Holding All the (Official) Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

If you go to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale web site, you’ll find only three officially ratified ratified records for Sub-Class RAL1E, Electric-powered Microlights with moveable aerodynamic controls.  They all belong to Jean Luc Soullier and Luxembourg Spécial Aerotechnics – L.S.A., assisted by fellow members Martin Marschner von Helmreich, Fabrice Tummers and Roman Marcinowski, flying their Colomban MC-30 Luciole (Firefly).  The F. A. I. made their February 2 flight achievements official just a few weeks ago. This small group developed the current power system with Electravia, and campaigned the airplane at Sisteron, France for these initial records.  They plan on going higher, faster and farther, including a flight across a significant body of water. Jean Luc shared the following with your …

Deturbulating a Record Flight

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

Sumon K. Sinha, Ph.D., P.E., and head of Sinhatech, had a part in the recent Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) record by Mr. Jean-Luc Soullier and recorded in a blog entry on March 10. Dr. Sinha wrote that, “CAFE Foundation’s Blog on March 10th, 2012 did not mention that the Colomban MC-30 aircraft had Sinhatech’s Deturbulator tape treatment on the wing upper surface as shown in the attached photograph. I would like to have this added to complete the description of the aircraft.” Sinhatech Deturbulator tape is an innocuous-looking strip applied along the span of a wing at a point which will trigger a response from the tape, which oscillates in the airflow, increasing lift and mitigating skin friction, according to …

New FAI Records for Electric Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean Luc Soullier of Belgium claimed three world records for electric aircraft in the FAI RAL1E (microlight electric, single place, landplane with moveable aerodynamic controls) sub-class on February 2, 2012 at Sisteron, France – home of Electravia. All three records are being scrutinized by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. Soullier attained an altitude of 2,401 meters (7,877 feet), covered 50.27 kilometers (31.17 miles) over a closed circuit course without landing, and averaged 136.36 kilometers per hour (84.54 mph) for that distance. All records are claimed in Soullier’s Colomban MC-30 Luciole, powered by a Lynch-type motor and controller supplied by Electravia. These are not the MC-30’s or Soullier’s first records. He set a speed record on a 15 kilometer course with the …

Lighting Up the Electric Firefly

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

One highly enjoyable aspect of writing this blog is waking up in the morning to emails from France, announcing some exciting developments for those who love small aircraft. Fabrice Tummers from Luxembourg Special Aerotechnics (LSA) and Anne Lavrand from Electravia alerted your editor to a cooperative venture in which they swapped out the original Eck/Geiger motor/controller and Helix propeller combination  (with which the airplane set a class speed record) on LSA’s MC-30e Luciole (Firefly) for an Electravia power package. Since many of the Michel Colomban-designed MC-30s are powered by a Briggs & Stratton V-twin that produces about 26 horsepower, the new electric motor setup provides a great opportunity to compare electric and internal combustion performance. It should be a fair …

Soullier’s Record – And One You Might Set

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

At least one of the records Jean-Luc Soullier had hoped for came true during Aero 2011 at Friedrichshafen in early April.  Officially validating the speed record, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale has yet to recognize the altitude record achieved during the same flight. Soullier’s MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) had a royal Sponsor, His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco observing while Jean-Luc flew a 15/25 kilometer (9.3/15.5 miles) straight-line course out and return at 135 kilometers per hour (83.7 mph), winning the RAL1E subclass speed record for microlights. Several subclasses exist for one and two-seat electric microlights – few of which have recognized records, and thereby becoming an opportunity for early adapters of battery-powered, fuel cell or hybrid flight.  These “empty” subclasses are a golden opportunity for those willing to provide …

The Electric Firefly Sets Two World Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean-Luc Soullier has converted Michel Colomban’s two-cylinder internal combustion MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) into an electric aircraft – not without some teething problems, but with plenty of promise.  His group, LSA, Luxembourg Spécial Aerotechnics, consists of Jean-Luc, Martin Marschner von Helmreich, and Fabrice Tummers – and has terrific ambitions. Fabrice, in response to questions about the record attempts, sent the following: “Our target in 2011 is to realize the totality of the world records of the F.A.I. in the category RAL 1E, and cross the Mediterranean Sea.  The first attempt [a speed record] was not ratified by the F.A.I. but the medium speed recorded was 160 kilometers per hour (99.4 mph) over 15 kilometers. (9.3 miles)” With the 118 pounds of batteries …