A Large Quadplane Version of the Pilatus Porter

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Richard Glassock, a long-time contributor to the blog, is from Australia, and has lived and worked in Hungary for the last few years.  He’s known to blog readers for his work in autonomous aircraft, very large sailplanes, and hybrid propulsion design. He shares news this week about “some excellent work by an Australian researcher I have known for a while. In one way or another, he is actualizing many of the ideas/dreams I had 20 years ago.”  The craft isVTOL (vertical takeoff and landing), fixed wing, capable of automated flight, and is almost a hybrid (depending on definition). It was developed for the Outback Challenge, originally a chance for aircraft designers to show how their craft could autonomously search for …

A Car (or Airplane) With That Cool Carbon Fiber Look

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A research team at Australia’s Queensland University of Technology combined talents with scientists at Rice University in Houston, Texas to produce all-carbon structural panels that rival the best lithium-ion batteries for energy density, but can also be charged as quickly as supercapacitors.  In fact, the panels are supercapacitors, “a ‘sandwich’ of electrolyte between two all-carbon electrodes,” made into “a thin and extremely strong film with a high power density,” according to researchers. These lightweight supercapacitor panels can be combined with “regular” batteries to “dramatically boost the power of an electric car.”  This application would not be unlike Dr. Emile Greenhalgh and Volvo’s structural/electrical body panels. Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr Jinzhang Liu, Professor Nunzio Motta and PhD researcher Marco Notarianni, from QUT’s Science and Engineering …

Aircraft That Don’t Ask For Directions

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

During the last two Electric Aircraft Symposia, Sebastian Thrun has shared his visions of future autonomous highways travelled by free-range cars that literally think ahead of the curve and don’t allow themselves to be boxed in – and even more daunting – autonomous helicopters that independently perform maneuvers that stretch the envelope in new directions and dimensions. His 2009 EAS presentation featured a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) desert race in which his Stanford University team fielded a Volkswagen Taureg in a 132-mile race through the Mojave.  Although not the ultimate winner, Stanford’s entry completed the course in a time that would have done pride to any human Baja race driver. More related to daily driving and eventual incorporation into …

Smart Skies Down Under

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants 1 Comment

Mr Richard R. Glassock holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering with honors, and supervises undegraduate unmanned aerial vehicle projects at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with the Australian Research Centre for Aerospace Automation (ARCAA). He currently leads the “Smart Skies” unmanned aerial systems flight-testing program and is working on his Master’s Thesis. At the Twenty-Fourth Bristol International Unmanned Air Vehicle Systems Conference, in 2009, Bristol United Kingdom he presented a detailed paper on a parallel hybrid system using off the shelf model aircraft components he and his associates designed and tested. “Multimodal Hybrid Powerplant for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Robotics” shows the use of an OS 10 cc model airplane engine, combined with a Plettenberg 220 motor. His group found …