Silent 2 Electro Certified in Germany

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Luka Znidarsic shared this happy message this morning. “We are very proud to inform you, that the SILENT 2 Electro, equipped with our FES system, has been awarded Type Certification by the German Aero Club (DAeC). “This is the very first electric powered Ultralight sailplane certified, by DAeC. This represents a significant milestone in gliding history, which marks a new age of technology!” We hope this breakthrough in Germany encourages our own Federal Aviation Administration to review their schedule for electric aircraft certification.  Such rule making would allow sales of existing electric motorgliders and   light aircraft and encourage others to step up development of these alternatives to fuel-burning lightplanes. The Type Certificate gives some clear ideas of the technology incorporated in the very …

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 …

Small car, Small motor, Big Launch

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

This recent video from FES (Front Electric Sustainer) in Slovenia shows a relatively low-budget way to launch and sustain a sailplane in flight.  This was uploaded to YouTube by Lumakaja on September 27, with the following commentary. “This way of sailplane start, can make gliding much cheaper! Idea is simple: Use of FES after being airborne with help of auto-tow. Only a few sailplanes have high enough landing gear, so that propeller clearance on grass is not too small for safe self-launch. With minimal help of auto-tow than all FES equipped sailplanes would not need towing plane or winch any more to become airborne. All you need is FES equipped sailplane, usual car and about 120 meters (384 feet) of Dyneema rope. Such …

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 …

Front Electric Self-Launcher on a Silent

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Slovenian father-son team Luka and Matija Znidarsic developed a unique approach to keep a sailplane aloft once it’s launched through traditional aero-tow or winch methods.  Their outrunner  brushless motor produces 15 kilowatts (20 horsepower)at 100 Volts continuously, and can generate 25 kW (33 horsepower) for short bursts.  Weighing  6.5 kilograms (14.3 pounds) in a 180 millimeter (7 inches) diameter, 80 mm (3.15 inches) long package, the motor can be easily set into the modified nose of a conventional sailplane, with a one-meter diameter propeller folding neatly into the streamlines of the fuselage.  It has powered a LAK-17A 18-meter sailplane, showing a positive rate of climb when energized.  In a big sailplane like the LAK, the motor allows shortening expensive tows or extending flight when thermals become iffy. Now, …

FES at Friedrichshafen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

The Front Electric Sustainer motor system, developed by Slovenian father and son entrepreneur team Matija and Luka Znidarsic, was on display at the E-Flight Expo, part of the larger Friedrichshafen Aero 2010 show.  Both are graduates in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ljubljana.   This system, described in an earlier entry (“Power Up Front,” November 1, 2009), is meant to provide power for a sailplane that is launched by other means, such as an aerotow or winch.  Its light weight does not detract from the normal performance of the sailplane, but does enhance safety, with the pilot able to start the motor and power away into a modest climb if necessary to save a flight. In response to this editor’s naive questions, Luka responded, “No, there …

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 …