Academy Award Winner, Legion of Honor Recipient Conquer the Channel

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, head of Electravia, shared this news in her blog this morning. Following its initial flight at the Coupe Icare in 2011, the electric airship Iris Challenger was slated to make a cross-English Channel attempt later that year. Unfortunately, prevailing winds prevailed against that November attempt between Dover and Calais. Patience and careful planning finally paid off for pilots Pierre Chabert and Gerard Feldzer, though, and today, they made the crossing from France to Dymchurch, England in two hours and 23 minutes. Built by Airstar (Chabert is founder and president/CEO of the company), the envelope contains 568 cubic meters (20,059 cubic feet) of helium, and can carry a payload of 200 kilograms (440 pounds). Equipped with two electric motors …

Solar Sailer Seeks Companionship

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Until now, all solar flight has been solo.  This is understandable, given the need for light weight and large wing areas.  But Eric Raymond is about to change this with Sunseeker III, the world’s first two-seat solar-powered airplane, shown at last weekend’s Green Aviation Show at Le Bourget Field near Paris, France.  Indoor displays were in the Musee’ de l’Air et de L’Espace (the Air and Space Museum). Sunseeker III has a roomy side-by-side seating arrangement in a fuselage derived from the Stemme sailplane.  The wing is crafted from the molds (on long-term loan) for Stuttgart University’s 25-meter (80 feet) Icare II, flown in 1996.  As Raymond explains in his blog, “Professor Nitschmann’s design firm www.sfl-gmbh.de is very friendly to our project, and we hope to work together …