Kitty Hawk Flyer Shows Improvements, Limits Continue

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Kitty Hawk Flyer, the Larry Page-backed “sky taxi,” seems like a great summer escape machine. One can learn to fly it in about an hour, but it will remain low and slow enough to give the thrill of flight without inordinate dangers.  That’s the marketing pitch from Kitty Hawk, and it’s not a bad one.  Imagine going to a beach or lake with dozens of these fluttering about over the water’s surface.  It’s the same kind of lure driving go-karts on a miniature race course has for vacationers. Safety is obviously a factor for a machine meant for amateur use.  John Lyon explains this in the Robb Report: “The zero-emissions Flyer is completely powered by electricity, and its propellers all …

Record Number of Human-Powered Helicopter Pilots Sets New Records

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Aerovelo, combining flight with velocipede (bicycle) propulsion provides plenty of exercise for its members on the high ground of Nevada and within the  confines of Canadian gymnasiums. Between September 9 and 14 at Battle Mountain, Nevada this year, one of Aerovelo’s little airfoil shaped recumbent bicycles hit 77.68 mph, requiring a steady hand on the controls as well as incredibly strong quadriceps.  As seen in the video at about 30 seconds, the Aerovelo team became a victim of the divergent directional stability common to these short-coupled vehicles.  Bluenose parted company with the highway when nearing 100 km/hr (62 mph).  Despite the horrendous tumble, rider Todd Reichert was unhurt and damage to the bike was mainly aesthetic.  Todd went on to …

AeroVelo Captures Sikorsky Prize

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

This was not their first rodeo.  Core members of the AeroVelo human-powered helicopter team, “Have been working together since 2006 on the world record setting Snowbird Human-Powered Ornithopter as well as the series of high-speed streamlined bicycles. Over the course of the various projects we have built a wealth of experience in human performance, lightweight composite construction, and advanced aerodynamic design.” Their Snowbird maintained altitude for 19.3 seconds on only human power.  Even though towed into the air, it flew on its own after the pilot released the towrope.  The beauty of this flight is so compelling the footage has been used in Honda commercials. Their record attempt streamlined bicycles are part of a series that make attempts on the …