Geely Looks Skyward, Buys Terrafugia

Dean Sigler Batteries, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Geely is a huge enterprise, and while not the largest maker of electric cars in China, sold 766,000 gas and electric vehicles in 2016, growing 50 percent over the previous year.  Its profits grew 126 percent last year, primarily due to sports utility vehicle (SUV) sales.  As EV Obsession reports: “The 351,861 electric car sales registered in China during 2016 represent approximately 46% of ALL plug-ins sold worldwide this year, with Chinese carmakers responsible for 43% of all EV production in 2016.” Geely, surprisingly, owns Lotus, Malaysia’s Proton Motors, the firm that makes London’s iconic taxis, and Volvo.  Volvo just announced that all its cars will be electric or hybrid starting in 2019.  Fortune reports that the company has become highly …

Carplane Makes a Comeback

Dean Sigler GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

The German firm Carplane made an entry into the media a few years ago, especially when it compared its bi-modal flying car with a Burt Rutan design.  That started a brief kerfuffle of edgy comparisons between the two groups, but no necessary winner.  Now, having shown at least a finished and apparently drivable vehicle at Aero 2015, Carplane has renewed prominence in the media.  And the blog brings it all back, prepared for less-than-flattering comments. Stating what may stir others to contend for their rival mounts, Carplane makes a bold claim.  (The italicized and bolded word is Carplane’s emphasis.) “Flying cars will soon be a reality. And Carplane® is the world’s only flying car currently undergoing formal certification. Watch this page as we …

Unique, From A (for Aerodynamics) to Zee

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Ilan Kroo, according to his biography page, is a Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University, an advanced cross-country hang glider pilot, and designer of the Swift flying wing hang glider, unmanned aerial vehicles, a flying Pterosaur replica, America’s Cup sailboats, and high-speed research aircraft.  Currently on a leave of absence from Stanford, he has started Zee Aero, “a bay area start-up company focusing on bringing new technologies to civil aircraft.” Zee Aero, on its first of five sparse web pages, proclaims, “We’re creating an entirely new aircraft,” a heady claim considering the lack of supporting descriptions or illustrations.  But other sources have been made available, including Zee’s patent applications, which show a slim tricycle-gear fuselage surmounted by variously …