A 24-Volt Airplane Motor?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Biofuels, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

One of the big surprises in last month’s webinar hosted by the EAA and presented by Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation Services/Adventure Aviation was the 24-Volt motor being developed for the EMG-6 ultralight motorglider. High and Low Voltages Many, if not most of the electric motors flying on existing craft are higher voltage units.  For sake of an off-handed definition, we’ll divide low and high at below and above 50 Volts, something OSHA delineates in its regulation 29 CFR 1910.303(g)(2)(i), which “generally requires “’live parts of electric equipment operating at 50 volts or more’ to be ‘guarded against accidental contact by use of approved cabinets or other forms of approved enclosures’ or by other specified means.”  In its explanation, the …

NASA Tests Pipistrel Systems To Aid Electric X-plane Program

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

Taja Boscarol of Pipistrel in Slovenia relays the information that NASA has tested Pipistrel’s electric propulsion system as part of its electric flight research for the X-57 program.  It would seem reasonable to start by checking out Pipistrel’s well-tested motor package, one of the few that comes with fully-matched controller, batteries, and ancillary gear. NASA performed its tests on its 13.5-foot Airvolt stand at the Armstrong Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base, California.  Heavily instrumented, the Airvolt stand collects data through “high-fidelity sensors,” and transmits the collected information to a data acquisition unit that processes, records, and filters the measurements.  NASA and Pipistrel should be able to make good use of this data. Normally installed on the Taurus …

Siemens Makes a Big, Light Motor

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Its 14 kilogram (30.8 pound), 85 kilowatt (114 horsepower) motor already graces the nose of the PIpistrel WattsUp, and Siemens seems to have expanded its aeronautical offerings with its new 50 kilogram (110 pound), 260 kilowatt (348.5 hp.) unit.  According to Dr. Frank Anton, Head of eAircraft at Siemens Corporate Technology, the new motor “make[s] it possible to build series hybrid-electric aircraft with four or more seats.” Siemens claims a world record of five kilowatts per kilogram, although Roman Susnik, with his Emrax motors pulling close to 10 kilowatts per kilogram, might contest that, and LaunchPoint is working toward eclipsing that mark.  To be fair, it’s certainly a giant boost over the power-to-weight ratio of most industrial-type electric motors, which …

Eurosport Exploring New Configurations

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Unhappily, we missed seeing Tom Leite at this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium. Happily, he was at Eurosport Aircraft, his company in Portugal, working on innovative new approaches to making electric and hybrid motor-gliding a reality. He also has a speedster that would give those who desire rapid transit a high-style alternative. As shown in the video from Aero Friedrichshafen, the Crossover will probably trend toward a simpler wing configuration, with a fixed span of 18 meters (59 feet) and flaperons that will replace the multiple flaps on the current short-span version being flown in test flights. It’s uncertain whether the current twin-motors that pop out of the sides of the extremely slender fuselage will be retained, but a new version …

June is a Happy Month for Electric Motorsports

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

With only half the month gone and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb scheduled on its last week, June 2014 has seen records crumble at the Isle of Man TT and hybrid electrical technology dominate at the 80th running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The electric part of the classic road race on the tight little island between Britain and Northern Ireland saw new records for the 37 mile spin around the southern roadways – like the Le Man circuit, otherwise public roads usually dominated by farm vehicles and passenger cars. Ohio State University’s Buckeye Racing Team ran a modified Honda CBR1000RR frame with a motor by Roman Susnik, the Slovenian who also designed the motors used in …

Sunseeker III Becomes the Duo

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dropping a digit and its Latinate numeration, the recently renamed Sunseeker, a joint collaboration between Eric Raymond and a group of German, Swiss, Polish and Slovenian contributors, is showing progress towards its 2011 test flights. The 23-meter (75.46 feet) span solar-powered sailplane takes its wing from the Stuttgart Akaflieg Icare II, its fuselage from the Stemme basic profiles, is being built at least partially in Poland, and uses an electric motor designed by Slovenian native Roman Susnik, as noted in an earlier entry. The craft’s specifications provide evidence of the care employed in the design and construction of this lightweight marvel.  A 75-foot wing aircraft weighing 270 kilograms (594 pounds) empty and 470 kilograms ( 1,034 pounds) when carrying two in its …

Solar Sailer Seeks Companionship

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Until now, all solar flight has been solo.  This is understandable, given the need for light weight and large wing areas.  But Eric Raymond is about to change this with Sunseeker III, the world’s first two-seat solar-powered airplane, shown at last weekend’s Green Aviation Show at Le Bourget Field near Paris, France.  Indoor displays were in the Musee’ de l’Air et de L’Espace (the Air and Space Museum). Sunseeker III has a roomy side-by-side seating arrangement in a fuselage derived from the Stemme sailplane.  The wing is crafted from the molds (on long-term loan) for Stuttgart University’s 25-meter (80 feet) Icare II, flown in 1996.  As Raymond explains in his blog, “Professor Nitschmann’s design firm www.sfl-gmbh.de is very friendly to our project, and we hope to work together …