Comco Ikarus Flies on Electric Power

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Relatively unknown to American pilots, Germany’s largest ultralight aircraft manufacturer, Comco Ikarus in Mengen, was able to announce the first flight of its successful two- seater C42 / CS as an electric version just before the start of AERO, the annual aircraft exposition in Friedrichshafen. Comco’s C42 CS forms the basis for the electric version.  The avgas-powered version flies with either an 80-horsepower or 100-horsepower Rotax engine, the electric version with a 32-kilowatt (50 horsepower) electric motor from Geiger Engineering.  Geiger’s power package includes their dedicated controller, control lever, and monitoring instrument.  Four battery packs, 15 kilograms (33 pounds) each, power the prototype, but production versions will have six packs, enabling flight times of up to 90 minutes. The first electric …

Larry Page and his Water-Skimming “Flying Car”

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

What’s the definition of a “flying car?”  Does it need four wheels and quick-deploying wings to meet the definition?  Engineers at Kitty Hawk, a Larry Page-funded company, showed some major sales points for what looks to be an easy-to-fly, somewhat whimsical electrically-driven octorotor.  The Verge reports that, “Kitty Hawk promises people will be able to learn to fly the Flyer “in minutes.” A consumer version will be available by the end of this year, the company says.” The New York Times was a bit whimsical in describing the machine.  “Kitty Hawk’s flying car, if you insisted on calling it a “car,” looked like something Luke Skywalker would have built out of spare parts. It was an open-seated, 220-pound contraption with …

EMG-6 Takes First Hops

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Brian Carpenter of Adventure Aircraft Inc. (part of his Rainbow Aviation Company) must trust his engineering, since he acted as his own test pilot for the first flights of his EMG-6 ultralight glider, a craft with options of mounting one, two, three (or even four, as Brian suggests) electric motors.  As an ultralight motor glider it can carry a pilot, ballistic parachute, and a small powerpack with one motor, controller and batteries.  Depending on the pilot’s weight, the airplane might be able to self launch and reach soaring altitude, or for heavier payloads, use the motor as a sustainer unit after a ground or aircraft tow to seek out distant thermals. While waiting for this next development, look at the …