Zeppelins, Blimps and Plimps

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

How about exploring a softer, gentler form of flight?  Certainly, gas-filled envelopes provide a large way to transport goods and people, but for a variety of reasons, have fallen out of favor in recent years.  Several entrepreneurs are trying to revive an old idea. Hanging Over Our Heads One threat hanging over our heads is that of plummeting drones, either having exhausted their short-range batteries or banging up against a tall building.  The infamous video of a drone falling onto a woman in Seattle has been removed from YouTube, probably for legal reasons, but an abundance of others are there for your viewing pleasure. Maybe More Truth than Poetry Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote a prescient bit of poetry in 1835, …

Larry Page and his Water-Skimming “Flying Car”

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

What’s the definition of a “flying car?”  Does it need four wheels and quick-deploying wings to meet the definition?  Engineers at Kitty Hawk, a Larry Page-funded company, showed some major sales points for what looks to be an easy-to-fly, somewhat whimsical electrically-driven octorotor.  The Verge reports that, “Kitty Hawk promises people will be able to learn to fly the Flyer “in minutes.” A consumer version will be available by the end of this year, the company says.” The New York Times was a bit whimsical in describing the machine.  “Kitty Hawk’s flying car, if you insisted on calling it a “car,” looked like something Luke Skywalker would have built out of spare parts. It was an open-seated, 220-pound contraption with …

Larry Page’s Flying Car(s)?

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A3 backed by Airbus, EHang 184 from China, and Zee from Larry Page (head of Google) – Silicon Valley seems an unlikely source of aeronautical breakthroughs, but several entrepreneurial outings from Airbus, Chinese startups, and Zee.Aero, led by a secretive Larry Page, have interest growing.  A pair of recent flights by Zee’s craft in Hollister, California have generated coverage – and speculation. Larry Page’s Two Companies It turns out Page has a second company, Kitty Hawk, taking yet another path toward electrified flying cars with something like a large quadcopter – not unlike the eHang 184.  Neither Zee.Aero nor Kitty Hawk is affiliated with Google, both funded out of Page’s largesse.  One theory is that his two companies, the first …