Firefly Flies with New Motor and Who Knows What Else?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean-Luc Soullier and Roman Marcinowski forge ahead on two fronts to set electric flight records.  Longer term, we hope to see first flights of their motorized Windward Performance Duckhawk, modified for long-distance flights and a crossing of the Atlantic Ocean – perhaps as early as next year. In the meantime, they are putting the finishing touches on their already record-setting Colomban MC-30 Luciole (Firefly), now with its third motor, significantly larger and more powerful than previous powerplants.  Making an initial test flight on October 30, Jean-Luc managed an impressive climb rate, even at partial power. Last year, the team stated their hoped-for records to come. Our next targets are : Spring/Summer 2014 New FAI world records : – Speed : minimum …

EAS VIII: Across the Atlantic – Twice

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean-Luc Soullier, holder of Fédération Aéronautique Internationale records for speed and altitude in an aircraft almost lighter than its pilot, has a greater series of ambitions to expand the range and speed of electric aircraft. Having stretched the limits of his Colomban MC-30e with two different motors, he’s looking at a longer-spanned, cleaner aircraft – the Windward Performance Duckhawk – as a means of getting higher speed and much longer range for a truly formidable (tres formidable) crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, not once, but twice. The airplane, with a Rotex motor on the nose and a specially-designed Arplast three-bladed propeller, will weigh a mere 105 kilograms (231 pounds) empty – without batteries. This is considerably less than the lightest …

The Really Incredible H. U. L. C.

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

One of the things that attracted your editor to the idea of electric flight was the introduction of powerful little permanent magnet motors in model airplanes.  With people like Jean-Luc Soullier and Brian Carpenter having used or exploring the use of model aircraft motors on their small, but people-carrying aircraft, we know that flight with these little marvels is possible. But nothing prepares one to take in the flight of an attractive (human) model carried aloft by two H. U. L. C. (Heavy Ultra Lift Crane) model helicopters. According to The Blaze, “’This is the first time in the world that a human person is being lifted by a remote-controlled aircraft,’ said Tobias Wagner, Heligraphix and H.U.L.C. pilot.” “The team …

EAS VIII – A Day and a Half You’ll Never Forget

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Who would pass up a chance to stay at a nice resort, attend lectures that challenge and inspire, and meet at poolside with speakers who bring some of the sharpest minds in the world to bear on some of the biggest problems we all face?  Let’s face it.  Global warming probably won’t be going away anytime soon, and aviation seems destined to play a bigger part in polluting our otherwise near-perfect atmosphere. Unless…we learn how to make our favorite activity (in the top five for most of us, anyway), into a more responsible way to travel and recreate.  Since solving the problems which go with that responsibility will involve the best in aerodynamics, power systems and new, efficient technology, the …

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 …

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 …

Plettenberg’s New Motors – Ready for Real Airplanes?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 5 Comments

Plettenberg is well known in the model airplane world for its large and powerful electric motors that pull or push giant-scale models – sometimes half the size of their real counterparts – into the air.  Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation is even using them on his EMG-5 and EMG-6 ultralight aircraft.  Jean-Luc Soullier had two of them on an electric Cri-Cri.  His forum details that adventure and subsequent projects.  These Predator motors weigh a little over four pounds and can put out 15 horsepower and up to 99 pounds of thrust with the right propeller. Going beyond their model motors, Plettenberg has bold thoughts to share about its new, bigger and less model-like units, including their 150 kilowatt Nova series …

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 …

The Little Firefly That Could

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

This little airplane is the fastest in its category in the world, unofficially. Flying from Koksijde, Belgium’s military airport, it clocked 189.87 kilometers per hour (117.7 mph) over a 15-kilometer straight-line course, a big improvement over its official speed record set on February 27 of this year. It also holds the official altitude and distance record in its class. Designed by Michel Colomban, one of the engineers for the Concorde, the MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) has a structure weighing only 98 pounds, ideal for adding heavy battery packs as part of its electrification. Its Lynch-type motor, controller and batteries were supplied by Anne Lavrand at Electravia, and have flown in the MC-30 for over a year. These are similar to the motors used …