A Trio of Winners at Friedrichshafen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Erik Lindbergh, as part of his Lindbergh Foundation, has instituted a suite of prizes to recognize and , “Accelerate development of practical electric flight, and stimulate meaningful advances in the emerging electric aircraft industry.”    Having presented four prizes at last year’s Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture, Lindbergh followed up at Aero-Friedrichshafen 2011 as part of the Berblinger Competition – which drew 24 entrants and eight aircraft that actually completed the Friedrichshafen-Ulm-Friedrichshafen out-and-return course.  With sponsors including Sergei Sikorsky, son of Igor Sikorsky, a competitor for the original Orteig Prize that prompted Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 New York to Paris flight; His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, who backs LEAP; and Messe-Friedrichshafen, hosts to the Aero 2011 and to the First …

Lucky 13 to Fly in Green Flight Challenge

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 4 Comments

Following rigorous evaluations of all aircraft to ensure they meet all standards for the contest, Dr. Brien Seeley, President of the CAFE Foundation, announced the 13 entrants who will compete in the Green Flight Challenge at Santa Rosa, California between July 11 and 17, 2011.  This exciting event will offer the public a first view of some incredible designs and resourceful competitors.  Since the minimum performance required for consideration includes things such as the ability to fly a 200 mile course at 100 mph or better average speed, the ability to clear a 50-foot barrier on a 2,000 foot runway during both takeoff and landing, and the efficiency to attain at least 200 passenger miles per gallon during the overall flight, all aircraft are obviously the most …

Sunseeker III Becomes the Duo

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dropping a digit and its Latinate numeration, the recently renamed Sunseeker, a joint collaboration between Eric Raymond and a group of German, Swiss, Polish and Slovenian contributors, is showing progress towards its 2011 test flights. The 23-meter (75.46 feet) span solar-powered sailplane takes its wing from the Stuttgart Akaflieg Icare II, its fuselage from the Stemme basic profiles, is being built at least partially in Poland, and uses an electric motor designed by Slovenian native Roman Susnik, as noted in an earlier entry. The craft’s specifications provide evidence of the care employed in the design and construction of this lightweight marvel.  A 75-foot wing aircraft weighing 270 kilograms (594 pounds) empty and 470 kilograms ( 1,034 pounds) when carrying two in its …

Solar Impulse – Swiss Pride

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Andre’ Borschberg, CEO of the Solar Impulse project, has been flying the giant airplane over many scenic and civic sites in Switzerland, crossing from its home field at Payerne to Geneva International Airport on September 21, and then returning the same day to Payerne.  The next day, Borschberg cruised to Zurich International Airport and returned to the plane’s home base.  As quoted in the project’s press release, Borschberg was happy about the chance to view Switzerland from his rare and lofty perch.  “’These flights are just amazing! Thanks to the plane’s low speed, I was able to discover Switzerland from a completely new angle, fully taking in the beauty of our country!’ said André Borschberg, CEO and Co-founder of Solar …

Solar Sailer Seeks Companionship

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Until now, all solar flight has been solo.  This is understandable, given the need for light weight and large wing areas.  But Eric Raymond is about to change this with Sunseeker III, the world’s first two-seat solar-powered airplane, shown at last weekend’s Green Aviation Show at Le Bourget Field near Paris, France.  Indoor displays were in the Musee’ de l’Air et de L’Espace (the Air and Space Museum). Sunseeker III has a roomy side-by-side seating arrangement in a fuselage derived from the Stemme sailplane.  The wing is crafted from the molds (on long-term loan) for Stuttgart University’s 25-meter (80 feet) Icare II, flown in 1996.  As Raymond explains in his blog, “Professor Nitschmann’s design firm www.sfl-gmbh.de is very friendly to our project, and we hope to work together …

Many Happy Hours in Sunny Skies

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 1 Comment

Eric Raymond, over the last 20 years, has accumulated more solar-powered flying hours than any other pilot. And what hours these have been. Having met Gunther Rochelt and flown Rochelt’s Musculair human-powered airplane in 1986, Eric was inspired to apply the light construction techniques to the building of a solar-powered airplane. In 1990, he flew Sunseeker I across the United State in 21 hops totaling 121 hours in the air, going from California to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the birthplace of powered flight. He upgraded Sunseeker over the years, improving the powerplant and aerodynamics of the amazingly light aircraft. Even with solar cells, batteries, and a 2.5 kW motor, the airplane weighed little more than a legal ultralight. Sunseeker II …