Eviation’s Alice Meets a Governor and a Mayor

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

Eviation’s Alice and MagniX’s motors got a visit from the Governor of Washington State and the Mayor of Arlington where the nine-seat airliner is being prepared for its first flight.  Electric aircraft, so far, don’t command that big a portion of the daily press, so it’s heartening to see TV cameras and news reporters turn out. Eviation shared its take on Facebook.  “We enjoyed hosting @GovInslee and @barbtolbert today for an intimate look as Alice prepares for first flight later this year. They saw first-hand how our growing teams are working to make #electricaviation a reality.” Governor Jay Inslee was already aware of the work motor company MagniX was doing when he acknowledged the May 28, 2020 flight of a …

Would an Electric LSA Kit Appeal to You?

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Aircraft Materials, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Is there a need and desire for an electric light sport aircraft (LSA) kit that is inexpensive to own, operate, and maintain?  Electric flight already offers that possibility, and if kits were available to further lower costs, we could see a new way to achieve low-cost flight.  The LSA designation qualifies a builder to take advantage of LSA’s lighter constraints. A good friend who happens to have designed an electric Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) a few years ago let the project lapse because of the need to tend to other business interests.  He wants to know if there’s a market for a new, improved version of his original concept – an electric LSA that would fly for considerably less in …

First Flight of Rolls-Royce’s ACCEL Project

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Rolls-Royce has made a first test flight of its ACCEL Program’s “Spirit of Innovation,” their 400 kilowatt (500+ horsepower) electric record-seeking craft.  Powered by a stack of three YASA (Yokeless And Segmented Armature) motors, the Spirit flows from Jon Sharp’s NXT design, usually powered by a 540-cubic-inch internal-combustion engine.  The video includes a short nod to Rolls-Royce’s involvement in aviation that leads to the current project. Rolls announced the successful first flight with an important accomplishment and a hopeful prediction.  “We are pleased to announce the completion of the first flight of our all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft. At 14:56 (BST) the plane took to the skies propelled by its powerful 400kW electric powertrain with the most power-dense battery pack …

Sion Power’s EV Battery

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Sion Power’s EV Battery 400 Watt-hours per kilogram is a long-awaited minimum expectation for what it will take to get electric aviation off the ground.  Sion Power® of Tucson, Arizona will introduce its Licerion® 17 Amp-hour pouch cells at the Battery Show North America in September – claiming to fulfill that expectation.  The large-format pouch cells come in a compact 810 Watt-hours per liter size, last over 800 cycles and can be charged to 80-percent of their rated capacity in 15 minutes, according to Sion. Sion Power is shifting from its lithium-sulfur chemistry to lithium-metal technology.  Their Li-S cells powered Airbus’ Zephyr® 7 HAPS (High Altitude Pseudo Satellite) to a record for continuous flight.  According to Tucson Tech, “In 2014, …

Stable Nickel-rich Cathodes in Lithium Metal Batteries

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A battery with 560 Watt-hours per kilogram, a stable long life, and no fires.  What’s not to like?  Researchers at Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), founded by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in cooperation with the University of Ulm, have come up with a dual anion, nickel-rich cathode, lithium-metal battery that, although in early stages of development, may point a way forward. Academic journal Joule reports, “High-energy batteries, in particular lithium batteries, are the key to achieve carbon-neutral mobility…. However, it is foreseen that a fully electrified mobility and transportation can only be achieved by the development of batteries employing lithium metal as the negative electrode (anode) while still granting long-term cycling performance and safety.”  Safety may be the deciding …

Embraer Electrifies Agricultural Aviation

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Embraer, a Brazilian aircraft maker with ties to Boeing, has been tilling the clean aviation field for several years.  Their current agricultural craft, the EMB 203, has flown on ethanol for some years – a kind of farm-to-aircraft symbiotic relationship.  Going to the next step toward clean, green aviation, Embraer has since devised an electrical powertrain in cooperation with WEG Equipamentos Elétricos and EDP. Embraer is deeply involved in programs headed toward making the skies greener.  This includes everything from their aircraft designs to their “DIPAS PROGRAM – DIPAS (Integrated Development of an Environmentally Sustainable Product).”  This program considers “current and future environmental legislation,” alternative technologies and their life cycles.  The program works toward reducing fuel consumption, CO2 emissions, noise, …

MIT Makes Hydrogen from Scrap Aluminum and Water

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Three Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers may be on the track of producing hydrogen from a reaction between aluminum (the scrappier the better) and water.  Their “simple way” of generating H2 from aluminum and water can take place anywhere, according to the researchers. Since groups like ZeroAvia and Pipistrel with the DLR (German Space Agency) and HY4 are working toward at least intermediate-range hydrogen-powered flight, an inexpensive way to produce the gas would be a blessing.  Current methods of producing H2 from fossil-fuel-related materials can be more detrimental to the environment than the promise hydrogen would otherwise bring, however. Corroding but Not Rusting Dr. Laureen Meroueh along with Professor Douglas Hart and Professor Thomas Eager at MIT have found …

A Pulitzer Written in the Sky

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, GFC, Hydrogen Fuel, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Itching to test your electric airplane’s cross-country capabilities?  A new Pulitzer Electric Air Race of over 1,000 nautical miles (1,150.78 statute miles to be exact) between Nebraska and North Carolina will show who has the fastest electric flying machine. Jim Moore, reporting for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), shows the connection between the original Pulitzer Trophy and today’s electric competition.  “Five of the first six pilots to have their names engraved on the Pulitzer Trophy were military airmen clocked around a closed course at speeds starting at 157 mph in 1920, up to a blistering 248 mph by 1925. The trophy was created to inspire innovation, and particularly faster airplanes. That vintage trophy housed at the Smithsonian National …

Joby Quietly Achieves its Range, Heads to Washington, D. C.

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Joby Aero Inc. has displayed its ultra-quiet operation, flown a promised distance and become an investment favorite in the last few months. Now it’s headed to Washington, D. C. to consolidate relations with law- and opinion makers. Quietude As a follow-up to its recent demonstration of quietude on Public Broadcasting’s “Great Electric Airplane Race,” Joby staged a head-to-head test of its near silent operation against other aircraft.  Note the perceived noise and the aural signature as each craft passes overhead. Going the Distance One thing prominent in Joby’s on-line presence is their promise that their electric air taxi will be able to travel 150 miles on a single charge – including a vertical takeoff and landing. Flown from the ground …

The Layered Look in 1000x Solar Cells

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We hear a lot about 10X batteries, but 1000X solar cells?  Layering up may be stylish and even practical in the fashion world, and in solar cells may be a chance to unite otherwise dissimilar materials with otherwise limited light-to-electric conversion capabilities.   That strategy produced solar cells with 1000x that.  That’s what researchers at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) found when they created crystalline layers of layers of barium titanate (a mixed oxide of barium and titanium), strontium titanate and calcium titanate which they alternately placed on top of one another. Researchers found high increases in responses from the layered oxides because of higher permittivity – electrons able to flow more freely. The team’s paper, “Strongly enhanced and tunable photovoltaic …