Firefly Flies with New Motor and Who Knows What Else?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean-Luc Soullier and Roman Marcinowski forge ahead on two fronts to set electric flight records.  Longer term, we hope to see first flights of their motorized Windward Performance Duckhawk, modified for long-distance flights and a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean – perhaps as early as next year. In the meantime, they are putting the finishing touches on their already record-setting Colomban MC-30 Luciole (Firefly), now with its third motor, significantly larger and more powerful than previous powerplants.  Making an initial test flight on October 30, Jean-Luc managed an impressive climb rate, even at partial power. Last year, the team stated their hoped-for records to come. Our next targets are : Spring/Summer 2014 New FAI world records : – Speed : minimum …

Chip Yates Awarded Louis Bleriot Medal by FAI

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Chip Yates, founder and head of the Flight of the Century, has been honored by the Federation Aeronautique International for records set in 2013.  Chip’s web site announced the honor last week. “Record-setting entrepreneur and pioneer Chip Yates will be honored on October 16 by the World Air Sports Federation (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) for changing the course of aviation history. “Yates has been selected to receive the FAI’s Louis Bleriot Medal for his record-setting flights in 2013, which established new international landmarks in speed, altitude and distance for electric flight. “The award will be presented at the Opening Ceremony of the FAI General Conference in Pattaya, Thailand, where Yates will become part of the distinguished list of honorees since 1936 who have made …

Titan Aerospace and Its Low-Flying Satellites

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Ken Rentmeester, a regular reader of the blog, shared a news item from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Spectrum.   Calling Titan Aerospace’s Solara unmanned aircraft “atmospheric satellites,” the article gives a brief history of solar-powered craft, including the Boucher brothers’ Sunrise I, the first solar-powered airplane in 1974, Paul MacCready Jr.’s first piloted solar-powered flight in 1980, and the current world’s endurance record for unmanned, solar-powered flight  by the QinetiQ Zephry in 2010. That airplane follows the look of the Boucher’s early effort, and Titan’s examples look a great deal like scaled-up versions of FAI F5-type models which rely on electric self-launching, rapid climbs and extreme flight capabilities to win contests. Despite great successes such as Zephyr’s, …

etlantic to Tackle the Atlantic – Both Ways!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Having pushed his electric Colomban MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) to its limits and having won the Federation Aeronautique Internationale’s approval of his speed and altitude records, Jean-Luc Soullier and his team partner Roman Marcinowski are now after significant distance, speed and altitude goals. Needing a faster, lower-drag airplane to accomplish the next set of tasks, the etlantic Project turned to Greg Cole at Windward Performance in Bend, Oregon.  Cole’s Duckhawk 15-meter sailplane outflew even 18-meter competitors in its first contest year. At a gross weight of 960 pounds (using the Windward specification), the special Duckhawk’s three-bladed propeller (special in itself) will have to overcome under 19 pounds of drag to maintain level flight at the best lift-to-drag speed.  But the plan …

Going After New Records and New Adventures

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Already holder of all the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) world records for light electric aircraft, Jean-Luc Soullier of AeroSkyLux has announced his latest endeavor, the Etlantic Project.  Since he achieved these records in a microlight MC-30 with a Lynch-type Electravia motor, he has searched for a higher-performance airplane and power system. SUB-CLASS TYPE OF RECORD PERFORMANCE DATE CLAIMANT STATUS ID RAL1E Speed over a straight course 189.87 km/h 2012-09-29 Jean Luc Soullier (BEL) ratified – current record 16638 RAL1E Altitude 2366 m 2012-02-27 Jean Luc Soullier (BEL) ratified – current record 16497 RAL1E Distance over a closed circuit without landing 50.13 km 2012-02-27 Jean Luc Soullier (BEL) ratified – current record 16496 RAL1E Speed over a closed circuit of 50 km 136.4 …

The Little Firefly That Could

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

This little airplane is the fastest in its category in the world, unofficially. Flying from Koksijde, Belgium’s military airport, it clocked 189.87 kilometers per hour (117.7 mph) over a 15-kilometer straight-line course, a big improvement over its official speed record set on February 27 of this year. It also holds the official altitude and distance record in its class. Designed by Michel Colomban, one of the engineers for the Concorde, the MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) has a structure weighing only 98 pounds, ideal for adding heavy battery packs as part of its electrification. Its Lynch-type motor, controller and batteries were supplied by Anne Lavrand at Electravia, and have flown in the MC-30 for over a year. These are similar to the motors used …

Deturbulating a Record Flight

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

Sumon K. Sinha, Ph.D., P.E., and head of Sinhatech, had a part in the recent Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) record by Mr. Jean-Luc Soullier and recorded in a blog entry on March 10. Dr. Sinha wrote that, “CAFE Foundation’s Blog on March 10th, 2012 did not mention that the Colomban MC-30 aircraft had Sinhatech’s Deturbulator tape treatment on the wing upper surface as shown in the attached photograph. I would like to have this added to complete the description of the aircraft.” Sinhatech Deturbulator tape is an innocuous-looking strip applied along the span of a wing at a point which will trigger a response from the tape, which oscillates in the airflow, increasing lift and mitigating skin friction, according to …

ENFICA-FC – A Speed Record for Hydrogen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Professor Guilio Romeo of the Politecnico de Torino, Italy is a man of many firsts.  Last year, his team fielded Skyspark, a Pioneer 300 powered with an electric motor fed by batteries.  This year, in a totally new development, Professor Romeo coordinated the activities leading to a successful hydrogen-powered electric aircraft, and set a world speed record to top off that accomplishment. The Skyleader 150 Zero CO2 light sport aircraft, built by JIHLAVAN airplanes, Ltd. in the Czech Republic, was fitted with Intelligent Energy proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells from the United Kingdom, an inverter and power management system by Italy’s Mavel Elletronica, and a motor at least partially designed by the University of Pisa, Italy.  Tanks and a high-pressure fuel …

QinetiQ Lands After 14 Days Aloft

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

QinetiQ, a British aerospace manufacturer, launched its unmanned, solar-powered twin-motored aircaft from the Yuma, Arizona Proving Grounds on July 9, 2010 and landed it today, July 24. According to QinetiQ’s press release, ” Zephyr successfully landed after 14 days (336 hours) and 21 minutes flying over Arizona and is now awaiting official confirmation of its world record status.” “An official from the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the world air sports federation, has been monitoring progress at the Yuma Proving Ground and when Zephyr is back on the ground he looks set to be able to confirm a number of new world records. This includes quadrupling its own unofficial world record for longest duration unmanned flight (82 hours, 37 minutes set in 2008) …