Electron’s 2024 Round the World Plans

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Teofilo Leite has been refining a beautiful twin-motor glider for the last decade.  Apparently he’s moving on to a five-seat, four-motor, dual-propeller beauty that is set to take on the world.  The Electron 5 looks a great deal like a larger Electron 2, which has been flying in various configurations for the last decade. Electron Aviation, with representatives in The Netherlands and Australia states, “Our Electron 2, a two-seater battery-electric aircraft (Teofilo’s earlier design), is the flying proof that our energy efficient aircraft designs deliver outstanding performance. Whilst being well within inside the 600-kilogram (1,320 pound) ultralight microlight [regulations], it achieves 3 hours flying time during which it can cover 300 kilometers (186 miles).”  Electron 2 flies its pilot and …

Koenigsegg’sTorque-Dense Electric Motor and Hybrid Drive Train

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Koenigsegg (Cone-igs-egg), a Swedish car maker that enjoys shocking with its sticker prices, is going hybrid with a new, torque-dense electric motor and hybrid drive train.  The Swedish car maker is known for its ultra-exclusive, ultra-high-performance vehicles, which have even undone the Stig, anonymous race driver on the BBC Series Top Gear. David Koenigsegg’s Gemera manages as much as 250 mph on a two-liter, three-cylinder engine, augmented by a set of three electric motors.  Describing him as, “an inveterate tinkerer” who squeezes “extraordinary amounts of power out of internal combustion engines,” Clean Technica explains the “breakthrough products that could transform the world of electric cars.” One “breakthrough” would seem to be a package of a three-cylinder engine coupled to some …

Electra Attracts Customers, Investors and Landing Sites

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Electra Aero has found worldwide interest in its electric ultra-short take-off and landing airplane, an eight-motor craft capable of taking off and landing across most jet-size runways. Producing such an aircraft takes great design, appropriately-designed landing sites, a well-integrated infrastructure, and financial backing for the total package. Electra Aero for the Design Powered by a hybrid generator driving four electric motors, Electra Aero’s aircraft uses “blown lift” to take off over very short distances – less than 150 feet, according to the company. Ben Marchionna, director of technology and innovation at Electra Aero, explains, “eVTOLs use electric propulsion to take off and land vertically – many of these concepts then transition from vertical flight to forward flight with a wing …

Nanotech Energy – A “Solution” to the Lithium Battery?

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Hot Pockets Introduced at this year’s CES (formerly the Consumer Electronics Show), Nanotech Energy’s Graphene-Organolyte™ Advanced Li-ion Battery (winner of a CES 2022 Innovation Award) merits a look.  At least partly intended to stop battery fires, always hot news despite their relative rarity (compared to the 170,000+ petrol car fires every year), Nanotech explains its concern.  “A battery, if shorted, could become a fireball bomb nearly impossible to extinguish using conventional techniques. In February 2018, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported over 25,000 overheating and battery fire incidents involving more than 400 types of consumer products over a five-year period. Clearly, building safer batteries will be critical for the future of energy storage technology.” Keep in mind that “consumer …

Zeva Zero – the Return of the Puffin?

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  Dreams of flight often include the dreamer wearing a silk scarf, if not a cape.  We would love to emulate our super heroes with all their startling dexterity.  A group in the Puget Sound area is making part of that dream come true.  Starting with radio-controlled models a few years ago Zeva Aero has progressed to a full-scale unit that will carry an individual Superman style, with the pilot/passenger peering through a transparent shield. Needing only a 30-foot by 30-foot landing area, Zeva’s Zero boasts the ability to hoist a 220-pound person vertically, tilt over and take them 50 miles at up to 150 miles per hour.  Zero’s eight electric motors provide a degree of redundancy and safety, enabling …

The EleFanT in the Room

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Electric Ducted Fans (EDF) may soon show some promise in full-size flight.  Several projects are under way, including EleFanT, an interesting development in Germany by GKN and KTH (the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology).  First, though, we’ll look at two stateside projects. David Ullman’s IDEAL EDFs fans are nothing new in the model aviation world, often powering large-scale models of actual jet fighters or trainers.  Such model motors, combining their thrust, can augment lift and propulsion on light aircraft, and a few larger projects are attempting to utilize that promise. David Ullman, in Independence, Oregon has flown a Jabiru he rebuilt from a wreck with its Jabiru engine providing the main power, but augmented in thrust and lift by four …

Electron: an Electric Kit LSA with Promise

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Since we recently promoted a survey on interest in a kit-built Light Sport Aircraft that would be powered electrically, it’s interesting to see such a craft nearing first flight in Australia. Electron looks a great deal like Zara Rutherford’s record attempt Shark, a Slovakian European ultralight.  Even with fixed gear rather than the retractables on Zara’s Shark, the Electron still promises a cruise speed of 250 kilometers per hour (155 mph). 75 kilowatts (100.5 horsepower) can urge the plane to that speed, considerably faster than a Cessna 150 on the same power.  Weighing less than 600 kilograms (1,320 pounds), Electron is 280 pounds lighter than a 150 at full gross weight.  Its eight-meter (26.24 feet) wingspan and 9.29 square meters …

Recycling Lithium Batteries – Cheaper, Better, Greener?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

We would all love less expensive batteries that are safe, reliable, and possibly even better performing than what we have now.  What if recycling our throw-aways gave us “new” batteries  with refined materials that improve their performance? A current paper from the Royal Society for Chemistry may hold a key to producing such cheaper, better batteries.  The complete entry expands on the idea of reclaiming materials in used batteries in an efficient, cost-effective way.  The findings come to light with good timing, considering recent concerns over lithium mining and availability. Conflicted over Conflicts Battery materials are selected for factors such as their inherent ability to shuttle ions between a cathode and anode, the positive and negative poles of a battery.  …

The TeTra Mk. 5

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The TeTra Mk. 5 is obviously not the first of its kind.  A little history shows its origins in the Boeing GoFly completion – in which the team won a $100,000 “Disruptor” prize from Pratt & Whitney, the long-time engine makers. As stunning, and confusing, the appearance of their GoFly entry was, it did not prepare your editor for the 32-rotor (plus pusher propeller) single-seater shown flying in California recently.   They flew SN2 of the Mk. 5 model in unpiloted mode, and will begin sales with serial number 3 at a yet unannounced price.  One can speculate, though.  Model aircraft motors such as the Hacker Q-100 cost 999 euros (about $1,163.00) each.  (The makers have cleverly taped over the …

Air Race E: the Vertical Class

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“The electric VTOL class is an entirely different category of aircraft altogether. Often referred as “flying cars”, this type or aircraft is at the forefront of electric technology in aerospace. Brace yourself for The World’s First Vertical Motorsport! This race format and its rules will be somewhat different than the airplane classes and will be revealed soon.”  Air Race E promotion. Possible Contenders The Alauda Airspeeder Two possible contenders (mostly) ready to race come to our attention.  The first is the Alauda Airspeeder, shown here in its Mk. 3 version. And by dint of the International Dateline, the craft’s most recent flight came to us the same day it was recorded. One may question how open-rotor racing at high speed …