Goshawk Goes Electric

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The GosHawk was conceived as an electric aircraft and technology has FINALLY caught up with it, according to designer Greg Cole. Its sailplane-like proportions allow it to fly with the smallest of power inputs, and real soaring is possible with the electric propulsion system completely shut down, Greg says.  This author finds it suits its namesake with a sporty nature and a natural beauty. The GosHawk is also planned in two additional versions with internal combustion engines. The HKS 700E engine is a fuel-efficient two-cylinder unit seemingly ideal for motorgliders or touring gliders. His airplane with this engine’s 56 horsepower available can attain a 100 mile per hour cruise at a fuel consumption of 100 miles per gallon, or 200 …

EAS VIII: Joby Motors – on Simple and Complex Airframes

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, Joby Motors, and related enterprises, has thought long and hard about the financial costs and lost productivity brought about by the daily automotive commute, a 1.6 hour per day ordeal for many in our urban centers.  JoeBen and the Atlantic magazine agree that commuters squander 5.5 billion hours and 2.9 billion gallons of fuel annually, stuck in the fitful despair of slow or unmoving traffic, sharing only frustration and polluted air with their fellow motorists. JoeBen told attendees at the April Electric Aircraft Symposium that several years before, he had the seeming pipe dream of moving people by air in a single-seat, eight-motorm, vertical takeoff and landing, electric commuter aircraft that would …

etlantic to Tackle the Atlantic – Both Ways!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Having pushed his electric Colomban MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) to its limits and having won the Federation Aeronautique Internationale’s approval of his speed and altitude records, Jean-Luc Soullier and his team partner Roman Marcinowski are now after significant distance, speed and altitude goals. Needing a faster, lower-drag airplane to accomplish the next set of tasks, the etlantic Project turned to Greg Cole at Windward Performance in Bend, Oregon.  Cole’s Duckhawk 15-meter sailplane outflew even 18-meter competitors in its first contest year. At a gross weight of 960 pounds (using the Windward specification), the special Duckhawk’s three-bladed propeller (special in itself) will have to overcome under 19 pounds of drag to maintain level flight at the best lift-to-drag speed.  But the plan …

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 …

Déjeuner sur le Duckhawk

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

This grab shot taken at the flight demonstration of the Windward Performance Duckhawk on April 22 in Bend, Oregon, resembles, in a totally accidental way, Manet’s great painting, Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (picnic on the grass). Although your editor tried convincing them, no one would doff his or her clothes to make the homage to Manet complete. Duckhawk is a beautiful, light-weight (420 pounds empty) standard-class 15 meter wingspan sailplane, stressed for over 12 G’s to enable dynamic soaring, taking advantage of horizontal wind gusts like soaring birds do – the first to be designed specifically to explore this realm of flight. It is designed by Greg Cole and built by the people who are almost done with Perlan II, designed to …

Albatross, Dragonflies, and Hummingbirds

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Your editor took a trip to Tehachapi, once home of the infamous California Women’s’ Correctional Institution, mentioned in no less than three 1940’s films noirs.  (It’s now a gray-bar hotel for bad boys, not bad girls.)   Lesser offenses were in mind, though, since Labor Day weekend has been the time for 31 meetings of the Experimental Soaring Association’s Western Workshop.  The group, devoted to improving sailplanes and testing the limits of soaring technology, has been in the forefront of many significant developments, and its members include many record holders and aerodynamics experts. This year’s convocation included talks on birds, dragonflies (the Libelle sailplane), and even a demonstration of Aerovironment’s spy hummingbird, a camera-toting drone no larger than a 90-percentile member …

Lucky 13 to Fly in Green Flight Challenge

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 4 Comments

Following rigorous evaluations of all aircraft to ensure they meet all standards for the contest, Dr. Brien Seeley, President of the CAFE Foundation, announced the 13 entrants who will compete in the Green Flight Challenge at Santa Rosa, California between July 11 and 17, 2011.  This exciting event will offer the public a first view of some incredible designs and resourceful competitors.  Since the minimum performance required for consideration includes things such as the ability to fly a 200 mile course at 100 mph or better average speed, the ability to clear a 50-foot barrier on a 2,000 foot runway during both takeoff and landing, and the efficiency to attain at least 200 passenger miles per gallon during the overall flight, all aircraft are obviously the most …

Green Flight Challenge Competitors Come Together on Perlan Project

Dean Sigler GFC 1 Comment

The Cafe Foundation’s Green Flight Challenge, scheduled for 2011, has drawn some impressive competitors with its $1.5 million prize.  Two of these, Greg Cole of Windward Performance, who will field a two-seat motorglider, and Einar Enevoldson, leader of the PC-Aero team, which will launch its Elektra One (see “PC-Aero’s Elektra One,” April 11, 2010), are working together quite collegially on a challenge of their own. Before his death in 2007, adventurer Steve Fossett, with co-pilot Enevoldson, had set the sailplane world altitude record in Perlan I, a modified Glaser-Dirks DG-500.  In a continuation of that ambitious adventure, Einar, Greg, and Project Manager Morgan Sandercock are creating Perlan II, a pressurized sailplane that will explore the realm of the nacreous, or …

Ultra in the Key of E

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Protoplane, the French manufacturer of the Ultra ultralight two-seater, has big plans for increasing the efficiency of an already efficient aircraft. Their petrol-powered, 450 kilogram (990 pound) all-up weight monoplane can cruise, according to the company, at 220 kilometers per hour (137 miles per hour) on only 12 liters (a little more than 3 U. S. gallons) per hour, achieving 43 miles per gallon.  At slower speeds, the plane can stay aloft for nine hours on its 90 liters of fuel. Protoplane hopes to market the first electric two-seater in 2010, basing the design on improvements in “weight, aerodynamic efficiency, batteries, motors and propellers.” Their web site sets forth Protoplane’s objective. “Making an electric aircraft is very difficult, because one pound …