EAS IX: Airbus Looks to a Light Electric Future

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Ken McKenzie, listed as Deputy Chairman of Airbus US, has served as Vice President for Airbus Customer Services and as Chief Operating Officer for Airbus Americas, Inc.  This high-powered individual comes across as a relaxed, congenial soul, though, and led attendees at the ninth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium through an overview of developments in light electric aircraft to come from the aviation giant. The e-Fan is the most visible effort for Airbus’s electric aircraft work so far, but the company is intent on carrying out a full E-aircraft program as part of its commitment to the European Commission’s Flightpath 2050 program,. which bullet-points these important goals for the next 35 years: “1. In 2050 technologies and procedures available allow a …

etlantic to Tackle the Atlantic – Both Ways!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Having pushed his electric Colomban MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) to its limits and having won the Federation Aeronautique Internationale’s approval of his speed and altitude records, Jean-Luc Soullier and his team partner Roman Marcinowski are now after significant distance, speed and altitude goals. Needing a faster, lower-drag airplane to accomplish the next set of tasks, the etlantic Project turned to Greg Cole at Windward Performance in Bend, Oregon.  Cole’s Duckhawk 15-meter sailplane outflew even 18-meter competitors in its first contest year. At a gross weight of 960 pounds (using the Windward specification), the special Duckhawk’s three-bladed propeller (special in itself) will have to overcome under 19 pounds of drag to maintain level flight at the best lift-to-drag speed.  But the plan …

Would You Believe There Are Four Electric Cri-Cri’s?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Three electric MC-15 Colomban Cri-Cri’s have been flying for at least the last two years.  Jean-Luc Soullier created one which flew with Plettenberg model motors.  Airbus crafted one with four Rotex motors and counter-rotating propellers on each mount.  Anne Lavrand’s Electravia converted a Cri-Cri to use her motors for speed record attempts. Now they are joined by the MC-15E built by Mr. Toon Jacobs and shown at the Federation RSA ( Network of Sport Air ) Rally 2013 in Vichy, France.  The RSA, as one would guess, is the French equivalent of America’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Electravia provided the E-Motor GMPE 104 motors, controllers, E=Helices 370 gram (one pound, 13 ounces), 83 centimeter (32.7 inches) propellers and the E-Batts 3 kilowatt-hour battery pack.  An Electravia …

Czech Republic Flies Electric Sportplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Sold in America as the SportStar Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), the Czech all-metal two-seater has a 28 foot, 5 inch wingspan, a maximum takeoff weight of 1,320 pounds typical of LSAs, and is normally powered by a Rotax four-cylinder engine. The latest version of this airplane, though, took flight in Kunovice, Czech Republic on March 28, powered by a Rotex motor.  The SportStar EPOS (Electric POwered Small Aircraft) is derived from Evektor’s RTC, and carries a 50 kilowatt (67 horsepower) RE X90-7 motor made by Rotex Electric, which crafts everything from small model aircraft motors to (as shown on their web site) 40 kilowatt (53.6 hp) outrunner-appearing motors for electric vehicle use.  The X90 designation would seem to indicate a …