It’s (Green Aviation) Giving Tuesday, 2014

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

If you’ve managed to survive Gray Thursday, Black Friday, and a weekend of NFL games stuffed with blandishments to entice you to the nearest mall (Thanksgiving happened in there somewhere), you’re forgiven if you flinch at yet one more presumptuous tug at your purse strings.  But we’re talking about helping pioneers on the edge of green technology, crafting the stuff dreams are made of – and making those dreams a reality.  On this Giving Thursday, think about contributing to the dream makers who are taking us into a better future of flight.   We share a few suggestions here. Solar Flight Eric and Irena Raymond are the first family of solar-powered flight, now cruising Italian skies in the world’s first two-seat …

e-Genius, Klaus Ohlmann Set Records, Records, Records!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

“Records, Records, Records!” heads the news on the Institut for Flugzeugbau (IFB) web site this morning.  The sub-head reads, “Experienced hands plus a high-performance airplane plus one week equals seven world records.”  Admitting to fuzzy math, the writer still draws a clear line to the seven records.  Klaus and e-Genius spent the third week of July in Seeres – La Bâtie, France where they achieved seven FAI (Fédération Aéronautique International) World Records in the Category of Electric Airplanes. According to the IFB, “In two flights (July 18th and 19th) he attained: – Speed on a 100 km round trip : 178.1 kilometers per hour (96 knots, or 110.4 mph) – Speed on a 500 km round trip : 93.03 km/h …

Where Are They Now? The Electric Phoenix

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

MGM COMPRO, a Czechoslovakian motor and electronics supplier, announced that they had participated in finally making the Phoenix motorglider an electric machine.  Jim Lee and co-pilot Jeff Shingleton had originally intended to fly the airplane at the Green Flight Challenge three years ago, but contented themselves with competing in the Rotax-powered machine and “only” winning third place in the event.  Their competing did elicit a great deal of interest in the machine, though. MGM says, “We are very glad that we can present you a very successful project, [the] U-15 Phoenix of the Czech entrepreneur Martin Stepanek.  MGM COMPRO plays a decisive role in a development of industrial controllers for this fully electric aircraft. As described in the blog three …

Batteries, Fuel Cells – or Something Else?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

We’re coming to a parting of the ways in energy storage development for electric cars.  Or we may be coming to a joining of technologies in new and previously unimagined ways.  One side, led by Elon Musk and his Tesla Empire, promotes battery power and development.  Yet, in Tesla’s home state of California, government and private investments in hydrogen vehicles is growing.   Several Asian and European automakers are bringing out fuel cell powered vehicles in the face of low numbers of existing fueling stations.  For all the promotion from either side, future “green” cars may become too expensive for private ownership, and various approaches to providing personal mobility may replace the traditional owner-driver model.  Regardless of the outcomes or market …

EAS VIII: Dr. Jaiwon Shin Brings NASA to CAFE

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

The CAFE Foundation was honored this year to have Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Associate Director for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate. at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), speak at the eighth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium.  His responsibilities at the agency, and his earnest regard for CAFE and its direction were evident during his talk. According to his NASA biography, “Dr. Jaiwon Shin…  manages the agency’s aeronautics research portfolio and guides its strategic direction. This portfolio includes research in the fundamental aeronautics of flight, aviation safety and the nation’s airspace system.”  Such tasks include overseeing the next generation (NextGen) air traffic control system, funding promising research projects, crafting policies that will assure ongoing progress in creating cleaner, safer flight vehicles, and coordinating …

Sunseeker Duo Goes Dual

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Irena Raymond became the first passenger of a solar-powered airplane recently, even taking over control of the Sunseeker Duo she and husband Eric built over the last several years.  Her thoughts provoke awe and envy. “Flying the Duo, skimming the white fluffy clouds from above and playing on the sky, I feel like a bird. No limitations, a pure freedom. It’s so quiet! Compared to a normal airplane, it’s like night and day. You need a very good headset in every other powered airplane, but in this airplane you can speak normally even when the motor is running full power, no headset needed. It is unbelievable.” Eric provides some hard data to complement Irena’s understandably poetic words.  “I am expanding the …

Dr. Shin to Keynote Electric Aircraft Symposium

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Dr. Jaiwon Shin, NASA Associate Administrator for Aeronautics, will close the Friday, April 25 session of the eighth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium with his keynote address, “The NASA Aeronautics Vision and Strategy – How It Relates to Electric Aircraft.”  As Associate Administrator, Dr. Shin “manages the agency’s aeronautics research portfolio and guides its strategic direction,” according to his official NASA biography.  He co-chairs the National Science & Technology Council’s Aeronautics Science & Technology Subcommittee, a group of federal departments and agencies that fund aeronautics-related research. Its first presidential policy for aeronautics research and development (R&D) was ratified by Executive Order 13419 in December 2006, and now guides such research until 2020.  Dr. Shin oversees and sets policies for an array …

Green Speed Cup Day Two – A Clear Winner

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

Robert Adam, one of the organizers of the Green Speed Cup in Germany and pilot of the Flight Design CTLS that ended the competition in seventh place, shared some information on the challenges faced by pilots in this year’s event. “We had 12-15 knots crosswind today (only a little less yesterday) and Tim-Peter (-Voss) managed this demanding taildragger (the SPACEK s.r.o. SD-1 microlight) calmly!”  This very light and short-coupled airplane flies with a variety of two- and four-stroke engines, but Voss’ had a Verner JVC-360 four-stroke unit of 38 horsepower.  It averaged a little over four liters per hour fuel consumption per 100 kilometers (59 mpg) over the practice day and two contest days.  In the Green Flight Challenge, it would …

Green Speed Cup – Training Day is Over and Day One Establishes a Record

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

Happily for those of us who champion the idea of electric aircraft, the practice day and day one of the Green Speed Cup in Strausberg, Germany fetched a world electric aircraft distance record for e-Genius and an outstanding showing for all concerned.  This beginning for the third running of the Cup sets a high standard for the coming days. The Green Speed Cup has elements of soaring flight through the use of thermals, careful speed flying that emphasizes fuel economy, and precise flight planning with attention to the planned route, winds aloft, and power settings. Green Speed Cup organizers map out a series of triangular routes to test the limits of piloting skills and airplane efficiency.  As the organizers explain, …

Aviation Week Recognizes CAFE Foundation’s Efforts

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

As noted in this blog. Dr. Brien Seeley, President of the CAFE Foundation, has been actively promoting the idea of a short to intermediate range Sky Taxi, a two-seat aerial vehicle that would carry its passengers safely from 420-foot runway “pocket airports” to other such runways at other urban and suburban settings, or even pockets situated within major airports.  The safety and utility promised by these electrically-powered aircraft would provide convenient, inexpensive trips for commuters who would enjoy TSA-free travel up to 500 miles at point-to-point speeds exceeding even private LearJets. Aviation Week recently noted efforts by John Langford, CEO of UAV specialist Aurora Flight Sciences, to achieve part of Dr. Seeley’s far-reaching goals with today’s technology.  As Graham Warwick …