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 …

Electravia, Cri-Cri Set Speed Record at Paris Air Show

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Anne Lavrand of Electravia in Grenoble, France, shares this exciting news from the Paris Air Show today. “A new speed world record for electric aircraft : 283 km/h ! (175.46 mph) “Hugues Duval holds the world speed record for an electrically powered aircraft after reaching the top speed of 283 km/h during his presentation flight today in the 49th Paris Air Show (Saturday 25th of June, 2011). “This electric Cri-Cri is powered by two electric propulsion systems ELECTRAVIA (35 HP each), two special high-speed propellers E-PROPS and 3 kWh of KOKAM Lithium-Polymer batteries (24 kg). “This flight has shown to key actors of [the] aeronautics world present at [the] Paris Air Show 2011 that electric engines are a real alternative …

EADS Pulls Off Electric Hat Trick at 2011 Paris Air Show

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

At the 2011 Paris Air Show at Le Bourget this week, the European Aeronautic Defense and Space Company N.V. (EADS) showcased at least three electric flight vehicles – two emonstrating current reality and one pointing toward a cleaner future for short-to-medium range airliners. Cri-Cri, the four-motored, contra-rotating props on stalks aerobatic wonder, did indeed perform at the 2011 Paris Air Show, doing six-minute routines daily at the show.  Didier Esteyne, the plane’s obviously accomplished pilot, explains things in this video. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76h4VA3yoNI Emmanuel Joubert, Program Head for the All-electric Cri-Cri at EADS, explained the plane’s advantages.  “In all-electric mode, the plane’s performance during climb and aerobatics is better compared to a conventional aircraft of this type.  This allows the pilot to …

Solar Impulse Inspires in Brussels, Heads to Paris

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

On June 14, 2011, Andre’ Borschberg guided the giant Solar Impulse from Brussels, Belgium, where the craft had spent the last week as the centerpiece of discussions on green energy and the future of transportation in the European Community, to Le Bourget Field just outside Paris.  Nearing its destination, its daylong flight sometimes resembled the mathematical problem called, “the drunkard’s walk,” as Borschberg was vectored around the aerial neighborhoods surrounding Paris to make certain the lightly loaded craft did not run afoul of  jetliners’ wakes and could find a slot where the runway did not present residual turbulence.  During the preceding week, VIPs from the European Community gathered aound the airplane in Brussels to discuss the importance of this airplane and …

Solar Impulse Flies Over Four Countries on First International Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Supporters of the Solar Impulse gathered to celebrate the giant solar-powered airplane’s landing in Brussels, Belgium today after the craft had crossed Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium in its 630 kilometer (340 nautical mile), 12 hour, 59 minute flight. André Borschberg, CEO and co-founder of the project, flew the mission, starting 8:30 a.m. Payerne, Switzerland time and took the leisurely flight over some of the most scenic landscapes in Europe, with an average speed of 50 kilometers per hour (27 mph – one mile per hour under the stall speed of US ultralights).  He had time to enjoy the view from his average cruising altitude of 1,828 meters (6,000 feet).  Borschberg explained, “It’s a spectacular flight. The takeoff was a …