It’s (Green Aviation) Giving Tuesday, 2014

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

If you’ve managed to survive Gray Thursday, Black Friday, and a weekend of NFL games stuffed with blandishments to entice you to the nearest mall (Thanksgiving happened in there somewhere), you’re forgiven if you flinch at yet one more presumptuous tug at your purse strings.  But we’re talking about helping pioneers on the edge of green technology, crafting the stuff dreams are made of – and making those dreams a reality.  On this Giving Thursday, think about contributing to the dream makers who are taking us into a better future of flight.   We share a few suggestions here. Solar Flight Eric and Irena Raymond are the first family of solar-powered flight, now cruising Italian skies in the world’s first two-seat …

Solar Impulse 2 Makes Premier Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Solar Impulse HB-SIB, the second aircraft from the program headed by Andre’ Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, took to the skies early this morning piloted by Markus Scherdel.  Taking off from Payerne Airport at 3:38 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) Solar Impulse 2 climbed to a randomly orbiting path within a 20-mile compass of the airfield to the southwest, Lake Neuchatel to the north, and Belleville to the northeast. At about 4:01 GMT, and about 5,300 feet, Scherdel reported a slight vibration and briefly leveled off until determining that it was probably an aerodynamic vibration – not a motor issue, but possibly from a hatch door.  He continued climbing and performed a bank angle test of 5° at varying airspeeds and “a …

Solar Impulse Lifts Off on First Leg of Cross America 2013 Tour

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With Bertrand Piccard at the controls, Solar Impulse completed its motor runups a few minutes before its scheduled 6:00 a. m. PDT takeoff.  The project commentator in Switzerland noted that Piccard looked “a little pensive” in the minutes leading up to the historic departure from Moffett Field in Mountain View, California. The first leg of the trip involves a stepped climb – first to 5,000 feet for about two hours, then to a little over 20,000 feet until about 7:00 p. m. , when the craft will begin a stepped descent for the next several hours and arrive over Phoenix near midnight. As cars whizzed by on the nearby Highway 101 linking San Jose and San Francisco, Solar Impulse’s crew …

Solar Impulse HB-SIA Returns Home, HB-SIB Under Construction

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Solar Impulse crossed from Toulouse, France to Payerne, Switzerland on July 25, completing an epic intercontinental voyage for the giant solar-powered craft. Its itinerary consisted of a flight from the Solar Impulse home base in Payerne, Switzerland to Madrid, Spain, followed by a jump across the Strait of Gibraltar, for the first time linking Europe and Africa by solar flight. Because of its light wing loading, the airplane is subject to the vagaries of wind and turbulence as the ultralight aircraft it truly is, and was forced to turn back after battling the elements for half a day on its attempt to fly from Rabat, Morocco to Quarzazate, the site of the Moroccan solar agency’s huge desert solar generating site.  A …

The High Road to Morocco

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The Solar Impulse project announced the takeoff of HB-SIA from its Swiss home field at Payerne  with André Borschberg at the controls this morning.  The 08:24AM (UTC +2) departure will lead to a full day’s flight, with Solar Impulse landing at Madrid Barajas Airport around 01:00AM (UTC+2) for a minimum 3-day technical stopover. Weather permitting, the first possible departure for Rabat, with Bertrand Piccard at the controls, will be Monday 28 May.  This will be his first major outing in the airplane, and a significant one, since he will cross the Mediterranean to Morocco, the first intercontinental flight by a solar-powered aircraft. The video from Mountain Radio included interviews with both Borschberg and Piccard, whose tastes in music are explored. …

Solar Impulse Flies Over Four Countries on First International Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

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 …