Airbus e-Fan Prepared Well for Today’s Cross-Channel Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

106 years after Louis Bleriot took off into a foggy morning and pointed the nose of his Model XI toward the Dover coast, Airbus celebrates the event with an anniversary flight of their e-Fan prototype,  now sporting a bigger, more powerful battery pack, lightened airframe and lighter electrical components. Their press release carefully avoids mentioning Hugues Duval’s flight the day before, apparently done to upstage the e-Fan’s trip.  It does claim credit for making the first cross-channel flight in a “twin-engine electric plane,” even though Duval’s Cri-Cri was powered by twin Electravia motors. “At 11am on a calm, sunny summer morning, the Airbus E-Fan touched down in Calais to enter its name in the record books. The all-electric plane became the first …

Electric Cri-Cri Crosses English Channel

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Michael Coates, the U. S. General Distributor for Pipistrel Aircraft, sent the following missive from Ivo Boscarol, General Manager and Founder of the Slovenian company, now in its 26th year. “Dear All, “It is my pleasure to inform you that our friend Hugues Duval after reading the information that Pipistrel was blocked in flying across the English Channel today became the first electric aircraft to cross the English Channel in his CRI-CRI E-Cristaline Electric aircraft. “As Duval already had the permanent permit to fly his aircraft there was no need to ask for a permit to fly over the English Channel, but only to fill the flight plan. It was possible to keep the flight information secret up to the …

Would You Believe There Are Four Electric Cri-Cri’s?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Three electric MC-15 Colomban Cri-Cri’s have been flying for at least the last two years.  Jean-Luc Soullier created one which flew with Plettenberg model motors.  Airbus crafted one with four Rotex motors and counter-rotating propellers on each mount.  Anne Lavrand’s Electravia converted a Cri-Cri to use her motors for speed record attempts. Now they are joined by the MC-15E built by Mr. Toon Jacobs and shown at the Federation RSA ( Network of Sport Air ) Rally 2013 in Vichy, France.  The RSA, as one would guess, is the French equivalent of America’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Electravia provided the E-Motor GMPE 104 motors, controllers, E=Helices 370 gram (one pound, 13 ounces), 83 centimeter (32.7 inches) propellers and the E-Batts 3 kilowatt-hour battery pack.  An Electravia …

Can You Top These?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Anne Lavrand of Electravia  sends news that Jean Luce Soullier’s speed record set last September has been ratified by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI).  He now holds four FAI world records, and Ms. Lavrand’s total climbs to five, including the speed record set by Hugues Duval flying the MC15E twin electric Cri-Cri down Le Bourget’s main runway at 283 km./hr. (175.46 mph) during the 2011 Paris Air Show. 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 …

A Different Kind of Hybrid Aircraft

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

A father and son team have done amazing things with the Colomban MC-15 Cri-Cri: Hugues Duval, the son setting a world speed record at last year’s Paris Air Show, and Yves, the father, resurrecting a decade-old airshow act. At an airshow in Gergy-Pontoise, France this year, according to Anne Lavrand, head of Electravia and motor supplier to the little electric speedster, “Spectators were able to admire the return of the famous Shuttle Bretonne,” a Broussard liaison aircraft carrying the Cristalline Cri-Cri aloft. Anne Lavrand explains, “At the end of the 90s, Yves Duval, Hughes’ father, presented in airshows the “Breton Shuttle”: a Broussard with a small Cri-Cri on its top for the take-off, then… during flight, Cri-Cri takes off from the …

Chip Yates Becomes World’s Fastest Person in an Electric Airplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

On July 19 at Inyokern Airport in California, Chip Yates and his Long-ESA electric airplane set an unofficial world’s speed record for battery-powered flight, hitting 202.6 mph just before a dead cell in the battery pack forced an emergency landing.  It was the airplane’s second test flight. Following a day of taxi tests, Chip, who has been taking flying lessons and recently achieved his Private Pilot’s license, set out to see how fast his 258-horsepower mount could go.  He has become the first person to break the 200 mph barrier for electric aircraft in level flight, beating the previous record by Hugues Duval at last year’s Paris Air Show in an Electravia-powered Cri-Cri.   Duval managed to hit 175 mph on …

Electravia, Cri-Cri Set Speed Record at Paris Air Show

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand of Electravia in Grenoble, France, shares this exciting news from the Paris Air Show today. “A new speed world record for electric aircraft : 283 km/h ! (175.46 mph) “Hugues Duval holds the world speed record for an electrically powered aircraft after reaching the top speed of 283 km/h during his presentation flight today in the 49th Paris Air Show (Saturday 25th of June, 2011). “This electric Cri-Cri is powered by two electric propulsion systems ELECTRAVIA (35 HP each), two special high-speed propellers E-PROPS and 3 kWh of KOKAM Lithium-Polymer batteries (24 kg). “This flight has shown to key actors of [the] aeronautics world present at [the] Paris Air Show 2011 that electric engines are a real alternative …

Would You Believe There Are Two Electric Cri-Cri’s?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

EADS, the Airbus people, gained a high degree of publicity with their four-motor Cri-Cri, as reported here previously, but a new contender has outraced it. Didier Esteyne flew the EADS plane for the press and showed it to good advantage.  His mount was powered by four 15-horsepower electric motors, paired in pods on either side of the plane’s nose. The contra-rotating propellers gave a good performance judging from the in-flight video. EADS’ 60 total horsepower gave it a top speed of 141 miles per hour, but that was eclipsed by another electric Cri Cri, this one with a single 25-horsepower Electravia brushed motor on each stalk.  Bigger motors swinging bigger propellers gave it a speed advantage and a world record of 262 kilometers per …