Sun Flyer Rollout

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Yesterday, George Bye’s Aero Electric Aircraft Company (AEAC) rolled out its Sun Flyer, an electric two-seat training aircraft with photo-voltaic cells on the wing and tail to extend its range, and over two or three days, recharge its batteries.  With orders for 65 Sun Flyers already on the books, interest is high in this airplane. In an email, George informed your editor that, “We’re using the Enstroj Emrax 268 high voltage electric motor, rated at 100 kW and 400 volts nominal.  Of course, the motor ‘throttle’ is electronic.” He responded to a query about battery monitoring and protection: “Battery safety is multi-fold.  We monitor cells individually, cells within each ‘battery box’, (with electronic disconnect), battery box system electronic and mechanical …

Solar Impulse 2 Makes Premier Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Solar Impulse HB-SIB, the second aircraft from the program headed by Andre’ Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, took to the skies early this morning piloted by Markus Scherdel.  Taking off from Payerne Airport at 3:38 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) Solar Impulse 2 climbed to a randomly orbiting path within a 20-mile compass of the airfield to the southwest, Lake Neuchatel to the north, and Belleville to the northeast. At about 4:01 GMT, and about 5,300 feet, Scherdel reported a slight vibration and briefly leveled off until determining that it was probably an aerodynamic vibration – not a motor issue, but possibly from a hatch door.  He continued climbing and performed a bank angle test of 5° at varying airspeeds and “a …

Solar Impulse is Here

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Solarimpulse.com reports, “The Boeing 747 landed at Moffett Airfield in San Francisco at 1:13 PM (UTC-8) on Thursday 21 February.  HB-SIA was immediately unloaded and, in the coming days reassembly will begin.” Almost immediately, crews will assemble and test fly the already intercontinental solar-powered aircraft in preparation for a flight from the Bay Area to the East Coast.  Having conquered the gap between Europe and Africa on its trip to Rabat, Morocco and on to Quarzazate, HB-SIA braved turbulence and gusting that caused it to turn back on its initial foray into the desert.  Its final arrival at a gigantic solar energy plant in Morocco’s interior was a symbol of what clean energy can accomplish and a tribute to Solar …

Solar Impulse Flies Over Four Countries on First International Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Supporters of the Solar Impulse gathered to celebrate the giant solar-powered airplane’s landing in Brussels, Belgium today after the craft had crossed Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, and Belgium in its 630 kilometer (340 nautical mile), 12 hour, 59 minute flight. André Borschberg, CEO and co-founder of the project, flew the mission, starting 8:30 a.m. Payerne, Switzerland time and took the leisurely flight over some of the most scenic landscapes in Europe, with an average speed of 50 kilometers per hour (27 mph – one mile per hour under the stall speed of US ultralights).  He had time to enjoy the view from his average cruising altitude of 1,828 meters (6,000 feet).  Borschberg explained, “It’s a spectacular flight. The takeoff was a …