e-Genius Gets Around Quickly, Inspires Others

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Hybrid Aircraft, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Birds of the Same Tail Feather Configuration Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann (emeritus) had a lot to do with designing the 1996 Icare II solar-powered sailplane and the 2011 e-Genius.  Icare II set several world records in its 20 years, most under the guidance of pilot Klaus Ohlmann.  e-Genius won the award for being the quietest airplane at the Green Flight Challenge held in Santa Rosa, California, and was a close second to Pipistrel’s G4 in passenger miles per gallon (equivalent) energy use. Dipl.-Ing. Voit-Nitschmann was kind enough to explain to your editor how the propeller center came to be at the top of the tail on e-Genius.  It’s a similar configuration to that on the Icare II*, and one he …

SmartFlyer Challenge: Electric Airplanes Fill Swiss Skies

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

There are few times one will see more than one electric airplane at the same place – outside of perhaps, Friedrichshafen’s e-Flight Expo every year.  But to see them flying at the same field on the same day is an even grander delight.  That happened September 9 and 10 at Grenchen, Switzerland.  Grenchen hosted the world’s first all-electric fly-in – the SmartFlyer Challenge.  It drew an appreciable number of electric aircraft of all sizes and types despite the clouds and rain that kept some from scaling the mountains. An Electric Three-Plane Formation Flight The Siemens-powered Magnus e-Fusion from the Czech Republic, the electric Phoenix motorglider, and Stuttgart University’s e-Genius all flew formation with a Piper L-4, a World War Two …

EC04 Design Wins 2016 Berblinger Prize

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, GFC, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A Big Win for Stuttgart Team Dipl-Ing Ingmar Geiß, Deputy Project Leader for e-Genius at the Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart, shared this pleasant news:  “I am happy to tell you that our hybrid-electric “ECO4” has won the Berblinger Prize 2016.  ECO4 combines an optimized electric airframe with a modern combustion engine generating electricity. This combination leads to an aircraft which cruises at 120 knots and consumes 40 percent less fuel than comparable state-of-the-art airplanes with conventional propulsion. As a further advantage, a small but powerful battery system enables a silent take-off without the combustion engine running, reducing significantly the noise emissions.”   The Berblinger Prize Gunter Czisch, mayor of Ulm, presented the 23,000 euro ($24,035 …

e-Genius Crosses the Alps on Battery Power – Twice!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

It makes your editor’s morning to receive such wonderful emails.  Dipl. Ing. Ingmar Geiß, Deputy Project Manager for Overall Aircraft Systems on e-Genius wrote the following: “We had a great Saturday – we flew from Stuttgart over the Alps to Italy, recharged the batteries and flew back on the same day!  For us, this shows the practicability of battery powered aircraft and we think this is a milestone towards an eco-friendly and efficient aviation.” The e-Genius web page on the University of Stuttgart site expands on the story, describing the flight’s accomplishment. “A milestone towards an energy efficient and carbon-neutral aviation has been reached.” While Americans rested up for their Fourth of July festivities, “Saturday morning, the electric aircraft “e-Genius” …

e-Genius, Klaus Ohlmann Set Records, Records, Records!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

“Records, Records, Records!” heads the news on the Institut for Flugzeugbau (IFB) web site this morning.  The sub-head reads, “Experienced hands plus a high-performance airplane plus one week equals seven world records.”  Admitting to fuzzy math, the writer still draws a clear line to the seven records.  Klaus and e-Genius spent the third week of July in Seeres – La Bâtie, France where they achieved seven FAI (Fédération Aéronautique International) World Records in the Category of Electric Airplanes. According to the IFB, “In two flights (July 18th and 19th) he attained: – Speed on a 100 km round trip : 178.1 kilometers per hour (96 knots, or 110.4 mph) – Speed on a 500 km round trip : 93.03 km/h …

Green Speed Cup Day Two – A Clear Winner

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

Robert Adam, one of the organizers of the Green Speed Cup in Germany and pilot of the Flight Design CTLS that ended the competition in seventh place, shared some information on the challenges faced by pilots in this year’s event. “We had 12-15 knots crosswind today (only a little less yesterday) and Tim-Peter (-Voss) managed this demanding taildragger (the SPACEK s.r.o. SD-1 microlight) calmly!”  This very light and short-coupled airplane flies with a variety of two- and four-stroke engines, but Voss’ had a Verner JVC-360 four-stroke unit of 38 horsepower.  It averaged a little over four liters per hour fuel consumption per 100 kilometers (59 mpg) over the practice day and two contest days.  In the Green Flight Challenge, it would …

Electravia Makes a Good Showing at Aero Expo

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, founder and President of Electravia, continues to find ways to expand her company’s product offerings while offering well-integrated packages of reasonably-priced electric aircraft and components. At this year’s Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany, her firm displayed the fuselage of the Electrolight 2, a modified Fauconnet sailplane, fitted with a 30-hp Lynch-type motor, controller, and batteries.  It is the least expensive electric motorglider on the market at only 30,000 Euros ($39,600), and allows powered flight for recharging costs of about 0.65 Euros per hour (86 cents).  The motor, normally graced by one of Anne’s wooden e-Props, had a forward-folding “clap propeller” or “bec de canard” (literally, the beak of the duck), a variant on the light carbon fiber propellers …

Klaus Ohlmann Sets New Solar Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Klaus Ohlmann, 59-year-old soaring record holder, has set two new records in September, 2011, aboard Icare 2, Stuttgart University’s solar-powered sailplane. The 25 meter (82 foot) span aircraft weighs a mere 457.7 pounds empty, batteries, motor, propeller and solar cells adding another 152 pounds.  At 805 pounds with pilot, its 25 square meters (269.1 square feet) of wing area make it a “floater” in soaring terms, and probably not the “penetrator” that a good cross-country machine needs to be. This makes Ohlmann’s two records, the latest of 38 total, all the more remarkable.  Declaring his waypoints before each flight, he flew an out-and return flight of 384.4 (238.3 miles) kilometers on August 17, then topped that with a distance flight to three …

Albatross, Dragonflies, and Hummingbirds

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Your editor took a trip to Tehachapi, once home of the infamous California Women’s’ Correctional Institution, mentioned in no less than three 1940’s films noirs.  (It’s now a gray-bar hotel for bad boys, not bad girls.)   Lesser offenses were in mind, though, since Labor Day weekend has been the time for 31 meetings of the Experimental Soaring Association’s Western Workshop.  The group, devoted to improving sailplanes and testing the limits of soaring technology, has been in the forefront of many significant developments, and its members include many record holders and aerodynamics experts. This year’s convocation included talks on birds, dragonflies (the Libelle sailplane), and even a demonstration of Aerovironment’s spy hummingbird, a camera-toting drone no larger than a 90-percentile member …

It’s a Race – It’s an Economy Run

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Stemme, the German manufacturer of a series of highly innovative sailplanes, motorgliders and even unmanned aerial vehicles, has announced the first Green Speed Cup, which will  take place between August 7 and 13, 2011, starting from Stausberg Airfield every day. Combining a race with an economy run, the six-day event will help illuminate the strategies different teams will use to fly “as fast as possible while minimizing the consumption of fossil fuel energy,” according to the GSC’s organizers.  Explaining that the Cup is a “a direct comparison of technologies, machines, materials and the capabilities of the pilots,” taking into account how pilots can exploit thermals and winds, Stemme expects that the competition should “practical solutions for saving energy during powered …