Flynano Flies Electrically, Close to a Calm Lake

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Flynano is a Finnish aircraft design and manufacturing team, working since 2011 to achieve a first electrified flight of their appropriately named craft. First, the 70 kilogram empty weight is notable.  It includes battery weight, but only for 1.7 kilowatt-hour power source that allows a 15-minute dash across the surface of a fairly calm lake.  Its up to 100 kilogram (220 pound) pilot is snugly fitted within its 3.8 meter (12.47 feet) length, and carried aloft on a pair of joined wings a mere 4.8 meters (15.75 feet) in span. Most videos show the craft flying in or very near ground effect, and the company seems to think customers will be happier zooming around just above the water.  In response …

Airbus E-Fans 2.0 and 4.0 Dropped in Favor of E-Fan X

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

Much like waiting for the single-person ram-jet helicopter to show up in your garage, you’ll be left hanging for a two- or four-seat Airbus e-Fan to grace your hangar.  Although not sharing the news in its “Innovation” or press release sections on its web site, Airbus has announced that it’s dropping plans to produce an E-Fan family of personal aircraft.  It will move instead into developing a larger, more powerful aircraft, the E-Fan X, that could fly within three years. Airbus started with a four-motor rendition of the Cri-Cri, four MGM Compro units twirling contra-rotating propellers and producing 60 horsepower.  Their “Innovation” program followed that with the tw0-seat E-Fan, and announced plans to build these in series at their cleverly named …

Archaeopteryx Elec’teryx Now Flying

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The Archaeopteryx is more than just a good word for spelling bees, it’s a high-end hang-glider – and now, depending on your bankroll and perspective, a low-end electric motorglider.  Its low weight (54 kilograms or 118.8 pounds in its most basic state) and high performance (around 25:1 lift-to-drag ratio) has helped this Swiss marvel achieve things like the 498 kilometer (308.76 mile) goal flight by Peter Eicher in Australia last October; or a 407 kilometer (252.34 mile) flight around the Swiss Alps in 2012. A flier can hop off a hill with the lightest and most basic form of Archaeopteryx, which features self-connecting controls, a rocket-deployed full-airplane rescue system, and a wheel brake.   Pilots wanting less local soaring and the …