Pipistrel Electrics in America and France

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Pipistrel rolled out its new 801 at the UBER Elevate Summit in Washington, D. C. last week and is flying its Alpha Electro Trainer at the Paris Air Show all this week. Launching the 801 at UBER Elevate Dr. Tine Tomažič, Pipistrel’s Director of Research & Development, was a keynote speaker at the conference in Washington, D.C. on June 11, where he presented just enough to whet appetites for more on the coming 801 eVTOL design.  His final touch – presenting an ostensibly realistic recording of the 801’s sound, demonstrated how quiet the vehicle will be. That’s accounted for by the eight fans being tuned to different frequencies, cancelling each other out like the dynamics in …

Another Kind of Skyport for Volocopter

Dean Sigler Announcements, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Following last year’s Uber Elevate Summit, one came away with the idea that future landing areas for Urban Air Mobility vehicles would be multi-story and expansive, with connections readily available to other forms of commuting.  Volocopter, working with Skyports , has Volo-Ports coming, with the first one due to open by the end of this year.  The “stunning designs” for these landing pads will come from the agency Brandlab.   Drawings released so far show that Voloports will be simple and modular, enablihg their distribution in many locations or clustered in one centralized facility. Introduced at the Berlin Green Festival, Volo-Ports appear to be open, friendly places where one can be introduced effortlessly to the joys of taking Volocopters to distant places.  …

Referencing Uber’s Elevated Challenge

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We can tell things are heating up in the electric aircraft marketplace.  Established aircraft companies are investing (Boeing and Airbus for starters), growing numbers are planning for electrified and autonomous future flight (Uber Elevate Summit), and an absolute plethora of new designs are tumbling forth from an aeronautical cornucopia.  Their video of an Uber sky taxi ride illustrates the charm of the idea. A Common Reference Uber provided two common reference eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) reference models for partners to emulate.  Both seem to share a common passenger pod with an unusually long tail boom. Perhaps taking the 2011 Green Flight Challenge as his reference point, Mark Moore explained how Uber inspires others to give their best efforts …

David Ullman: Flying on Multiple Tiny Motors

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

David Ullman, a professor emeritus at Oregon State University, predicted electric flight’s future in articles in 2009* and 2010**.  His predictions have come (mostly) true and David is working to fulfill the rest.  His background in mechanical and aeronautical engineering provides credibility for his prognostications, and he’s taking practical steps to take electric aviation to a next, very creative level. While Uber’s Elevate Summit in Dallas earlier this year focused on big-money players in the vertical aviation world, David and co-creator Vincent H. Homer promoted their paper, “The IDEAL for Near-VTOL Aircraft.”  IDEAL represents “Integrated Distributed Electric – Augmented Lift” flight, using “thrust from distributed electric propulsion to improve the lift and drag performance of the aircraft during takeoff, cruise …

Airspace X MOBI Wants toTake Back Our Lives

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

Airspace X decries the thought that “Traffic is taking over our lives.”  It lists three concerns: the 42 hours urban commuters sit in traffic per year; the 1.9 billion gallons of fuel wasted due to road congestion; and the $1,400 wasted per driver per year due to traffic.  Its solution, an electrically-powered four-seat commuter vehicle called MOBI.  The e-VTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) machine, introduced at the Uber Elevate Summit on April 27, lays claim to being able to fly its passenger at rates equal to an Uber Black ride. According to NBC News, Uber Black “town car” style trips are usually longer than “standard” rides, in a shortlist of approved vehicles – the Audi Q7, BMW X5, Cadillac …

Uber Elevate Summit Announces Sky Taxis by 2020

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A scad of news about electric aircraft hit the internet and newsstands last week.  Even USA Today reported on the Uber Elevate Summit in Dallas, Texas – held with many of the participants in the 2017 Sustainable Aviation Symposium a few days before. Big news came from Uber’s announcement that it intends to offer electric VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi service in Dallas and Dubai by 2020.  Bigger news for SAS participants is that it is partnering with Pipistrel and Aurora Flight Sciences, both presenting at the San Francisco event.  Jeff Holden, Uber’s chief product officer, said Bell Helicopters, Brazil’s Embraer, and Mooney Aircraft would also provide “concepts and technologies” for the near-term launch. According to Aviation Daily, …