Your Chance to Help Kickstart an Historic Airplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Kickstarter, an online crowd funding platform, helped John McGinnis work toward the completion of his ambitious and aerodynamically advanced Synergy.  Another innovator and pioneer in solar-powered aviation has enlisted the aid of Kickstarter for a superb project and a great adventure. Eric Raymond flew across the United States in 21 solar-charged hops in 1990, making a trek from San Diego, California to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, navigating and soaring with his Sunseeker. Nearly two decades later, he took Sunseeker II from Germany to Italy, conquering the Alps and fulfilling a life-long dream to top the Matterhorn. Since then, he’s also flown the University of Stuttgart’s e-Genius to second place in the Green Flight Challenge last September, co-piloting with Klaus Ohlmann, another …

Want a Ride in Synergy?

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Howard Handelman, a regular reader and observant critic of the CAFE Blog, and Patrick Panzera of Contact magazine fame, are soliciting support for an effort to help John McGinnis finish his Synergy aircraft, unfortunately unable to make its Green Flight Challenge date, but nearing the finish line, none the less. Kickstarter.com recently rejected John’s attempt to raise funds for the nearly complete aircraft, a radically new and somewhat controversial approach to obtaining high performance on relatively low power.  John has shared his insights into the aerodynamics of the project and invited a lively discussion (now closed) on the Experimental Aircraft Association’s forums pages. Synergy under construction – an imposing sight The Internet has made possible fund-raising “crowd sourcing” in which …

Big Birds Flying Green Economy Class (Part One)

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

While the world waits for the 10X battery, a safe, long-range source of flight for our post-Green Flight Challenge fliers, we will probably have to go aloft powered by some bio-fuel derivative or combination of  “traditional” fossil fuels and biofuel. Major players in the airline industry are responding to the probability that things will get a bit thin in finding ready, cheap sources of sweet crude, and are taking on not only the issue of using green energy, but of flying more efficiently – ala Green Flight Challenge practices and Voyager-type voyages.  This interest by the big players in the industry will probably be good for continuing fuel sources for general aviation, too. With more activity than can be imagined …