A Swan among the Ultralights

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized 0 Comments

At this year’s Aero Friedrichshafen, Modern Wings showed off their Swan Ultralight, a nicely packaged machine that can fly on either fossil fuels or electricity.  Of course, we’ll feature the electric version here. The Swan E115-22 is an electrically-powered airplane of 115 kilograms (253 pounds) empty weight powered by a 22-horsepower motor.  That empty weight puts it solidly into U. S. FAR Part 103 territory and SSDR (single-seat deregulated) requirements in Great Britain, and a 120 kilogram (264 pound) version complies with Regulation 120 in Germany.  Maximum takeoff weight is 300 kilograms (660 pounds), heavier than the 524 pounds Part 103 allows, and possible legal depending on how local FAA inspectors view batteries as part of empty or total weight. …

EAS IX: Chip Erwin Follows Up and Follows the Rules

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Chip Erwin is one of many who are trying to find less expensive ways for people to experience personal aviation.  His company, Aeromarine LSA, fields a range of small aircraft, but he has taken a turn toward the lighter end of the market with his latest offerings. We wrote last month about his dinner presentation at the ninth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium and this month he’s followed up on several of the craft he discussed that night. His web site explains the different rules and regulations that govern small aircraft.  Many rules are not yet established (electric motors in U. S. light sport aircraft, for instance).  The second segment of the “About Us” section of Aeromarine’s web site describes each …

Belite – Going Electric?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Even to the casual observer, interest in electric flight is growing.  Major news outlets followed Solar Impulse, especially as it began its journey from Japan to Hawaii.  The fluster of cross-English-Channel attempts combined daring and rivalries – great for a public appetite voracious for sensation.  With big companies investing significant sums in the new technology, and with demonstrated efficiency of small craft that won 2011’s Green Flight Challenge, designers can’t help but respond to the ongoing challenge. James Wiebe, founder and owner of Belite Aircraft, has a response that will be welcomed by aviators who might not be able to fly because of their budget.  He’s introduced the SkyDock low-wing ultralight at Oshkosh’s AirVenture 2015 this week at an introductory …

Getting a GloW On

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Great Britain has recently allowed very light aircraft to fly under SSDR (Single-Seat DeRegulated) rules, which permit single-seat aircraft with an MTOM (maximum take-off mass) of not more than 300 kilograms (660 pounds) and a landing speed of not more than 35 knots (40.27 mph or 64.82 kilometers per hour).  With weights and speeds a bit higher than those allowed for American ultralights, these would be desirable as a way to expand the number of aircraft flying under ultralight rules.  How a machine such as the ProAirsport’s GloW will be regulated in America remains to be seen. Formed in 2014, ProAirsport will built light aircraft around the new British rules while adopting ASTM F2564, Standard Specification for Design and Performance …

A Two-motor Electric German Ultralight – Made in the USA

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

If you are young enough and in good physical condition, dragging a 100-pound ultralight airplane to the top of a hill and hopping off allows an incredibly low operating cost for a very green aviation experience.  As one gets older, this kind of flight is still attractive, but some form of landing gear or training wheels, and quite often, some form of motive power, become necessary. The German ULF-1 has been around for several years, prompting several builders to put their own distinct look on the vintage-looking sailplane.   In fact, over 40 of the microlift-capable craft have been built from plans supplied by designer Dieter Reich.  ULF-1 is a highly capable vehicle, with the longest flight so far lasting six …