Klaus Ohlmann, Jonas Lay and eGenius go 2003 kilometers

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, hydrogen, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Klaus Ohlmann and Jonas Lay in the one-and-only eGenius just completed a 2,003 kilometer (1,244 mile) trip from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean on the southern tip of France and return.  The numbers are spectacular.  The flight averaged 190.36 kilometers per hour (118.28 mph) and its hybrid power system consumed a mere 81 liters of fuel.  That works out to 24.72 kilometers per liter or 58.15 mpg.  Even a Prius at that speed would guzzle gasoline. Hybridizing eGenius eGenius was to have originally been HydroGenius, flying on gaseous hydrogen.  Starting design in 2006 and as presented at the 2009 Electric Aircraft Symposium, HydroGenius was designed by Rudolf Voit-Nitschman, Len Schumann, and Steffen Geinitz of the IFB, Institute of Aircraft Design …

Perlan,  Egrett,  and Airbus at Oshkosh

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Most Interesting Formation Flight at Oshkosh? Perlan 2, its Grob Egrett tow plane, and sponsor Airbus gave AirVenture 2022 attendees a glimpse of future records and promising technology.  Few people outside the Perlan Project have witnessed these two-planes flying in close formation, linked by a tow rope. Initial attempts to get Perlan to an altitude where it could catch high-level mountain waves were hampered by the relatively slow climb of the conventional high-wing craft. Because Einar Enevoldson, founder of the Project, had been a test pilot for the Grob aircraft works in Germany, he had reached a record altitude of 60,867 feet in their Stratos 2C, a twin-engine research craft powered by triple-supercharged Teledyne engines.  The Stratos is the highest …

Two Electric Ways to Oshkosh

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Two very different electric aircraft found their ways to AirVenture 2022 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin last week. By eGull from West Virginia 72-year-old Jean Preckel of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia flew her home-built Beierle eGull from her home town to the Experimental Aircraft Association gathering accompanied in a chase car driven by Mark Beierle himself. She is a craftswoman of note, having built fine-arts level models of boats from 1983 until she retired a few years ago.  In 2019, she built and launched a lovely row boat, which displayed her great workmanship and rowing ability. The regional TimesLeader online news outlet reported that having, “…biked biked across the country, along the Appalachian Trail, traveled across Europe working odd jobs, [she] was …

H3X HPDM-3000 – a Three Megawatt-Motor?

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H3X is shaking things up with its announcement of  its HPDM-3000, a three megawatt motor.  Thirteen years ago, your editor gave his first presentation at an electric aircraft symposium, held that year in the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California.  Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and then head of the CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) Foundation, had asked for research on motors of 100 kilowatts or more.  It was hard to find units of over 50 kW at that time, but people like Roman Susnik were managing ultralight motors of over 100 kW for motorized sailplanes With competitors like MagniX and ZeroAvia in the game, H3X introduces the HPDM-3000, a 2.8 mW (3,753 horsepower) ultra-high power density integrated modular motor …

Cranfield: Hub of Electric Aviation

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, hydrogen, Hydrogen Fuel, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Cranfield, England and its local university are hubs for electric aircraft development.  Dr. Guy Gratton is test flying The Light Aircraft Company’s eKub on 48-Volt battery power, ZeroAvia is crafting a Dornier 228 to run on hydrogen, and now Cranfied Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) is readying a Britten-Norman Islander for H2-powered flight in 2023. The Islander Living up to its name, Britten-Norman’s Islander seems to be busy worldwide island hopping.  The twin-engine plane ever makes the world’s shortest scheduled flights, including this between Juist to Norden across the Wadden See.  The 74-second flight is less than the time spent taxiing at the beginning and end of the hop. Designed and developed in the 1960s, 750 Islanders of the 1,280 built are …

Flying Machines in Your Two Car Garage

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A flying machine in your two-car garage was the promise heralded by Popular Science and Popular Mechanics magazines during the 1950s and 1960.  It was the era of Bob Cummings piloting his Aerocar on his popular TV show, and KISN radio watching over traffic with one in Portland, Oregon.  Expectations were high and often disappointed. High costs of establishing a network of two-ton, four-passenger eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) machines dissuaded even Uber from pursuing that goal.  Consider that skyports, vertiports, or whatever they ended up as are enormously expensive, and a network with charging stations and passenger accommodations would be a large investment.  Beyond that, each sky taxi would cost well into the high six figures, something …

Elektra Solar Trainer Unveiled 

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Elektra Solar introduced its Trainer, a new two-seat craft, at this year’s Aero Expo.  As reported here last year, the airplane features side-by-side seating to facilitate training, doubtless enhanced by the low noise level – 50 dB, according to the company.  Based on German ultralight standard LTF-UL 2020.  Compared to a “moderate rainfall noise,” the low sound level allows operation in noise protected areas and should enable easy communication between student and instructor. Safety and Performance With safety in mind, Calin Gologan, the plane’s designer, chose Geiger Engineering’s HPD50D dual motor.  Putting out 50 kilowatts continuously or 70 kW peak power, the 16 kilogram (37.3 pound) unit can run on either or both rotors.  Both independently controlled motors drive a …

Drexel’s Accidental Sulfur Battery Discovery

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Chained to Supplies? A sulfur battery uses an abundant, energy-dense material not subject to the limitations of many supply chains like those for lithium, cobalt, and nickel – all necessary for batteries as they are now constructed.  William Lockett, writing for freethink.com, highlights the potential magnitude of a discovery by Drexel University researchers. “Every now and then, revolutionary technology seems to spontaneously appear out of thin air and change our world. Dynamite, penicillin, X-ray machines, and even microwaves are all examples of such revolutionary accidental discoveries. “Well, this year we may have had yet another. However, this time it is set not only to revolutionize the way we live, but potentially save our planet from looming climate change by unlocking …

Lift + Cruise Transitions for eVTOLs

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A New Mission Some formerly rotor-only eVTOLs are transitioning to a new configuration – one with wings for greater range and speed.  Vertical takeoffs and landings are OK for short-range Urban Air Mobility (UAM), but not necessarily good for longer range flight.  Hovering flight requires thrust equal to the weight of the vehicle, and climbing requires additional thrust.  Switching to wing-borne flight reduces the power necessary and increases flight duration. Some trends in housing and commutes indicate longer, regional flights may be necessary to fetch workers from ever more far-flung homes.  Purely rotor-borne flight will still be viable for short trips with batteries, but wings add speed and endurance. VoloConnect Volocopter, having started with a simple multi-rotor prototype 10 years …

ZeroAvia Finds Widespread Interest, Challenges

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ZeroAvia is finding its way into the development of hydrogen-fueled aviation, and finding along its way great interest and challenges. ZeroAvia, now in Hollister, California, Cranfield, England, and Everett, Washington finds widespread interest in serving multiple clients, since its projects fit a wide dynamic range of exciting possibilities.  The three locations enable adhering to different certification requirements while meeting diverse challenges. Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO of ZeroAvia, has grand plans for his company and the clients it will serve. Otto Celera 500L Lurking on the sidelines of the Victorville, California airport for what seemed years, this craft was a great mystery with unspecified potential.  Now it’s flying with a 550 horsepower RED (Raikhlin Engine Development) V-12 Diesel powerplant and …