Tehachapi 2013 – Baby Bowlus and Silent Electro

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Tehachapi is a one-time railroad stop, 4,000 feet in the high mountain desert near Mojave, California.  Trains don’t stop there very often these days, but multi-engined, two-mile-long bearers of cargo and commerce run over the tracks 50 times a day, making the long haul toward Bakersfield or Mojave. Hawley Bowlus helped build the Spirit of St. Louis and later taught the Lindberghs to fly sailplanes, with some lessons taking place in the high desert air above Tehachapi.  Today, the once bare hills are covered with over 5,000 wind turbines, their giant rotors pointed into the prevailing westerlies.  At the base of these hills, Mountain Valley Soaring has a base, and Jeff Byard has a hangar that hosts the annual meeting …

Electric Waiex Makes First Hop

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

On Friday, December 3, Sonex Aircraft, LLC achieved a long-sought goal at Wittman Field, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, successfully flying their electric two-seater Waiex.  Unveiling their craft at the 2007 AirVenture on the same field as part of their E-Flight Initiative, the team quietly and with some back-to-the-drawing-board resolve worked for the next three years to solve the many problems that confront any group reaching for that elusive next best thing.  Evidence of this are the version numbers on the motor and controller as noted in Sonex CEO and General Manager Jeremy Monnet’s comment.  “We have also already started our motor v4.0 design and motor controller v12.0 to be integrated on N270DC. Many more great things to come on this project!” Having seen Peter Buck’s video of early testing …