e-Genius Flies with a Range Extender

Dean Sigler Batteries, GFC, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Stuttgart to Barcelona Dipl-Ing* Ingmar Geiß, Deputy Project Manager for e-Genius with the Institute of aeronautical engineering at Stuttgart University shared the news that e-Genius flew with its range extender for the first time on September 15.  He notes that while the battery-powered airplane can manage trips up to 300 kilometers (186 miles), the hybrid engine/generator pod will enable flights up to 1,000 kilometers (620 miles).  This would equal a trip from Stuttgart to Barcelona, Spain, according to the e-Genius web site. As the school explains, “With [the] e-Genius hybrid most flights of a typical user case can be done in the cost and energy efficient battery mode – for all longer flights the range extender can be used. Generator …

Tomas Brødreskift to Appear at SA Symposium

Dean Sigler Announcements, Biofuels, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

With the upcoming Sustainable Aviation Symposium (May 6-7, 2016) already packed with stellar presenters, we are excited to have Tomas Brødreskift join the faculty.  An industrial designer whose skills in product and process design, project management, ergonomics, and visual and CAD design have led and enabled him to bring his amphibious Equator P2 Xcursion to life will share his expertise and experiences with attendees at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay. Tomas’ demonstrated skills in designing everything from Hardrocx mountain bikes to an array of consumer goods have helped prepare him to guide the Xcursion from concept to final product.  Since he has overseen every step of the design/build process, the airplane is a reflection of its unique specification and its …

SmartFlyer – an Electric Four-Seater?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

The people behind the Smartflyer, a Swiss design concept now under development ask, “Why does the Smartflyer look like this?  With a tail-mounted electric motor, it’s a bit reminiscent of e-Genius, and also a bit like a strutless Rutan Skigull.  In fact, the basic configuration has been used on many significant aircraft over the last several decades, as a segment of Smartflyer’s web site shows. As Herr Professor Dipl-Ing. Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann, Project Leader on e-Genius explained, several benefits accrue from this arrangement of aerodynamic elements. Compared to a conventional touring motor glider a substantial larger propeller-diameter can be realized without a high and consequentially heavier undercarriage. Therefore the propeller-efficiency will increase. The front body part has the aerodynamic quality of a modern glider (no …

EAS VIII: Pipistrel’s Certifiable Hybrid Aircraft

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

No hype, Pipistrel’s Hypstair (hipster) was introduced by Tine Tomazic and Gregor Veble at this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium.  The attempt to bring the world’s first certified hybrid aircraft to market is a joint venture by Pipistrel with partners Siemens, the University of Maribor, the University of Pisa and MB Vision, a specialist in providing visual information. Siemens, as might be imagined, is providing an “ultra-light weight integrated drive train” for the aircraft,”  Slovenia’s University of Maribor the HIL (hardware in the loop) evaluation for electric motor control testing and dynamic emulation of mechanical loads, Italy’s University of Pisa for evaluation of hybrid technology advantages, and MB Vision for development and integration of the aircraft’s interior and human machine interfaces …

Eurosport Exploring New Configurations

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Unhappily, we missed seeing Tom Leite at this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium. Happily, he was at Eurosport Aircraft, his company in Portugal, working on innovative new approaches to making electric and hybrid motor-gliding a reality. He also has a speedster that would give those who desire rapid transit a high-style alternative. As shown in the video from Aero Friedrichshafen, the Crossover will probably trend toward a simpler wing configuration, with a fixed span of 18 meters (59 feet) and flaperons that will replace the multiple flaps on the current short-span version being flown in test flights. It’s uncertain whether the current twin-motors that pop out of the sides of the extremely slender fuselage will be retained, but a new version …

A Different Kind of Hybrid

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

In the Innovation Pavilion at Oshkosh’s AirVenture 2013, Joseph Hutterer quietly drew people in with a model and an interesting approach to a single-fuel type of hybrid.  Take the twin engines off the wings and place one of them in the modified tail.  Now put a small turbojet in a retracting pod in the nose.  Taxi out to the end of the runway and use both engines to take off and climb, then shut the nose jet down, retract that, and cruise on the single rear engine. Hutterer, with an Aeronautical Engineering degree from the University of Minnesota, FAA commercial pilot’s license with single-engine, multi-engine, instrument and glider ratings, and 42 years of engineering and marketing experience in the general …

EADS’ Electrifying Threesome at Paris Air Show

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

EADS (European Aerospace Defense Systems), known colloquially as Airbus, highlighted its Paris Air Show chalet at Le Bourget with three  examples of the work from its Innovations Workshops. All projects are part of the European Commission’s “Flightpath 2050” initiative, conceived to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions 75 percent, nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions 90 percent and noise  65 percent from 2000 levels by 2050. EADS thinks electric and hybrid propulsion could become an alternative to fossil fuels within that timeline, with several projects highlighting, “the willingness of EADS to invest in technologies that today, tomorrow, will further reduce emissions of carbon dioxide from aviation.” E-FAN Working with Aero Composites Saintonge (ACS), the IW Research and Technology Group has developed and built the …

Randall Fishman’s ElectraFlyer ULS – a Gateway Plane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Appearing before attendees at the 2013 Electric Aircraft Symposium, Randall Fishman’s spoke of great accomplishments and grander visions.  “ElectraFlyer ULS & Electric Ultralight Airplanes, the path to approval for all electric aircraft?” showed ElectraFlyer’s history and the ambitions Randall would like to play out. A pioneer in ultralights, Randall has been flying hang gliders since 1972, produced the first continuously powered electric aircraft, flew the first electric airplane at Oshkosh’s AirVenture and claims a primary interest of bringing practical, user-friendly electric flight to as many people as possible. Between 2005 and 2007, he designed, built and test flew his first electrically-powered trike.  Making its first take-off on April 29, 2007, by May 2 it had made a one-hour flight.  Ever …

Eurosport Crossover Sports Many Tricks

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

We’re used to seeing motorgliders which pop an engine or motor up on a tall stalk behind the cockpit, then retract it into the slim tailboom for minimum drag.  Why not do the same with two electric motors on each side of the airplane, tucking them in a slender fuselage for soaring? Emails with Eurosport’s Tom Leite and perusal of the Portuguese firm’s web site and on-line brochure verified that almost everything on the Crossover motorglider is electric and retractable. Tom notes, for instance, “Our motor/props fold into the fuselage: [they are] 3-phase PMSM motors up to 40Kw at takeoff each.”  In the video, see the long, spar web-like structure with lightening holes that separates the two motors as they …

Panthera rollout and first engine start

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

On March 28, Pipistrel rolled out its prototype Panthera, a sleek four-seat cruiser destined to be the first production hybrid aircraft and eventually, Pipistrel’s second four-seat electric airplane. It is currently powered by a Lycoming IO-390, 210 horsepower engine.  At Pipistrel’s factory in Ajdovscina, Slovenia a team of engineers and technicians fired up the engine for the first time and performed ground runs, “verifying design parameters and engine operation.” Pipistrel’s press release quotes Ivo Boscarol, their CEO: “It is very exciting to witness the tests and see the aeroplane come to life for the very first time. This is definitely a very important milestone in the development of Panthera. We look forward to the continuation of tests and the first …