UAM Realization May be Closer than We Think

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We are on the verge of big happenings in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) world.  Large amounts of money are flowing into the coffers of those companies which dared to pioneer in the area.  Large firms are partnering with these aerial startups.  And the Federal Aeronautics Administration is paying attention while actively pursuing certification for the new machines headed our way. Jay Merkle, FAA Certification and Airspace Integration At the Transportation Review Board’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, Jay Merkle, head of the FAA’s UAS integration office, told attendees that six (Urban Air Mobility) UAM  vehicles are “well along,” according to a report in Aviation Today.   He held that the growing market is ““more than just hype … this is …

Rolls-Royce Rolls a Few New Approaches

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Rolls-Royce, famous for building engines such as the WWII Merlin that powered Spitfires, Mustangs, Mosquitos and Lancaster bombers, is engaged on three (or four) fronts currently, bringing hybrid electric transport to the skies. Hybrid Electric VTOL for Commuting Rolls is jumping into this crowded market segment with its concept for an electric VTOL (Vertical Takeoff and Landing) machine, powered by four electric motors on the wings and two on the tail.   With over 100 machines of varying configurations that might be the Uber rides of the future – according to Electric VTOL News, Rolls, normally a conservative company, is planning something a bit radical – even in this field. Rolls’ headline for this craft indicates a new direction for the …

Sikorsky’s Project Firefly™ Electric Helicopter Demonstrator

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

 Sikorsky Innovations, the technology development arm of Sikorsky Aircraft, revealed last week at the Farnborough International Air show and this week at AirVenture 2010, the Firefly™ Technology Demonstration Aircraft, the first all-electric helicopter. Based on an S-300C, the electrified version replaces the original Lycoming drive train with a U.S. Hybrid power package consisting of a 200 horsepower electric motor, motor controller, and 1,100-pound lithium- battery from Gaia.  To monitor operations and “the health” of the craft, Sikorsky has installed an LCD display in the modified center console. One benefit of electrified helicopters would be the discarding of the traditional complex series of mechanical links between the main rotor power takeoff and the tail rotor.  The tail rotor on Firefly can …