A Trio of Winners at Friedrichshafen

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Erik Lindbergh, as part of his Lindbergh Foundation, has instituted a suite of prizes to recognize and , “Accelerate development of practical electric flight, and stimulate meaningful advances in the emerging electric aircraft industry.”    Having presented four prizes at last year’s Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture, Lindbergh followed up at Aero-Friedrichshafen 2011 as part of the Berblinger Competition – which drew 24 entrants and eight aircraft that actually completed the Friedrichshafen-Ulm-Friedrichshafen out-and-return course.  With sponsors including Sergei Sikorsky, son of Igor Sikorsky, a competitor for the original Orteig Prize that prompted Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 New York to Paris flight; His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco, who backs LEAP; and Messe-Friedrichshafen, hosts to the Aero 2011 and to the First …

A Second Slovenian Self-Launching Sailplane – With a Solar-Powered Trailer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Tine Tomazic of Pipistrel alerted the blog that his firm started series production of their Taurus Electro G2, a first for a two-seat electric aircraft, according to Pipistrel, claiming 20 customers who will receive their G2’s by year’s end. Improvements over the prototype led to the “rev.2” series version of the self-launching sailplane, which also is the first electrically-powered craft to exceed the performance of its two-stroke Rotax-powered alternative, according to Tomazic. Pipistrel expands on this.  “Taurus Electro G2 can use a shorter runway, climbs faster and performs much better than the gasoline-powered version when it comes to high altitude operations. All this is possible thanks to the specially-developed emission-free Pipistrel 40kilowatt electric power-train.”  The clean sailplane design (40:1 glide …

Pipistrel’s Hybrid Cruiser

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

The Pipistrel folks in Slovenia have been producing some suprising aircraft with surprising names for the last two decades.  Their Virus and Sinus motorgliders are well-traveled and well regarded, having won honors in the 2007 Centennial and 2008  General Aviation Technology Challenges sponsored by NASA and managed by the CAFE Foundation.   The firm recently announced that it won the European Business Awards prize as the Most Innovative Company in Europe – out of 15,000 entrants.  Indeed, their real-time posting of their solar-powered factory’s electrical output is a strong reminder of that drive to create new paths to the future. Another reminder of Pipistrel’s creative juices is the picture of their four-seat hybrid aircraft, which should be flying in the new year, according …