E-Fenix, the Two-Seater Trike

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Anne Lavrand, Electravia’s General Manager, announced the E-Fenix, the first two-seat electric paratrike.  Developed with Planète Sports & Loisirs, a leisure activities company based on Re Island, off the coast of La Rochelle, France, the trike will carry visitors on discovery flights over the scenic island. E-Fenix has an electric propulsion system from Electravia, which includes a 35-horsepower GMPE 104 motor, an E-Props QD2 four-blade propeller, and a six kilowatt-hour Kokam Lithium-Polymer battery.  All is carried aloft on a 38-square-meter ITT Bulldog wing, which can fly 35 minutes with two persons aboard, and 55 minutes with only the pilot.  First flights took place on May 12th, with Michaël Morin as test pilot. Reported to be “very silent and comfortable,” the trike …

Launching on a Leaf Blower and a Hacker

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 4 Comments

Paul Dewhurst and Dr. Paul Robertson, chronicled in an earlier entry about their simultaneous electric ultralight flights last year, have created another first, a parallel hybrid motorglider launch. The truncated flight of their Alatus took place on September 9, 2010 at Sywell Aerodrome, between Coventry and Cambridge north of London. Dewhurst notes, “Flight was quite short though (around 1.5 minutes) after the controller suffered a bit of tantrum complete with sparks! Rework [is] in process and we hope to have a rather longer flight soon.” Replacing the Lynch unit normally used in the Alatus’s motorized version with an unspecified 76cc, 2.8 kilowatt (3.75 horsepower) internal combustion four-stroke leaf blower unit paralleled with a Hacker A200 12 kilowatt (16 horsepower) large model airplane …

Electrified Minions of Mignet

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 0 Comments

In the 1930’s, Henri Mignet energized the flying world with his Pou-de-Ciel (literally, Louse of the Sky), which bore the more common and somewhat cuter appelation, “Flying Flea.” Adherents to Mignet’s “formula” of tandem wings and simplified flying controls continue to produce variants on the formula. One of the most interesting is the Pouchel, an ultralight model popular in France with over 120 plans sets sold to members of APEV (Association pour la Promotion des Echelles Volantes – Association for the Promotion of Flying Ladders), which used a commonly available aluminum ladder as its basic fuselage structure. Because of the plane’s popularity and a fear of liability suits that might ensue, the ladder manufacturer asked the organization to forego using …