Dale Kramer’s VLazair – Swinging a Different Way

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Dale Kramer’s Lazair was one of the most popular ultralights in the 1980s, selling over 1,200 units.  He re-engineered it a decade ago and flew the electrically-powered version in both land and amphibious versions.  Appearances at AirVenture saw him making daily flights over the area.  Your editor was privileged to visit Dale’s home, once owned by Glenn Hammond Curtis in Hammondsport – who also flew his creations from Keuka Lake, one of New York’s Finger Lakes for which the region is named. Ever an inventive soul, Dale has returned to the drawing board, in his own way answering the question of how to perform vertical takeoffs and landings in a small, light, personal aircraft.  To overcome pilot’s getting cricks in their …

Quart in a Pint Pot

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Lilium is still in its incubator stage, but drawing a lot of interest for its radical two-seat, high-speed aerial vehicle. EIT Climate-KIC, one of the funding organizations helping underwrite this startup, includes some startling claims in Lilium’s description. “Lilium is designing the world’s fastest and highest-range electric aircraft that is commercially available. “The two-seated light aircraft consumes half the energy of today’s most efficient electric cars and is so quiet that it can’t be heard flying in 1 km (@3,300 feet) altitude. It is propelled by electric impeller engines and features an extensive safety concept comprising a 3-fold redundant fly-by-wire control system, 12 redundant batteries and engines as well as a parachute rescue system for the whole aircraft.” The ESA Business …

Hybrid Happening Follow-up, Followed by Not-So-Wild Speculation

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Richard Glassock, the blog’s unofficial hybrid power reporter, sent the link to this video about the NASA GL-10 Greased Lightning test vehicle – which combines hybrid power with vertical take-off and landing abilities.  It’s a more detailed look at the power system and flight characteristics of this aircraft. The Graupner model airplane people obviously know a good thing when they see it, as reported here by the TestFlite gang – a group of enthusiastic model builders and flyers with a try it on and see if it fits attitude.  They excel in action-packed aerial photography that would make Michael Bay jealous.  Their test subject flies like a GL-10 or Joe Ben Bevirt’s S2s, and looks a great deal like an …

HOMER and PEACE Offer Quieter, Smoother Flight: Part One

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A European-based consortium of academic and industrial groups take a very old idea, add a plasma system that seems to be nearly science fiction, whip them together and create quiet, efficient, vector-controlled flight.  That’s the promise, although it seems a bit much to take in all at once.  But the folks at the ACHEON (Aerial Coanda High Efficiency Orienting-jet Nozzle) project seem to think they have a potential winner here.  ACHEON represents two other acronyms, so let’s define those first. The original idea for the project was part of H. O. M. E. R., not of the Simpsons, or even of epic Greek poetry, but of the “High-speed Orienting Momentum with Enhanced Reversibility” variety.  Combine that with P. E. A. …