Icarus Cup Achieves New Records

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Doing more with much less, British pilots at this year’s Icarus Cup follow in Paul MacCready’s aerial path, staging a highly successful weeklong demonstration of human-powered flight.  Airplanes that fly on about a quarter-kilowatt for as long as the human battery can operate the pedals are not new, and significant records have been achieved over the years. The British have long been involved, beginning with the 590 meters flight by Derek Piggott on November 9, 1961 in SUMPAC (Southampton University’s Man Powered Aircraft – note the sexist terminology of the day).  This was considered the first authenticated takeoff and flight by a human powerplant.  He made 40 flights before suffering a crash that damaged a wing. To help foster interest …

HB-SIA Across America

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

This morning, Andre’ Borschberg and Bertand Piccard revealed the potential route for Solar Impulse’s Across America mission in a press conference at Moffett Airfield in Mountain View, California. The airplane is fully reassembled after being brought to America on a Boeing 747.  Test flights will begin March 30th, and a technical flight “to test the aircraft’s mission readiness” for the coast-to-coast flight will take place March 30th. According to the Solar Impulse project, “The voyage will start in San Francisco on May 1st with stopovers in Phoenix (Arizona), Dallas (Texas), Atlanta (Georgia) or St. Louis (Missouri) on its way to Washington D.C. and New York City. The exact dates for each leg are undefined, as weather conditions play a factor …

Saving the Air While Saving Crops

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

AvWeb this morning reports on a “highly cost-effective” way to make jet biofuel from renewable materials.  According to AvWeb, San Francisco-based, “AliphaJet said its catalytic method uses materials derived from plants and animals such as triglycerides and fatty acids.  ‘Our strategy fundamentally improves the economics of making 100-percent drop-in renewable jet biofuel,’ said Jack Oswald, CEO of AliphaJet. ‘Our approach is radically different and unlocks a new industry that can meet the U.S. Navy’s goal of replacing 50 percent of its liquid fuels with renewables by 2020.’ “AliphaJet said its catalytic de-oxygenation process ‘significantly reduces capital and operating costs’ because it does not require the use of hydrogen in processing. That means the processing plant can be less complex, reducing …