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, …

Fastest Electric Airplane Emergency Landing Yet

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Chip Yates is used to going fast, having obtained a private pilots certificate in a mere two months, and test flying an electric Long-Eze conversion (Long-ESA) within two weeks of that, but he didn’t count on making the world’s fastest electric aircraft emergency landing during a record-breaking speed run at Inyokern, California’s desert airport on July 19. With only 58 hours in his log book, Chip managed to make the runway for a bumpy but great touchdown – a great landing being one following which you can reuse the airplane.  We’ve reported that event already, but Chip just released a great video of the white-knuckle event. To help document his record 202.6 mph flight, Chip’s airplane was well instrumented, carried several …

Chip Yates Becomes World’s Fastest Person in an Electric Airplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

On July 19 at Inyokern Airport in California, Chip Yates and his Long-ESA electric airplane set an unofficial world’s speed record for battery-powered flight, hitting 202.6 mph just before a dead cell in the battery pack forced an emergency landing.  It was the airplane’s second test flight. Following a day of taxi tests, Chip, who has been taking flying lessons and recently achieved his Private Pilot’s license, set out to see how fast his 258-horsepower mount could go.  He has become the first person to break the 200 mph barrier for electric aircraft in level flight, beating the previous record by Hugues Duval at last year’s Paris Air Show in an Electravia-powered Cri-Cri.   Duval managed to hit 175 mph on …

An Atlantic Crossing With Mid-Air Recharging

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Chip Yates, already famous for his high-speed motorcycle racing with eight world records, four national records, and a world record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb among others, wants to make aviation history with a flight across the Atlantic, emulating Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 crossing – but this time with an electric airplane.  Even more exciting, the voyage is planned to include inflight recharging of the airplane. For starters, Yates’ team, composed of aerospace engineers and energy specialists, has purchased a Rutan Long-EZ, removed its gas-burning powerplant, and is converting the airplane to electric power, which they might adapt from Yates’ racing motorcycle, claimed to be the world’s most powerful road-racing electric superbike.  That unit puts out 258 horsepower and …