The Little Firefly That Could

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

This little airplane is the fastest in its category in the world, unofficially. Flying from Koksijde, Belgium’s military airport, it clocked 189.87 kilometers per hour (117.7 mph) over a 15-kilometer straight-line course, a big improvement over its official speed record set on February 27 of this year. It also holds the official altitude and distance record in its class. Designed by Michel Colomban, one of the engineers for the Concorde, the MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) has a structure weighing only 98 pounds, ideal for adding heavy battery packs as part of its electrification. Its Lynch-type motor, controller and batteries were supplied by Anne Lavrand at Electravia, and have flown in the MC-30 for over a year. These are similar to the motors used …

Holding All the (Official) Records

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

If you go to the Federation Aeronautique Internationale web site, you’ll find only three officially ratified ratified records for Sub-Class RAL1E, Electric-powered Microlights with moveable aerodynamic controls.  They all belong to Jean Luc Soullier and Luxembourg Spécial Aerotechnics – L.S.A., assisted by fellow members Martin Marschner von Helmreich, Fabrice Tummers and Roman Marcinowski, flying their Colomban MC-30 Luciole (Firefly).  The F. A. I. made their February 2 flight achievements official just a few weeks ago. This small group developed the current power system with Electravia, and campaigned the airplane at Sisteron, France for these initial records.  They plan on going higher, faster and farther, including a flight across a significant body of water. Jean Luc shared the following with your …

Lighting Up the Electric Firefly

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

One highly enjoyable aspect of writing this blog is waking up in the morning to emails from France, announcing some exciting developments for those who love small aircraft. Fabrice Tummers from Luxembourg Special Aerotechnics (LSA) and Anne Lavrand from Electravia alerted your editor to a cooperative venture in which they swapped out the original Eck/Geiger motor/controller and Helix propeller combination  (with which the airplane set a class speed record) on LSA’s MC-30e Luciole (Firefly) for an Electravia power package. Since many of the Michel Colomban-designed MC-30s are powered by a Briggs & Stratton V-twin that produces about 26 horsepower, the new electric motor setup provides a great opportunity to compare electric and internal combustion performance. It should be a fair …