Three Races Going Electric – or at Least Hybrid

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Three major automobile and motorcycle races are adapting electric or hybrid power, and seeing winners in all categories.   The three take place in the month of June every year, making the month a showtime for innovation and a demonstration of incredible driving skills. Isle of Man Perhaps the most dangerous of all events, the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy motorcycle race covers 37 miles on public roads running through countryside and villages.  Over 200 riders have been killed on the course since the first race in 1910.  This doesn’t discourage over 100 riders from qualifying every year and hitting top speeds near 200 mph.  The winning gasoline-powered superbike this year averaged 128.749 during its six laps around the island. By …

Running a Mile in Very New Shoes

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The Lola-Drayson LeMans Prototype (LMP) did not make it to this year’s LeMans race at the Sarthe track, but did make its racing debut at another prestigious motorsports event – the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb in England.  Nowhere near as long or treacherous as America’s Pikes Peak event, the race is a good test of acceleration, handling and sheer power, which the car displayed with great style. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sd-vAq4IDRA Lord Paul Drayson, a former science advisor to the Crown, drove the B12/69EV, a car crammed with new technologies, many of which have been reported on in this blog, and which have potential applications in aircraft.  He also set a new record for electric cars in the climb, doing a …

A Not Totally New Idea After All

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Delos Aerospace patented an electric landing gear system as early as 2007, according to their web site.  Steven Sullivan, an alert blog reader, provided the following lead for your editor. Delos says, “This revolutionary technology is a total systems integration of a fully electric landing gear and maneuvering system wherein axial flux disk motor/generators replace the old friction disk technology providing increased braking and maneuvering capability to the aircraft wherein there are many engineering benefits to eliminating the heat generated within friction based braking systems.” Use of these brakes could reduce takeoff distances and increase range by reducing fuel weight otherwise required for takeoff and cruise.  Power would come from an auxiliary power unit (APU), currently part of most large …

Formula 1 Cars and Mazda Recover Waste Energy

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

David Bettencourt, a criminal defense attorney and aviation lawyer in Hawaii, is a follower of Formula 1 racing and energy-efficient systems.  He filed a brief with your editor on the following. Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) were a relatively new thing in Formula 1 racing in 2009, had significant development problems and were banned in 2010.   Reinstated in 2011, the systems recover the kinetic energy present in the waste heat created by the brakes and exhausts. The energy is then stored in a battery or a light, extremely high-speed flywheel, converted into power and can then deliver a maximum of 60 kilowatts (80 horsepower), which can be called upon by the driver to boost acceleration for up to 6.6 seconds …