A 24-Volt Airplane Motor?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Biofuels, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

One of the big surprises in last month’s webinar hosted by the EAA and presented by Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation Services/Adventure Aviation was the 24-Volt motor being developed for the EMG-6 ultralight motorglider. High and Low Voltages Many, if not most of the electric motors flying on existing craft are higher voltage units.  For sake of an off-handed definition, we’ll divide low and high at below and above 50 Volts, something OSHA delineates in its regulation 29 CFR 1910.303(g)(2)(i), which “generally requires “’live parts of electric equipment operating at 50 volts or more’ to be ‘guarded against accidental contact by use of approved cabinets or other forms of approved enclosures’ or by other specified means.”  In its explanation, the …

A Solar-Algae Hybrid for an Atlantic Crossing

Dean Sigler Batteries, Biofuels, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Henri Mignet was never quite able to master an airplane with three-axis controls, and built at least seven flawed attempts at simplified controlled flight. His seminal try, the HM-8 Pou de Ciel (literally, Louse of the Sky, or more familiarly, Flying Flea) became first a matter of celebration for amateur aviators and then a cause of scandal, being banned in Britain following a series of fatal crashes. The “formula”, as proponents called Mignet’s tandem wing configuration, was sorted out after wind tunnel tests in England and America uncovered the flaw that caused the craft to pitch down in an unrecoverable dive. (For a well-illustrated history of Mignet’s design, see Henri Mignet and his Flying Fleas by Ken Ellis and Geoff …

South America’s First Manned Electric Aircraft

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Brazil and Paraguay join the few nations which have sent an electric aircraft into flight with the introduction of the Sora-e, an attractive two-seat light sport aircraft.  The 8 meter (26.25 feet) wingspan plane incorporates a Slovenian motor, Korean batteries and an American propeller, giving it a truly international flavor.  The two countries share a joint venture firm, Itaipu Binacional, building and developing the airplane and its future variants. Pesquisa FAPESP (Investigation Sao Paolo Research Foundation), an online magazine dealing with various sciences, announced the first flight of a new, two-seat, electric-powered airplane.  The Sora-e’s initial flight will lead to a testing program that will eventually have the plane up for 90 minutes and reaching a cruising speed of 190 …

Eurosport Exploring New Configurations

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Unhappily, we missed seeing Tom Leite at this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium. Happily, he was at Eurosport Aircraft, his company in Portugal, working on innovative new approaches to making electric and hybrid motor-gliding a reality. He also has a speedster that would give those who desire rapid transit a high-style alternative. As shown in the video from Aero Friedrichshafen, the Crossover will probably trend toward a simpler wing configuration, with a fixed span of 18 meters (59 feet) and flaperons that will replace the multiple flaps on the current short-span version being flown in test flights. It’s uncertain whether the current twin-motors that pop out of the sides of the extremely slender fuselage will be retained, but a new version …

If You Have to Ask…

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Binder Flugmotoren- & Flugzeugbau is a German firm specializing in high-end single and two-seat motorized sailplanes which offer outstanding performance.  Their EB29d Elektro is a two-seater with winning lines and ways – as evidenced by their recent victories in European and American soaring contests. A self-launcher more intended for climbing and soaring than cross-country touring under power, the airplane shares some characteristics of operation and design with Lange’s Antares and Arcus series and some ASH models.  The motor extends and retracts on a long stalk, for instance, and the batteries for power are contained in the wings. Binder’s EB28 and EB29 segelflugzeuge come in 25.3 meter (82.98 feet), 28.3 meter (92.82 feet), and 29.3 meter (96.10 feet) spans, easily reduced …

Sustainable Soaring

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Glaser-Dirks Flugzeugbau, the German sailplane manufacturer, has introduced the DG-1001te, a two-seat, electric turbo craft that can sustain flight and even show a modest rate of climb, but is not capable of self-launching. The “turbo” designation is common on European craft that rely on a pop-up motor to maintain flight in unfavorable soaring conditions.  Following an aero-tow or winch launch, the sustainer engine is used to allow “get-home mode” operation, or to maintain altitude while the pilot searches for areas of better lift. Until recently, single- and two-cylinder Solo two-stroke engines served on many applications.  Electric motors are beginning to find favor, though, because of their ease of starting and the fact that their light weight and high power output …