Belite – Going Electric?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Even to the casual observer, interest in electric flight is growing.  Major news outlets followed Solar Impulse, especially as it began its journey from Japan to Hawaii.  The fluster of cross-English-Channel attempts combined daring and rivalries – great for a public appetite voracious for sensation.  With big companies investing significant sums in the new technology, and with demonstrated efficiency of small craft that won 2011’s Green Flight Challenge, designers can’t help but respond to the ongoing challenge. James Wiebe, founder and owner of Belite Aircraft, has a response that will be welcomed by aviators who might not be able to fly because of their budget.  He’s introduced the SkyDock low-wing ultralight at Oshkosh’s AirVenture 2015 this week at an introductory …

Your Chance to Help Kickstart an Historic Airplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Kickstarter, an online crowd funding platform, helped John McGinnis work toward the completion of his ambitious and aerodynamically advanced Synergy.  Another innovator and pioneer in solar-powered aviation has enlisted the aid of Kickstarter for a superb project and a great adventure. Eric Raymond flew across the United States in 21 solar-charged hops in 1990, making a trek from San Diego, California to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, navigating and soaring with his Sunseeker. Nearly two decades later, he took Sunseeker II from Germany to Italy, conquering the Alps and fulfilling a life-long dream to top the Matterhorn. Since then, he’s also flown the University of Stuttgart’s e-Genius to second place in the Green Flight Challenge last September, co-piloting with Klaus Ohlmann, another …

Kickstart Kicks John McGinnis to Announce New Goals

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A few minutes ago, John McGinnis, designer and ongoing builder of Synergy, released the following announcement.  It is based on the 385 supporters who have contributed 81 percent of the initial $65,000 goal to complete the first phase of construction on this envelope-exploding aircraft. “We are thrilled to report that Synergy is on track to become the first crowdfunded aircraft of the Internet era. Thank you to all contributors, large and small. You have really gotten behind us and the power of your enthusiasm is both contagious and humbling. “What does this mean? Well, unless something goes terribly wrong (and it could, we’re not funded yet) it looks like there is support for us to complete this phase of our …

Kickstarter Kicks Off Synergy Fund-Raising Drive

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

John McGinnis, designer and promoter of the Synergy aircraft, had a brief twinge of regret when Kickstarter, the crowd source funding site, turned down his project for inclusion in their site.  Luckily, the gloom was dispelled when friends and supporters prompted Kickstarter to change their mind.  A great deal of this was brought about by the eloquent efforts of Patrick Panzera of Contact Magazine, Howard Handelman, a friend and supporter of John’s, and Brian D. Wendt, Aeropunk.com blogger. John’s press release, issued today, spells out the importance of Kickstarter’s decision. “Kalispell, MT, May 16, 2012: “Since its unveiling last year, John McGinnis’ award-winning1 Synergy aircraft project has garnered a lot of critical attention for its advanced aerodynamics, but its sexy looks …