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 …

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 …

New FAI Records for Electric Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean Luc Soullier of Belgium claimed three world records for electric aircraft in the FAI RAL1E (microlight electric, single place, landplane with moveable aerodynamic controls) sub-class on February 2, 2012 at Sisteron, France – home of Electravia. All three records are being scrutinized by the Federation Aeronautique Internationale. Soullier attained an altitude of 2,401 meters (7,877 feet), covered 50.27 kilometers (31.17 miles) over a closed circuit course without landing, and averaged 136.36 kilometers per hour (84.54 mph) for that distance. All records are claimed in Soullier’s Colomban MC-30 Luciole, powered by a Lynch-type motor and controller supplied by Electravia. These are not the MC-30’s or Soullier’s first records. He set a speed record on a 15 kilometer course with the …

The Electric Firefly Sets Two World Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Jean-Luc Soullier has converted Michel Colomban’s two-cylinder internal combustion MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) into an electric aircraft – not without some teething problems, but with plenty of promise.  His group, LSA, Luxembourg Spécial Aerotechnics, consists of Jean-Luc, Martin Marschner von Helmreich, and Fabrice Tummers – and has terrific ambitions. Fabrice, in response to questions about the record attempts, sent the following: “Our target in 2011 is to realize the totality of the world records of the F.A.I. in the category RAL 1E, and cross the Mediterranean Sea.  The first attempt [a speed record] was not ratified by the F.A.I. but the medium speed recorded was 160 kilometers per hour (99.4 mph) over 15 kilometers. (9.3 miles)” With the 118 pounds of batteries …