The Third Electric Airplane to Fly in Oregon

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Martin Koxxy, a mechanical designer for a micro-electronics firm in Beaverton, Oregon, has crafted his e-Gull, a design by Mark Beierle, over the last two years.  The airplane reflects Martin’s care and skills, with simplicity and attention to detail that makes it an airworthy jewel.   The paint lines on the fuselage roll neatly into the door flanges, both on the fuselage and on the door, for instance. Showing his expertise with electronics, Martin’s all-glass cockpit includes a moving map via a Samsung tablet, a miniature EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) by GRT Avionics, and a Cycle-Analyst, a device normally used by bicyclists with electric motor assist.  It monitors battery, motor and controller status among other things.  The latest version is priced at …

Motorcycle Motors as Powerplants for Experimenters

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

A frustration borne by homebuilt aircraft designers for years has been that of finding an appropriate, reasonably-priced powerplant for aircraft in the single and small two-seat range.    Early experimenters often converted motorcycle engines to their ultralight needs.  Continentals, Lycomings, and Franklins filled those needs in the 1930s and ‘40s, and other than Rotax and a few smaller manufacturer’s offerings, there really haven’t been any replacements since then.  Electric powerplants, however, can be found in the motorcycles being produced by many American and foreign companies now, with more to come from Europe and Japan. Designers looking for available electric motors and “plug-and-play”* complete systems may want to look at the 2015 Zero Motorcycle lineup.  Since one Zero motor has flown at …

Three Electric Airplanes Fly at AirVenture 2013

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Electric aircraft have flown for the last six years at the big Oshkosh AirVenture airshow.  Randall Fishman started the movement in 2007 showing his ElectraFlyer trike, and then flew his ElectraFlyer C, a single-seater derived from the Moni motorglider the following year.  He won the 2008 Stan Dzik Memorial Award For Design Contribution “for the installation of the Electric-Motor power train” and the Dr. August Raspet Award.   Last year he displayed his ElectricFlyer ULS, a twin-boom pusher with soaring capabilities. Others have followed, with Yuneec cruising overhead in 2010, winning the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP) prize for the craft’s “significant commercial potential” and “compelling design.” Dale Kramer, flying his twin-Joby-motored eLazair around the ultralight circuit in 2011, showed the …

Formula Student Winners Show New Direction

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

First, recall the recent 24 Hours of Le Mans.  The first five finishers out of 56 starters in the race were hybrid vehicles.  Then think of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this year.  For the first time, an electric motorcycle outpaced all other bikes and one manufacturer, Zero Motorcycles, entered six bikes, three of which broke the existing record for electric motorcycles on the mountain. Now consider an event that is not as well known in the U. S., but which shows the direction that young engineers are taking in Europe.  Formula Student, a competition bringing together the work of 2,000 students from around the world, saw the first two places taken handily by electric vehicles for the first …

Pikes Peak Bikers Are No Pikers

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

100-percent paved for the first time in the 91 year history of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last weekend,  maybe the road’s lack of flying gravel contributed to the extremely quick times. Chip Yates, who had set a world record for his electric motorcycle assault on the course, did not race this year, probably involved with his Flight of the Century program. This year, Carlin Dunne performed the honor of riding the fastest on an electric motorcycle – a Lightning with an IPM liquid cooled, 125kw+, 10,000 rpm motor, as used, according to Lightning’s CEO, in the Chevrolet Tahoe.   Telling Motorcycle.com, “If it can push a 6,000-plus pound truck, think of its performance in a 500-pound motorcycle.” CEO Hatfield …