eSpirit of St. Louis Runs at Oshkosh

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

One of the biggest thrills this year at Oshkosh was getting to see Eagle Flight Research Center’s DA-36 run its YASA electric motor.  Eagle Flight, an outgrowth of Erik Lindbergh’s Powering Imagination program he’s been pursuing for the last several years, aims to create quiet electric aircraft that will carry sight-seers over National Parks and Monuments.  Such flights would not disturb people or wildlife below, and would give a Gabriel’s eye view of the most pristine places in our country. International Approval His ideas have met with international support.  As noted on the YouTube video of their meeting, “… Flavia Schlegel (Assistant Director-General (ADG) for the Natural Sciences) at UNESCO in Paris… gave an enthusiastic endorsement of our eSpirit of …

Mike Friend’s Hybrid Electric Solution

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Electric airplanes currently can give 15 or 20 minutes of intense aerobatics, or about an hour of more sedate cruising.  What if you had a lovely little airplane that invited flinging it about the sky, but you still wanted to visit distant places?  In 2005, Mike Friend owned a Silence Twister, a Spitfire-like single-seater registered as N787M, a nod to Mike’s employer, Boeing.  He thought about making it a hybrid craft. Waiting for Batteries An early effort around 2010 by a German company to electrify the Twister did not produce a surge of orders, and Mike presented a 2011 symposium feature on making a hybrid out of the Twister to reduce its fuel burn while retaining its frisky character.  That …

Diamond Hybrid Drive – One Engine, Two Motors

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

Diamond aircraft seem to have been the go-to choice for electrification, with Boeing and Airbus fielding different versions powered by an array of powerplants.    In 2008,Boeing’s fuel cell-powered craft, a DA-36 Dimona motorglider, “was modified by [Boeing Research and Technology Europe] (BR&TE) to include a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell/lithium-ion battery hybrid system to power an electric motor coupled to a conventional propeller.”  Airbus’ 2011 DA-36 “E-Star’s” propeller was powered by a 70kW electric motor from Siemens, with electricity supplied by a small Wankel engine from Austro Engine with a generator functioning solely as a power source.  In 2014, Airbus showed an improved version of this craft at the Paris Air Show.  Erik Lindbergh chose the Diamond HK-36 for …

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 …

Powering Imagination in Seattle

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Seattle’s Museum of Flight on Boeing Field will host a one-day event, Powering Imagination, an electric flight symposium organized by Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Presentations will be held in the William M. Allen Theater at the Museum, starting at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 28 and ending at 5:00 p.m.   Admission is free, but RSVP to cwilcox@museumofflight.org to guarantee a seat. Topics include an update on the NASA LEAPTech aircraft being designed and built by Joby Aviation and powered by Joby motors.  This 20-motor (!) aircraft will achieve a high coefficient of lift from the motors that distribute thrust over the entire span. Eric Lindbergh will talk about the Quiet Flight Initiative, a multi-pronged approach to …

E-volo (Doesn’t) Hit the Ceiling

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

According to its makers, “e-volo’s Volocopter is a revolution in aviation made in Germany.  Safer, simpler, and cleaner than normal helicopters, it has a unique way of moving – a groundbreaking innovation. The Volocopter is an environmentally friendly and emission-free private helicopter. Instead of one combustion engine, eighteen electrically driven rotors propel it.” Alexander Zosel, managing director of e-volo, says that the VC200’s maiden flight and first test flights in the dm-arena in Karlsruhe, Germany on November 17 are precursors of coming production models. “There are already numerous requests for the Volocopter from around the world,” he added. The two-seat vehicle made several flights lasting several minutes each, climbing within the gymnasium but not presenting any danger to hanging lights …

Yuneec Returns to America as Greenwing

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Under the direction of CEO Tian Yu, Yuneec International is back in the U. S. as Greenwing International, selling the single-seat e-Spyder and two-seat e430, as well as a range of motors, controllers, and battery packs. Based at Cable Airport near Los Angeles, California, the group has been assembling and testing the first of the Flightstar-based e-Spyders and will have several on hand at AirVenture 2013 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin next week. The group recently had an illustrious name as test pilot. Erik Lindbergh shares his thoughts about his first flight in an electric airplane. “After five years working to accelerate the development of the electric aircraft industry I have finally realized my dream to fly an electric aircraft, thanks to …

e-volo Wins Lindbergh Innovation Award

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

e-volo, the company that crafted the VC-1 16-blade ultralight helicopter last year, won the Lindbergh Prize for that accomplishment and for its ongoing development of the multi-rotor platform, with single, two-seat, and unmanned aerial vehicles in conceptual versions. Yolanka Wulff, CEO of the Lindbergh Foundation, shared their press release on this award, given April 20 at AERO-Friedrichshafen.  Erik Lindbergh presented the AERO 2012 Lindbergh Prize for Innovation to e-volo for the group’s “breakthroughs in redundancy, simplicity of controls and inefficiencies inherent in the control surfaces normally used in aircraft.”  The Foundation noted, “This aircraft was so innovative that it appears to be in a category all by itself.” The award cited the safety of multiply redundant motors, controllers, and propellers, …

Lindbergh Foundation, LEAP Host Electric Aircraft Meetings During Sun ‘n Fun

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

The Lindbergh Foundation and the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize combine forces to present electric aviation events during the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In in late March, according to information from Erik Lindbergh and Yolanka Wulff. First, the International Workshop for Electric Aircraft Standardization will take place during the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland Florida on Wednesday, March 28.  The workshop will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn and “brings together civil aviation authorities, researchers, and manufacturers/designers for discussions on standardizing technologies of this emerging aircraft category. The workshop concludes with our second official Electric Aircraft Development Alliance (EADA) meeting.” The Lindbergh organizations hope that EADA will partner with ASTM (formerly the American Standards for Testing and Materials) and an alliance …

Green Flight Challenge Winners

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

Monday, October 3 was the second day of Nobel Prize announcements, but also marked the Green Flight Challenge Expo, sponsored by Google and staged under the control tower on Moffett Field, home of NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California. The four airplanes that flew in the Challenge at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma Country Airport in Santa Rosa, California were joined by Greg Stevenson’s full-size mockup of his GFC design and a Pipistrel Virus that had won an earlier NASA/CAFE Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Challenge.  Stevenson’s airplane was a reminder that there were numerous entrants that, for a variety of reasons, could not attend.  There is a huge number of aircraft in the wings, so to speak, that will fill these …