FlightGlobal.com, the online version of Flight International Magazine, has an overview of the electric aircraft scene in its April 6, 2010 release. Among the many producers and proponents of electric flight noted in the article, Dr. Brien Seeley of the CAFE Foundation is quoted extensively, as is Calin Gologan of PC-Aero in Germany, both to present at the fourth annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, at Rohnert Park, California on April 23 and 24.
The article ponders the hopes of two hybrid electric aircraft powerplant developers, George Bye, featured in a February 21 entry in this blog, and Flight Design’s Oliver Reinhardt, the firm’s technical director. Both face the issue of retrofitting existing light planes with their new engines, and the challenge of obtaining supplemental type certification for such modifications.
Highlighted is the 2011 Green Flight Challenge, in which an airplane achieving 200 seat miles per gallon at 100 mph (or an alternative energy equivalent mileage) can earn the CAFE Foundation’s $1.5 million prize. That future is indeed electric, and highly worthy of attention.