Heaviside – Kittyhawk’s Latest

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Kittyhawk, a bay area firm possessed of wildly creative talent, has crafted the Flyer in 2017, the Cora in 2018, and just announced the Heaviside, a cross-country cruiser named for a physics and electronics genius.  Its predecessors go back further, to the JobyMonarch, a single-seat, eight-motor design that made it to the construction stage.  That aircraft was based on Windward Performance’s Duckhawk sailplane, a high performance machine that made the most of its sleek lines. Joby had several projects going at the time, including an energy-generating kite business that merged with Makani.  Carmel deAmicis does a good job of synthesizing a long series of inventions that help lead to Heaviside.  “After Joby Energy succeeded at creating airborne vessels that could generate energy …

Two “New” Battery Contenders

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

With Tesla’s announcement that its new battery pack for its Rev. 3 Roadster will increase the car’s range to as much as 400 miles (your mileage may vary), two contenders are putting proclaiming equivalent or better performance from their unique technologies.  These companies are relatively new, but have fairly long development histories.  They are both moving toward commercializing what otherwise would be academic demonstrations of their technologies. EnerG2 – Taking Carbon to New Levels A Seattle, Washington-based materials development firm, EnerG2’s Carbon Technology Platform (CTP), is based upon a polymer chemistry foundation, and according to the company, “represents an ability to engineer and synthesize high-performance, uniquely tailored high-purity carbons, at large scale and low cost.”  The company makes CTP materials …

Batteries, Fuel Cells – or Something Else?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We’re coming to a parting of the ways in energy storage development for electric cars.  Or we may be coming to a joining of technologies in new and previously unimagined ways.  One side, led by Elon Musk and his Tesla Empire, promotes battery power and development.  Yet, in Tesla’s home state of California, government and private investments in hydrogen vehicles is growing.   Several Asian and European automakers are bringing out fuel cell powered vehicles in the face of low numbers of existing fueling stations.  For all the promotion from either side, future “green” cars may become too expensive for private ownership, and various approaches to providing personal mobility may replace the traditional owner-driver model.  Regardless of the outcomes or market …