Rolls-Royce ACCEL Program Goes For the Gold

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Rolls-Royce’s ACCEL program and a consortium of partners want to create the world’s fastest electric airplane.  The concept has a recent series of predecessors, and a fascinating tie to an American speed champion. About five years ago, something called the TEACO (The Electric Aircraft Company) Bat, a formula 1-type raceplane powered by an electric motor, generated a great deal of interest.  It initially housed a single 80-horsepower electric motor, but once affiliated with Williams Engineering; the project added a twin-motor unit on a set of sleeved parallel shafts swinging contra-rotating propellers. Now, a partnership led by Rolls-Royce seems to have added a third motor, with all three singing in unison to drive a three-bladed propeller.  The airframe is new, too, …

Big Frog Diesel Racer – A Different Kind of Green

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

There are only 10 Nemesis NXT racers in the world, and one happens to be in France, getting tuned up to compete in this year’s Reno Air Races in about 10 weeks.  On display last month at the Paris Air Show, the lightweight, carbon-fiber racer lacked the usual Lycoming IO-540 engine, a six-cylinder powerplant that cruises the 1,500 pound two-seater at 325 miles per hour. Aviation International News Online’s Olivia Saucier reported, “The Big Frog racer is getting attention for more than just its tongue-in-cheek patriotic name. The French aircraft is the first carbon-fiber race plane to run on a Diesel engine powered purely by jet-A fuel. And it is turning heads here at the Le Bourget show. “Big Frog …