Hydrogen from Thin Air?

Dean Sigler Announcements, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Extracting “green” hydrogen from thin air may be a saving grace in attempts to produce clean energy.  Normally, water splitting to produce oxygen and hydrogen requires large amounts of preferably pure water, a rare substance in much of the world. Science News headlines its article, “To overcome the water shortage problem in the case of widespread deployment of hydrogen production, a team of researchers from Australia, the United Kingdom and China has demonstrated a method of producing high purity hydrogen from the air by using hygroscopic electrolyte soaked in a porous medium as the moisture absorbent.” GreenCarCongress notes researchers at [The University of] Melbourne have demonstrated a way to extract hydrogen directly from air via the capture of freshwater using …

Smartflyer Moves, Along with Former Namesake Fly-in

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

Smartflyer is a four-passenger, proof-of-concept light aircraft that can fly on pure electric power, as a hybrid with an av-gas powered generator, or as a hydrogen-fuel-cell-driven airplane.  It’s been under development for several years, but is moving production to Stelzach – just nearby.  Likewise, the Smartflyer Challenge, an electric aircraft fly-in, is moving from Smartflyer’s Grenchen, Switzerland home to Bern, a much larger field about 20 miles south. The Smartflyer SFX1 Electric-Flight.eu reports, “The fuselage of the Smartflyer SFX1 is slowly taking shape.”  Company founder Rolf Stuber OK’d production of the first carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) fuselage at Aerolite near Lucerne.  In a rented hall of 500 square meters (5,382 square feet), the “ready-to-install” drivetrain, consisting of a well-tested …

MagniX Ready for New Markets

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

MagniX, the motor company powering Eviation’s Alice and Harbour Air’s Beaver, is expanding into new markets.  Already flying in a DeHavilland Beaver in Canada and being readied for flight on Eviation’s Alice in Arlington, Washington, the company’s motors have many potential airframes to grace.  Besides Harbour Air and Eviation, English firm Faradair has chosen MagniX to power its BEHA, a triplane configuration commuter, and Sydney Seaplanes wants MagniX power for its Cessna Caravan Supplemental Type Certificate.  On a grander scale, Universal Hydrogen will power its converted DeHavilland Dash 8s with MagniX.  Even NASA has awarded funding to MagniX (along with General Electric) to develop “Electrified Aircraft Propulsion (EAP) technologies through ground and flight demonstrations. “ Harbour Air’s Beaver A 1957 …

Sonex and Gabriel DeVault Partner on Electric Kitplane

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Sonex and Gabriel DeVault have partnered to create an electric kitplane, marketing components for a different type of powerplant.  Sonex has been in the kitplane business since 1998 (having built from a decade’s-old earlier company) and Gabriel DeVault has been working with the electrification of aircraft for a decade.  Combining their expertise, we have a kit built path toward an inexpensive electric kitplane. Gabriel commutes a lot by air, traversing the globe between his home in Watsonville, California and Cranfield, England for work on Zero Avia’s electrification of Dornier 228s – one in each country.  He flies between Watsonville and Hollister, California in his Zero Motorcycle powered eXenos, a kit built product from Sonex Aircraft in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  Before that, …

Piper Archer Trainers to Go Electric

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

CAE, a Canadian high-tech company, H55, Safran, and Piper Aircraft have announced a joint venture to make the popular Piper Archer® trainer electric.  With 28,000 Archers in service, a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) would replace the current Lycoming IO-360 or Continental CD-155 Diesel engines with a Safran electric motor. The Players CAE CAE, started 75 years ago by a Canadian war hero, pledges itself to making the world a safer place.  “Our vision is to be the worldwide partner of choice in civil aviation, defense and security, and healthcare by revolutionizing our customers’ training and critical operations with digitally immersive solutions to elevate safety, efficiency and readiness.” The organization runs large flight training programs and designs and operates banks of …

Skylift in the UK: Zipline in the USA

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Skylift Skylift is an all-British drone system supplier being used by the National Health Service (NHS) to deliver prescription medications in the UK in partnership with Apian.  Jessica Reed, reporting in Aviation Today, explains one of Skylift’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities demonstrated its ability to fly medical supplies between Portsmouth on England’s southern coast and the Isle of Wight. According to Distansias.com, “The straight line flying distance from Ryde [on the] Isle of Wight [is] 6.62 miles or 10.66 kilometers.”  This can take an hour or so by boat, but only minutes by drone, especially a fast one like those used by Skylift, which apparently designs and builds the machines with specific missions …

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 …

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 …

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 …