NASA’s Mark Moore Joins Uber

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

You must really be somebody when Fortune Magazine notices you’re taking a new job.  Mark Moore is indeed somebody, and remarkably self-confident in leaving a 30-year NASA career to sign on to a startup – even if it is run by Uber.  He will be Director of Aviation for the on-demand ride company, tackling the problems inherent in taking such services into the third dimension. His decade-long work in electric propulsion for aircraft has led him to conceive of some interesting possibilities for Personal Air Vehicles, a term he engaged early.  His Puffin vertical takeoff and landing vehicle, for instance, seemed to use elements of Lockheed’s XFV-1 Pogo and Aerovironment’s Sky Tote – both tail sitters.  Ben Rich’s book, Skunk …

Dennis Bushnell: Envisioning a Plausible, Positive Future

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Consider that Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Benjamin Santer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) kicked off the first day of the 2011 Electric Aircraft Symposium with a highly-detailed examination of the issues surrounding climate change.  That required an equally adept presenter to expound on possible solutions for worldwide problems, and EAS 5 delivered with Dennis Bushnell, NASA’s Chief Scientist at Langley Research Center. According to one biography, he is “responsible for Technical Oversight and Advanced Program formulation for a major NASA Research Center with technical emphasis in the areas of Atmospheric Sciences and Structures, Computational Sciences and Systems Optimization for Aeronautics, Spacecraft, Exploration and Space Access. He has 43 years’ experience working in the leading edge of …

Green Flight Challenge Winners

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Monday, October 3 was the second day of Nobel Prize announcements, but also marked the Green Flight Challenge Expo, sponsored by Google and staged under the control tower on Moffett Field, home of NASA Ames Research Center, Mountain View, California. The four airplanes that flew in the Challenge at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma Country Airport in Santa Rosa, California were joined by Greg Stevenson’s full-size mockup of his GFC design and a Pipistrel Virus that had won an earlier NASA/CAFE Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Challenge.  Stevenson’s airplane was a reminder that there were numerous entrants that, for a variety of reasons, could not attend.  There is a huge number of aircraft in the wings, so to speak, that will fill these …

Need Electricity? Go Fly a Kite

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 0 Comments

What do JoeBen Bevirt and Benjamin Franklin have in common?  They both grew up without electricity and built kites to find it.  While being without electricity was the default condition in Franklin’s day, JoeBen was raised in a hippy commune in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Neither man found the deprivations of his youth to be an impediment to creativity.  The phrase that keeps popping up in articles about JoeBen Bevirt, founder of Joby, inc. and Joby Energy, is “inveterate inventor.”  Inveterate has the sense of growing old in one’s habits, something unlikely to happen to a truly inventive soul such as JoeBen.  Deviser of a knobby-looking grip that can be fastened to almost anything, and which can hold cameras, lights, and …