Elektra One Solar or Luminati VO-Substrata?

Dean Sigler Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Your editor saw a news item from Sun ‘n Fun about a new solar-powered airplane and recognized the design as one from Calin Gologan’s PC-Aero, an aircraft design and consulting firm in Germany. General Aviation News credited the airplane’s design and construction to Luminati Aerospace in New York state.   The story did not mention Gologan’s involvement, though, a possible oversight.  An alert reader commented on the similarity of the airplane to the Elektra One Solar. A few months later, your editor saw an Associated Press story from Calverton, New York, which explained, “Pilot Robert Lutz flew the VO-Substrata aircraft for about 20 minutes in the first test flight opened to the public. The white aircraft features wing-mounted solar cells and has a wingspan …

EAS IX: Calin Gologan Talks SolarStratos 

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Calin Gologan, founder and CEO of PC-Aero GmbH, has many electric and solar-assisted aircraft flying right now, and is responsible for the design the Aero Electric Aircraft Company’s SunFlyer training airplane, 20 of which have been ordered by Spartan Aeronautical University.  The initial Elektro One has flourished in a number of variants, including the SunFlyer, a two-seat, side-by side trainer developed with George Bye in Colorado. Another variant of that original design, Solar Stratos is destined to combine record-setting altitudes with scientific research.  Its banner, “Manned Flight at the Edge of Space,” highlights the craft’s intended mission to reach 80,000 feet as its initial goal, a record that will be hard to beat.  Its mission is also a research venture, …

WattsUp Becomes Alpha Electro – Training Market Warms Up

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

With today’s AVWeb report from Mary Grady at Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany, the wraps are off the commercial reality that Pipistrel is ready to market its Alpha Electro, a new airplane for the training market.   The production version of the former WattsUp, the airplane’s primary mission is to provide training in the pattern for aspiring pilots. Details abound in the video, with Tine Tomazic, Chief Engineer for the Slovenian firm, showing Mary the features of the craft.  One of the best features may be its 100,000 euro price tag, well under pricing for many conventionally-powered light sport aircraft that would compete in the trainer market. Since Aero brings in exhibitors from all over the world and incorporates an E-Flight Expo, …

AEAC Pulls in First 20 Deposits

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Aero Electric Aircraft Corporation (AEAC) and Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology made joint announcements about their signing a “Training Program Development and Deposit Agreement” for the school to reserve the first 20 delivery positions for “Sun Flyer” solar-electric training aircraft being developed by AEAC.  This first such agreement by a major training program and an aircraft maker is a milestone for this new technology. The press announcement quotes Peter Harris, CEO of Spartan College, saying, “This agreement signifies our commitment to innovation and to serving the next generation of pilots. Spartan College is honored to be the first training school to formalize our collaboration on a complete training system that will make flight training more modern, accessible and economical …

EAS VIII – A Day and a Half You’ll Never Forget

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Who would pass up a chance to stay at a nice resort, attend lectures that challenge and inspire, and meet at poolside with speakers who bring some of the sharpest minds in the world to bear on some of the biggest problems we all face?  Let’s face it.  Global warming probably won’t be going away anytime soon, and aviation seems destined to play a bigger part in polluting our otherwise near-perfect atmosphere. Unless…we learn how to make our favorite activity (in the top five for most of us, anyway), into a more responsible way to travel and recreate.  Since solving the problems which go with that responsibility will involve the best in aerodynamics, power systems and new, efficient technology, the …

Aero-PC and SolarWorld, Ford and SunPower Light Up Transportation

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With electric aircraft showing the possibilities of a greener future, it’s rewarding to see similar efforts to produce cleaner, off-the-grid ground transportation. Calin Gologan had a gala week at AirVenture, speaking at the Electric Aircraft World Symposium to detail his Elektra One Green Flight Challenge entrant and to introduce his Elektra Two and Four two-seat and four-seat, respectively, electric aircraft.  He was awarded the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP) for the quietest electric aircraft by Erik Lindbergh, Charles’ grandson. Saturday, July 30 saw Norbert Lorenzen, test pilot for PC-Aero and owner of a flight school near Landshut, Germany, take Elektra One for a spin around the Oshkosh airspace.  Note Molt Taylor’s Aerocar zipping by between the 15 and 18 second …

PC-Aero Wins Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Vision Award

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A Green Flight Challenge entrant, PC-Aero’s Elektra One, has won the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Vision Award at AirVenture 2011 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, becoming the latest winner of this important award for innovation in the pursuit of “green” aviation. Past winners of the Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft include: Pipistrel: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen Best  Electric Aircraft LZ Design: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen Best  Electric Propulsion System Solar Impulse: 2011 Aero-Friedrichshafen  Outstanding Achievement Award Yuneec International: 2010 AirVenture Best  Electric Aircraft Sonex: 2010 AirVenture Best Electric Aircraft  Subsystem Lange Aviation: 2010 AirVenture Individual  Achievement Award According to Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh and founder of LEAP, the organization’s, “Programs recognize, inspire and incentivize the innovation that drives our culture, economy and future.  The LEAP …

Elektra One Flies Into Oshkosh with Solar Cells

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

As described before in this blog, PC-Aero’s Elektra One is a single-seat electric airplane with an Eck/Geiger 13.5 kilowatt motor in the nose, and now at least partially solar powered. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r03nim-6qBw&feature=related Designer Calin Gologan gives a walkthrough of the design features which make Elektra One such an efficient airplane, and one likely to give other competitors in the Green Flight Challenge a good run.  While he describes the thin carbon-fiber shells which comprise the airplane’s primary structure, notice the light shining through.  That thinness helps explain Elektra One’s 100 kilogram (220 pounds) empty weight, only about 100 pounds of which is structure.  The motor is 4.7 kilogram (10.34 pounds) and the controller is a 270 gram (9-1/2 ounce) model airplane …

Elektra One Has First Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The brief press release and single photograph from PC-Aero says it all: “ELEKTRA ONE from PC-Aero performed successfully its First Flight for about 30 minutes. Using only 3 kWh of energy. “The internal First Flight was performed by the well known testpilot Jon Karkow.  He did the first check for the flight performance and characteristics of the electric aircraft and briefed the german testpilot Norbert Lorenzen for the next official First Flight.” Although static tests were completed late last year, speculation that Germany’s tough certification laws held up test flights ran through some of the aviation press.   The angle of the photograph makes it difficult to tell whether the center-line landing gear was retracted or not, but the low energy …

First Rollout of a Green Flight Challenge Flyer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC 0 Comments

On November 22, 2010, PC-Aero rolled out Elektra One with a running motor, the Geiger HP-13.5 unit normally found on paramotors, trikes, and the Swift flown by Manfred Ruhmer.  Testing and the public unveiling took place at the Rotortec Company in Gonsried, Germany.  The airplane had shed the tricycle gear  it displayed at the Friedrichshafen Expo for Sustainable Mobility, where it had been a centerpiece in June, 2010.  It now sports what looks like a center-line retractable gear much like that of the Fournier motor gliders. A month later, December 22, the team “performed successfully the static tests of Elektra One for the German Ultralight Certification. The structure of the aircraft (wing, fuselage and tails) [were] loaded up to limit load.”  Test flights …