Boxing Day is a holiday unique to the British Empire, a day-after Christmas gift-giving celebration in which the well-off gave gifts to their servants.
Yahoo Entertainment explains, “While there is some dispute over what the name actually means, it’s commonly believed that Boxing Day refers to the habit of aristocratic employees gifting their servants or tradesman on Dec. 26 as a thank you for their work throughout the year. The employers would give them each a box to take home to their family with gifts, bonuses and leftover food.
“Samuel Pepys, a naval administrator and Member of Parliament, is famous for writing in his diary in 1663: ‘Thence by coach to my shoemaker’s and paid all there, and gave something to the boys’ box against Christmas.’”
Certainly some regifting was in action, a chance for the upper class to get rid of fruitcakes sent by maiden aunts, or to reward particularly meritorious servants.
In the spirit of Boxing Day, your editor shares four aeronautical, electrical greetings from particularly meritorious well-wishers, hoping these help overcome the post-yuletide letdown.
Eric and Irena Raymond, both professional photographers and designers of the world’s only solar-powered two-seat tourer. shared this remarkable image.
Photographed with a GoPro MAX and edited with GoPro Fusion, it’s images like this that impelled the camera firm to lead this video and include another shot at the 1:36 mark. It makes one want to rush out and get a GoPro and a mountain bike or a cheetah.
In a grace note for the season, Eric noted that in the spring, he will start offering rides and flying lessons to visitors to Voghera, Italy. All you need is a glider license to fly this motorglider.
Taking a lighter note, Kasaero took out Santa with the Eviation Alice, a three-motored craft they helped develop.
Their write-up lets you know that despite their whimsical rendering, they are all business.
“Eviation has made it: The design and construction of the innovative new electric aircraft design “Alice” were completed in record time for the Salon Internationale de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace.
“The dedicated development team of the Composite Cluster Singapore and Kasaero, in cooperation with the Fraunhofer IGCV in Augsburg, structurally dimensioned and designed the high-performance wing of the Alice in just 8 months.”
Luka Žnidaršič and his father are engaged in engineering, product development, and especially in the promotion of their FES (Front Electric Sustainer), a small motor, controller, battery combo that can sustain large sailplanes after launch; or with small craft, even self-launch them. Their Christmas greeting takes on galactic dimensions.
More terrestrial, this video of their system in action is self-explanatory.
Tomas Brødreskift, CEO of Equator Aircraft, shares those thoughts with his Facebook friends. “As 2019 is coming to a close, we wish all our partners, investors, and friends the very best for the holidays and coming new year for you and your families. May all your dreams and ambitions come to fruition.”
The company shares this news, too. “Norwegian Equator Aircraft has entered into a collaboration with Danish Nordic Seaplanes to develop the next generation seaplane.
“Danish Nordic Seaplanes operates commercial seaplane routes between Copenhagen and Aarhus. Together with Equator Aircraft, they will further develop today’s two-seater prototype into a four-seater version, for commercial missions.
“Electrification of aviation is soon a reality. Equator Aircraft is developing the world’s first electric seaplane in the premises at Kjeller Airport near Lillestrøm .
“The company has this year conducted the first tests of the prototype.” The first flight out of ground effect took place in April, followed by the water taxi tests below. Note the reversible propeller, which enables easier maneuvering on water.
With a big event coming at the end of February, 2020, Leap Year will celebrate the leaps designers are taking in making really personal flying devices, with a fly off of machines that have shown promise of meeting the demands of taking off and landing in a small space, being quiet enough not to annoy the neighbors, and transporting the single occupant on a short-range mission.
You could be part of the Leap Day ceremonies, including an airshow and finalists’ competition, to be held at Moffett Federal Airfield at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. The event will feature support by Boeing, Google’s Planetary Ventures, and Pratt & Whitney from Thursday, February 27th through Saturday, February 29th, 2020. Passing on Boeing’s gift to you, register to attend here.
It’s been a great 2019 in electric aviation, with major players entering the arena and funding growing monthly. Let’s hope 2020 transcends even that.
NOTE: Updated December 27 to make up for sloppy editing that left out Tomas Brødreskift and Equator Aircraft’s greetings and big news.