A Range Extender You Can Ride Home

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Range extenders make any airplane to which they are attached a hybrid aircraft, with an engine-driven generator charging batteries or driving one or more electric motors that provide thrust.  Speaking today at the 7th EASN International Conference on Innovation in European Aeronautics Research, Richard Glassock, a Fellow at the Institute of Aerospace Technology at the University of Nottingham, gave the range extender a completely new mission. His innovation comes in two versions, the RExLite and RExMoto.  RExLite is a simple generator drive that mounts under the aircraft.  RExMoto looks similar – a streamlined pod under the aircraft – but can be converted to a motorcycle when on the ground.  Both “use conventionally-fueled combustion-engine-driven electrical generators to provide energy at peak …

Five Representative Exhibitors at the E-Flight Expo

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Aero, an annual event at Friedrichshafen, Germany, highlights the beginning of the European air show season.  E-Flight Expo has been a regular part of this for the last several years, and displays the latest in electric flight technology.  Certainly the most forward-looking part of the show, the Expo grows every year.  Several exhibitors helped further the advanced look this year. MGM Compro With at least five aircraft powered by their electric power systems on display, MGM Compro showed great market strength.  The Czech firm has 16 of its motors atop each Volocopter 200, with one as a propulsor in the tail.  Their motors power the Magnus e-Fusion aerobatic trainer, several GP gliders, the S.R.O. Song motorglider, and any number of …

Getting Blood from Outback Joe – the 2016 Outback Challenge

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Outback Joe goes through a lot of trauma in his overstuffed life.  This literal straw man gets tossed into some remote part of the Australian outback every year and waits for some kind of rescue.  This usually comes by air, drones searching for him and taking him medicine, food, water, or some other necessity.  That’s the Outback Challenge. One can see a condensed history of the competition from its inception in 2007 to today on Wikipedia, the entry including the different kinds of things Outback Joe needed for a mission to be successful. This year, however, competitors were supposed to bring back a reminder of their visit to Joe – a blood sample – a good trick from an inanimate …

Airbus and Local Motors Team up For Cargo Drone Competition

Dean Sigler Announcements, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Richard Glassock, a long-time contributor to the blog and now a Research Fellow in Hybrid Propulsion Systems for Aircraft at the Institute for Aerospace Technology, the University of Nottingham, England, shared this news about an Airbus-sponsored contest for cargo drone designs. Local Motors, well known for its 3D-printed automobiles, and Airbus Group, well known for its range of commercial and military aircraft, just completed a design contest that drew 425 entries.  Rewards were significant for the top three places in the competition, with a main award First Place prize of $50,000, a trip to the Farnborough Airshow in England, and a “1-of-a-kind Cargo Drone Flight Jacket with personalized patch.”  Second place earned the winner $20,000 and third place $10,000, with …

Hungary Scores an Electric First

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

Thanks to Richard Glassock, we have news of the first electric airplane to fly in Hungary.  The Magnus eFusion made its maiden flight at the Matkópuszta airfield in Kecskemet, Hungary on April 11. A two-seat, side-by-side, low-wing monoplane, eFusion is an all-composite craft with fixed tricycle gear.  Its 410 kilogram empty weight includes batteries and a ballistic recovery system. With a maximum takeoff weight of 600 kilograms, the airplane normally flies with a Rotax 912 or UL Power 260 iSA, both four-cylinder, four-stroke units meant for the Light Sport Aircraft market. A fusion of the Corvus Racer 540, a high performance aerobatic aircraft flown in the Red Bull Air Races and the Corvus Phantom, a Light Sport Aircraft, the Magnus …

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 …

Hybrid Happening Follow-up, Followed by Not-So-Wild Speculation

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Richard Glassock, the blog’s unofficial hybrid power reporter, sent the link to this video about the NASA GL-10 Greased Lightning test vehicle – which combines hybrid power with vertical take-off and landing abilities.  It’s a more detailed look at the power system and flight characteristics of this aircraft. The Graupner model airplane people obviously know a good thing when they see it, as reported here by the TestFlite gang – a group of enthusiastic model builders and flyers with a try it on and see if it fits attitude.  They excel in action-packed aerial photography that would make Michael Bay jealous.  Their test subject flies like a GL-10 or Joe Ben Bevirt’s S2s, and looks a great deal like an …

Britain Puts an Electric Nose on a New Zealand Carbon Fiber Falco

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

Richard Glassock, an Australian now working in Hungary, has been a presenter at an Electric Aircraft Symposium and received worldwide interest for his eight-passenger, open cockpit sailplane design a few years ago. He writes today to share news about a twin electric motor conversion for a Falco, the great, high-speed craft by Italian Stelio Frati. Originally designed for four-cylinder, horizontally-opposed engines of up to 300 horsepower, the wood airframe was incredibly complex and required thousands of hours to construct. Signor Aldini reported taking 80 hours just to make the main spar’s jig – with four people needed to complete clamping before the glue set. With the increasing difficulty of finding aircraft-grade sitka spruce or aircraft-grade wood craftsmen, those who can replace …

A Twin-Motored Ultralight Flying Wing – It’s the New Millennium

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Richard Glassock, an Australian now living and working in Hungary, sent the links to YouTube videos of a Millennium hang glider, neatly electrified and flown at this year’s Santa Cruz Salt Flats Race.  Richard has been a speaker at the Electric Aircraft Symposium with a talk on his efforts with small hybrid electric power systems for large-scale models and small aircraft. Steve Morris, co-designer of the Millennium along with Ilan Kroo, Brian Porter, Brian Robbins, and Erik Beckman helped develop this rigid-wing hang glider to offer a lighter, more portable version of Swift.  Steve reported on his electric-powered Swift at the 2010 Electric Aircraft Symposium. Ilan Kroo reflected on the idea of practical, powered ultralight sailplanes in his American Institute …

A Tea Room in the Sky

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized 4 Comments

Richard Glassock is an Australian graduate student and designer working in autonomous aircraft, long-distance sailboats, and a light hybrid power system made from off-the-shelf model aircraft components.  He’s even made a design study of something that would really cause a stir in the world of electric sailplanes. “I just want to send you some pictures of a concept model I’m working on. The idea is for a 6- seat sailplane, I thought about this 10 or 15 years ago when I first started getting to cloudbase in a hang glider. It is a magical world, particularly in an open air type vehicle: wouldn’t it be wonderful to share with friends.  Now it seems to have turned out to be an …