Carplane Makes a Comeback

Dean Sigler GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

The German firm Carplane made an entry into the media a few years ago, especially when it compared its bi-modal flying car with a Burt Rutan design.  That started a brief kerfuffle of edgy comparisons between the two groups, but no necessary winner.  Now, having shown at least a finished and apparently drivable vehicle at Aero 2015, Carplane has renewed prominence in the media.  And the blog brings it all back, prepared for less-than-flattering comments. Stating what may stir others to contend for their rival mounts, Carplane makes a bold claim.  (The italicized and bolded word is Carplane’s emphasis.) “Flying cars will soon be a reality. And Carplane® is the world’s only flying car currently undergoing formal certification. Watch this page as we …

AEAC Debuts Sun Flyer at AirVenture 2014

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

Calin Cologan and George Bye staged a joint press event on the Sunday evening before AirVenture started.  Held in the Redbird Tent on Wittman Field, it drew hundreds who saw the Redbird flight simulators and a Diesel-powered Cessna, but were stopped short by the yellow and blue Sun Flyer, a single-seat proof-of-concept version of what will soon be a two-seat battery/solar training aircraft. Forming a new firm based on the strengths of PC-Aero in Germany, and Bye Aerospace and Redbird Flight Simulators in America, they promise an electric training aircraft for the near future.  Unlike the tandem two-seaters PC-Aero is developing in Germany, American Electric Aircraft Corporation will produce a side-by-side craft, often preferred for communication between instructor and student. In this Da …

Eurosport Exploring New Configurations

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Unhappily, we missed seeing Tom Leite at this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium. Happily, he was at Eurosport Aircraft, his company in Portugal, working on innovative new approaches to making electric and hybrid motor-gliding a reality. He also has a speedster that would give those who desire rapid transit a high-style alternative. As shown in the video from Aero Friedrichshafen, the Crossover will probably trend toward a simpler wing configuration, with a fixed span of 18 meters (59 feet) and flaperons that will replace the multiple flaps on the current short-span version being flown in test flights. It’s uncertain whether the current twin-motors that pop out of the sides of the extremely slender fuselage will be retained, but a new version …

FAA Says “No” To Electric Aircraft Passengers

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Many voluminous government documents hold single paragraphs of great importance to the affected parties.  In the case of the FAA’s 322-page Draft Policy 8130(H), a few lines will probably spark intense interest in the small but growing electric aircraft community. According to AVWeb.com and verified in Flying magazine, “The FAA is proposing banning passengers from flights in electric-powered aircraft  and ready-to-fly Light Sport aircraft (SLSA) that have been converted to experimental Light Sport (ELSA) aircraft and stopping the aircraft from flying over built up areas or at night.” The Light Aircraft Manufacturer’s Association (LAMA) cites the following and endorses an activist approach to resisting the restrictions: “On page 293 under Clause ‘5. Procedure’ it provides a table by aircraft type for …

Sunseeker Duo Makes Maiden Test Glide

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Seeley shared this video a few hours ago. Eric and Irena Raymond have been crafting their Sunseeker Duo for the last five years, and finally have an airworthy craft, as shown in the video during its maiden flight near Voghera, Italy – new home to the Raymonds. Finishing construction of the world’s first two-seat solar-powered airplane in time for Friedrichshafen’s Aero Expo in April, the pair were honored with pride of place at the international showcase.  “This week we brought the Sunseeker Duo to AERO Friedrichshafen for its public unveiling. The airplane is fresh out of the paint shop, and since it is too large to fully assemble in the Slovenian workshop, it is also the first time that …

Czech Republic Flies Electric Sportplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Sold in America as the SportStar Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), the Czech all-metal two-seater has a 28 foot, 5 inch wingspan, a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 pounds typical of LSAs, and is normally powered by a Rotax four-cylinder engine. The latest version of this airplane, though, took flight in Kunovice, Czech Republic on March 28, powered by a Rotex motor.  The SportStar EPOS (Electric POwered Small Aircraft) is derived from Evektor’s RTC, and carries a 50 kilowatt (67 horsepower) RE X90-7 motor made by Rotex Electric, which crafts everything from small model aircraft motors to (as shown on their web site) 40 kilowatt (53.6 hp) outrunner-appearing motors for electric vehicle use.  The X90 designation would seem to indicate a …

UAVs, Canine First Officers, and Semi-automated Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and President of the CAFE Foundation, will speak on “The CAFE Green Flight Challenge Program,” at the Unmanned Aircraft Systems conference at San Diego, California, October 10 through 12, 2012. His talk fits well into the conference’s sub-title, “Opportunities, Needs and Challenges,” and will probably reflect the direction he’s been pointing to with recent CAFE presentations on aerial commuting and pocket airports.  The Green Flight Challenge certainly showed that the nascent technology is capable of giving fast, short-range transport at a potentially economical price. The conference will focus on military uses of UAVs and how to integrate them with existing hardware and systems. Since many military-based unmanneds will be navigating our civilian skies in the near future, civilian …

Alternair, X-Caps™ Teaming Up From Sky to Parking Lot

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Stephen Boutenko, founder of Alternair, LLC and Karl Young, founder of Extreme Capacitors have found common cause in analyzing how best to make an electric Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) a possibility.   Alternair’s Amp LSA was featured in a blog entry last year, and Karl Young’s work with ultracapacitors was the subject of his presentation at this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium. Alternair has recently established a temporary design department in Prescott, Arizona (in association with Embry Riddle Aeronautical University) and is moving his manufacturing facility to Ashland, Oregon, where he hopes to begin production of the highly-sophisticated Amp. Although Amp will be developed around existing lithium-polymer battery technology, Young reports that his creation of high power/high energy ultracapacitors has demonstrated, …

Phoenix or PhoEnix – a Nice Airplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

While at Sun n’ Fun in Lakeland, Florida, we couldn’t help but notice Jim Lee’s Phoenix Air Phoenix, an S-LSA (Special Light Sport Aircraft) motorglider from the Czech Republic, posed as it was on the line of march into the air show area proper. Your editor was interested in the PhoEnix, the electric version of the proper looking and highly attractive Rotax-powered version in the Light Sport Aircraft display display, next to its Pipistrel neighbors.  There were a great many middle European LSAs being shown, but the Phoenix had ended up on the Airshow’s promotional poster, neatly avoiding the FA-18s of the Blue Angels. The electric version will be competing in the Green Flight Challenge, so revelations from Jim Lee, …

Yuneec Adds to Airplane, Motor Lineup

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Shanghai-based Yuneec, already promoting a line of electric paramotors, an electric trike, the two-seat E430, unveiled at last year’s AirVenture, and a series of motor/controller/battery combinations, has added to their offerings at AirVenture 2010.  New craft include two aircraft, the Apis 2 and Viva from Martin Wezel Flugzeugtechnik, a German designer and purveyor of sailplanes and light sport aircraft.   The Apis 2 is a derivation of the Silent electric sailplane, and in this application will be powered by a Yuneec motor system.  The Viva, a two-seat motorglider, was designed originally for an HKS-700E two-cylinder engine of about 60 horsepower, and will be converted, like the Apis, to Yuneec power. Spanning 15 meters (49.2 feet), the Apis 2 has a best lift-to-drag …