Over the last two years, PC-Aero has designed a series of light, electric-powered aircraft.  As Gologan explains, “Using the existent technology it is possible to fly with a one- and a two-seat aircraft without CO2-emission for more than 3 hours, without noise and for lower operation costs in comparison with classic aircrafts. This is the future of leisure aviation as a bridge to the next step: electric transportation.” Just two months after its debut at Aero 2010, Elektra One graced the halls again as part of “The Electric Avenue”.  Surrounded by electric vehicles of …