Getting Blood from Outback Joe – the 2016 Outback Challenge

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Outback Joe goes through a lot of trauma in his overstuffed life.  This literal straw man gets tossed into some remote part of the Australian outback every year and waits for some kind of rescue.  This usually comes by air, drones searching for him and taking him medicine, food, water, or some other necessity.  That’s the Outback Challenge. One can see a condensed history of the competition from its inception in 2007 to today on Wikipedia, the entry including the different kinds of things Outback Joe needed for a mission to be successful. This year, however, competitors were supposed to bring back a reminder of their visit to Joe – a blood sample – a good trick from an inanimate …

2015 PADA Awards Dinner and Presentation

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

The CAFE Foundation’s announcement should capture our attention.  “The 2015 Personal Aircraft Design Academy will feature two excellent presentations: Burt Rutan on the SkiGull and Nick Borer on the LEAPTECH project. This will be followed by the ceremony to award the esteemed PADA Trophy to a surprise recipient. A reservations-only $20 hors d’oeuvre pre-reception at 6:15 PM on July 24 in the EAA Museum’s Fergus Plaza will provide an excellent opportunity to meet with aviation’s top personal aircraft designers. “The Personal Aircraft Design Academy (PADA) gathering for 2015 will begin with a special indoor hors d’oeuvre reception for $20 per person that begins at 6:15 PM on Friday, July 24 in the Fergus Plaza lobby of the EAA Museum. This will be …

EAS IX: JoeBen Pulls off a Hat Trick

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

JoeBen Bevirt, founder and head of Joby Aviation and Joby Motors , is obviously a workaholic, and not only gave a talk at EAS IX, but had an example of his Lotus unpiloted aerial vehicle at the AUVSI (Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International) conference in Atlanta, Georgia on the same weekend. Two weeks before that, his demonstration wing for the LEAPTech program was speeding across the desert at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC), Edwards Air Force Base in California. JoeBen told Symposium attendees all about his S2 personal aerial commuter and LEAPTech, a joint development with NASA. Part of the LEAPTech program has included building a truck platform for testing the 18-motor wing.  This is a fascinating bit of engineering …

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 …

Pipistrel Shares Three New Products and Springs a Surprise

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Slovenia, a tiny country which can be seen in its entirety from a light airplane, makes an astonishing array of such vehicles at the Pipistrel factory, awarded a European Union prize as the epitome of green manufacturing facilities. The company uses solar energy to power its operation and reports the number of kilowatts flowing through its plant on its web site. Naturally, we’d expect an environmentally responsible firm to build environmentally responsible products, and Pipistrel is committed to going green.  Dr. Gregor Veble, Head of Research in the Research and Development Department; and Tine Tomažič, researcher and designer, shared a multiplicity of new products and gave an all-too-brief glimpse of a surprising future project with participants at the seventh annual …

The Joby Monarch – Rising Above It All

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

JoeBen Bevirt is an extraordinary individual – and that’s no hyperbole.  Creating a lucrative underpinning with his line of knobby, infinitely-adjustable tripods, cell-phone and iPad™ holders, and LED lights, he has expanded into designing giant kites to fly into upper-atmosphere winds and generate high-output electricity.  To loft these kites, he has created a line of motors with the aid of Diederik Marius, shown on the Joby Motors web site, and so far include two versions each of the JM1S and JM2S.  Each can be configured with different windings for different applications.  The JM1S weighs 1.8 kilograms (3.96 pounds) and can put out 12 kilowatts peak (16 horsepower) at 6,000 rpm.  Diminutive, it is only154 millimeters in diameter (6.06 inches) and …

Need Electricity? Go Fly a Kite

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 0 Comments

What do JoeBen Bevirt and Benjamin Franklin have in common?  They both grew up without electricity and built kites to find it.  While being without electricity was the default condition in Franklin’s day, JoeBen was raised in a hippy commune in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Neither man found the deprivations of his youth to be an impediment to creativity.  The phrase that keeps popping up in articles about JoeBen Bevirt, founder of Joby, inc. and Joby Energy, is “inveterate inventor.”  Inveterate has the sense of growing old in one’s habits, something unlikely to happen to a truly inventive soul such as JoeBen.  Deviser of a knobby-looking grip that can be fastened to almost anything, and which can hold cameras, lights, and …

Synergy and Passion at EAS

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Feedback, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

John Palmerlee, Editor of The Flying Wire, Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 124’s newsletter, wote this in the May 5, 2010 edition.   The CAFE Team hosted what was in my opinion a very successful event at the Doubletree Hotel in Rohnert Park, April 23 and 24, 2010. Nearly thirty contributors from around the world spoke at the Electric Aircraft Symposium, and their message was clear: Change is coming… let’s get on board together. Electric airplanes and motorcycles, model airplanes, algae biofuel synthesis, wetlands initiatives, hybrid air carriers, battery breakthroughs, VTOL PAVs, tethered wind generators, flight systems analysis, nanostructures… and a mystery Green Flight Challenge aircraft promising to tap into new design paradigms. This was just a taste of the concepts …