Siemens-Powered Extra 330LE Makes a Great Tow Plane

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Already proving its ability to climb at a great rate on its own, the Siemens-powered Extra 330LE towed an LS-8 sailplane to 600 meters (1.968 feet) in a mere 76 seconds.  This alone could be a gift to soaring. Sitting at the controls of a sailplane being towed aloft behind a conventionally-powered tow plane proves taxing, for the many minutes it takes to gain a release height of 2,000 or 3,000 feet can seem somewhat endless.  It’s also expensive for the gliding club or commercial operation.  The soaring club in which your editor was a member calculated the average tow for a Piper Pawnee or Cessna AgWagon consumed around 2.7 gallons to 3.0 gallons of $5.00 a gallon avgas.  Twenty …

Chip Yates in a New Role

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

We are used to seeing Chip Yates breaking records – speed records, mostly – but there is a side to Chip that comes as a surprise to most, and his new position as Vice President of Marketing for Norsk Titanium AS (NTi) might come as a shock beyond surprise.   Chip continues with his other enterprises, noting, “Yates Electrospace Corporation was awarded a development contract for the U.S. Marine Corps to design and prepare to build a 1,000 pound payload, disposable drone to resupply troops in harm’s way!” NTi prides itself on being, “The first U.S.-based 3D printing company capable of producing complex titanium components that will meet aerospace quality requirements. The patented additive manufacturing technology uses titanium wire feedstock …

Chip Yates Awarded Louis Bleriot Medal by FAI

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Chip Yates, founder and head of the Flight of the Century, has been honored by the Federation Aeronautique International for records set in 2013.  Chip’s web site announced the honor last week. “Record-setting entrepreneur and pioneer Chip Yates will be honored on October 16 by the World Air Sports Federation (Federation Aeronautique Internationale) for changing the course of aviation history. “Yates has been selected to receive the FAI’s Louis Bleriot Medal for his record-setting flights in 2013, which established new international landmarks in speed, altitude and distance for electric flight. “The award will be presented at the Opening Ceremony of the FAI General Conference in Pattaya, Thailand, where Yates will become part of the distinguished list of honorees since 1936 who have made …

Chip Yates’ Records Ratified by FAI

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With recognition this week of five electric airplane records set by Chip Yates in flights last year, the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) and the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) ratified performance numbers that top those of most single-engine high-performance gasoline-powered aircraft from established manufacturers, according to Yates.  Your editor was on hand for the California Capital Airshow last October to see Chip take his Long-ESA to 500 meters (1,640 feet) from a standing start in only 62.58 seconds, 17 seconds faster than the previous record set by a fossil-fuel burner. The new records were really set last year between September and November and have just been ratified. They include an altitude of 4,481 meters (14,701 feet), a time to climb to …

Chip Yates Charges Up for New Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Whether the marketing department at Chip Yates’ Flight of the Century enterprise chose an eponymous 235-horsepower Piper “Charger” to carry the inflight recharging batteries for upcoming tests, the name reflects Yates’ own driven personality.  He’s set a world’s record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, soaring uphill on a UQM-powered motorcycle, used the same bike to set Bonneville Salt Flats records, then pulled the bike’s motor, popped it into a Long-Eze, and proceeded to set speed and time-to-climb records.  He’s announced plans to cross the Atlantic Ocean, duplicating Lindbergh’s flight with an electric airplane and the added and unprecedented technology of mid-air recharging. This will require extensive testing of the battery pack, tethering, docking and shuttling technology and the …

Chip Yates Breaks His Own Speed Record – Twice!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Your editor was on hand Saturday, October 5 at the California State Airshow at Mather Field, 20 miles east of Sacramento, mainly to see if Chip Yates could break his own electric aircraft speed record in his Long-ESA (Electric Speed and Altitude). He did break his previous Guinness Book of World Records speed of 202.6 miles per hour (and more recent speeds) on Saturday, but topped that on Sunday, with a quiet run of 216.9 mph.  One Facebook fan wrote, “Incredible Plane… it’s a miracle.” The California Capital Airshow featured the usual crowd-pleasing noisy acts, with Chip being silently towed to runway’s end during fly-bys and aerobatics.  His takeoff drew a hush from the crowd, straining to hear the soft …

Chip Yates Chasing New Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

This morning’s email brought the following missive from Chip Yates, known for his high-speed attacks on Pikes Peak, the Bonneville Salt Flats and the skies above China Lake, California. “More good news for our electric airplane programs in the lead-up to our planned attempts to set 4 FAI official world records shortly, and then break our own top speed record of 202.6 mph for electric planes in front of the 150,000 crowd at the California Capital Airshow in Sacramento October 5-6!” Chip’s normal enthusiasm may have shortened the battery life on this Long-ESA (Electric Speed and Distance) record-setting aircraft, since his pushing the pack’s limit in all three motorcycle and aircraft record attempts probably pushed the envelope a bit too …

Burrito Bombing – A Kinder, Gentler UAV Use

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

An engineering threesome apparently not finding a sense of accomplishment in their daily routine, have developed an integrated hardware and software system to deliver hot burritos in the time it takes to fly them to a customer. Quadrotors are being tested and used for an amazing range of tasks, including taking medicine and other humanitarian deliverables to remote  villages and finding hostages while providing tactical intelligence to ground forces. The hope of tacos being delivered to San Francisco Bay area residents, as advertised on a web site listing itself as a “private beta” link was busted as a hoax by Christina Bonnington of Wired.   She wrote that TacoCopter was the brainchild of, “Star Simpson, an MIT grad who stumbled into the limelight …

Electrics Hit Their Stride at Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Since Chip Yates hit the fastest time ever for an electric motorcycle up Pikes Peak last year, then pulled the UQM motor from the bike and installed it in his Long-ESA (Electric Speed and Altitude) record-setting flying test vehicle this year, other Pikes Peak EVs have demonstrated the benefits of their high torque power units.  Such performance shows the ready applicability of electric motors, with their uncompromised performance at altitude, as being great for hill climbers or aircraft. Toyota, Mitsubishi, and several private individuals entered the 2012 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, three finishing in the top 15 of all competitors. Scheduled for July, the hill climb had to be set back to August because of massive wild fires in the area. …

Pipistrel,PADA, and “Gus” Raspet

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Pipistel, the innovative Slovenian company that won the Green Flight Challenge with its G4 electric four-seater, continues to earn plaudits from the aviation industry. At this year’s AirVenture, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual gathering at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the company was honored with the Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award and original and pace-setting design work exemplified in Pipistrel products. The Exerimental Aircraft Association has awarded the “Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award” annually since 1960 “to a person who has made outstanding advancements in the field of light aircraft design and the Experimental Aircraft Association.”  John Thorp, Lockheed engineer and designer, was the first recipient, with those following including Curtiss Pitts, Burt Rutan, Alan and Dale Klapmeier and Gordon Pratt. Taja Boscarol, …