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, …

Your Black Friday (and All-Year) Giving List

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

With merchants beating the drums of commerce to lure you to their stores and web sites for holiday cheer (at least for the merchants), your editor has some alternative giving suggestions that could help bankroll the future of aviation (if not aviation futures).  Each of these projects would welcome funding, and each has much to give back to all of us. Put Your Face in Space The Perlan Project has initiated a fund-raising program on Indie-Go-Go, with the immediate goal to complete construction of the major parts of Perlan II, a high-performance, high-altitude research sailplane recently featured in the New York Times.  Its planned mission to 90,000 feet in the Polar Vortex could give us new and profound understanding of …

Perlan Project Gets Good Press in the New York Times

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Science reporter Matthew Wald visited the Perlan Project in Bend, Oregon recently to see for himself an aircraft that just might conquer the heights – 90,000 feet – in a world-record attempt that will investigate the polar vortex and the ozone hole. His report in the October 21 New York Times highlights the intellectual investment in the project, with extremes of aircraft design reaching toward extreme goals.  Perlan II will fly higher than any powered or unpowered aircraft in a sustained fashion.  Zoom climbs in which American and Russian fighters emulated rocket ships to reach altitude records were more ballistic than controlled.  Those who recall The Right Stuff will remember Chuck Yeager’s frantic and finally unrecoverable tail slide back from …

Oxis Energy and Lithium Sulfur Batteries

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Taking one last look at 2011’s fifth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, your editor regrets the fits and starts in its coverage. Next week, we’ll begin looking at the extraordinary presentations from this year’s gathering. Huw W. Hampton-Jones from Oxis Energy, a British company developing a Lithium Sulfur battery, claimed his firm’s “technology is based around the use of Lithium Sulphur to produce batteries which are superior in terms of energy, weight, cycle life, costs, ageing and safety.” Lithium sulfur is well known in military circles for providing primary (non-rechargeable) power to field operations.  Perlan I flew with SAFT 5590 primary batteries, partly because of their superior energy density compared to lithium-ion cells, and partly because of their greater resistance to …

Déjeuner sur le Duckhawk

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

This grab shot taken at the flight demonstration of the Windward Performance Duckhawk on April 22 in Bend, Oregon, resembles, in a totally accidental way, Manet’s great painting, Déjeuner sur l’Herbe (picnic on the grass). Although your editor tried convincing them, no one would doff his or her clothes to make the homage to Manet complete. Duckhawk is a beautiful, light-weight (420 pounds empty) standard-class 15 meter wingspan sailplane, stressed for over 12 G’s to enable dynamic soaring, taking advantage of horizontal wind gusts like soaring birds do – the first to be designed specifically to explore this realm of flight. It is designed by Greg Cole and built by the people who are almost done with Perlan II, designed to …