Peter Sripol’s Mk. IV is Paramotor Powered

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

Peter Sripol creates interesting ultralight aircraft, among other, sometimes scary projects. His latest is pulled along by a paramotor motor.  Because of the small aircraft’s low and slow performance, the low-power (and very low noise) motor seems more than sufficient to the task. His fourth design, the Mk IV has no ailerons, much like an earlier ultralight, the Skypup.  After initial tests showed shortcomings with the Mk. IV,  quickly modified wings allowed Peter to return to the air quickly.  As he explains, there won’t be plans for this airplane because it has too many not as yet time-tested innovations.  The hot-wire-cut foam structure and vinyl wrapped wings are an unknown in terms of longevity, so it’s probably best to let …

Two New Electric Sailplanes

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

Two electric sailplanes come from different ends of the soaring spectrum and each shows its own unique character.  Their differences are as noteworthy as their geographic separation. Birdy Birdy is a single-seat, electrically powered motor glider that fits the European Union 120 kilogram class.  The 264-pound empty weight puts it 10 pounds above America’s FAA Part 103 254-pound limit.  But Euro craft in that category are not as limited in top or cruise speed. Birdy’s light weight required clever arrangement of components to enable a maximum takeoff weight of 280 kilograms (616 pounds) and pilots up to 1.95 meters (6’ 5”) tall.  Its 13.5-meter (44.29-foot) wingspan carries only 13.9 pounds per foot, enabling 40:1 glide ratio at around 90 kilometers …

Solid State Lithium Sulfur and Lithium Selenium Batteries

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In battery making, recipes for electrolytes play an important part of the whole.  In a new formula whipped up by Zhengzhou University, Tsinghua University and Stanford University, Lithium (Li), Lanthanum (La), Zirconium (Zr), Tantalum (Ta), and Oxygen (O) form a ceramic tube as the battery’s electrolyte.  This tube is centered in new solid state Lithium Sulfur and Lithium Selenium batteries. Researchers filled that tube with a liquid lithium electrode, and immersed the tube in a bath of carbon black and liquid selenium or sulfur in a stainless steel container. The team’s paper, “High Energy-Density Solid Electrolyte-Based Liquid Li-S and Li-Se Batteries,” published in the October 15 edition of Joule, explains the new batteries should be capable of delivering energy densities …

Charging Carbon Dioxide Batteries and Clearing the Air

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We would love to find ways to reduce carbon dioxide as a threat to our climate with an ever-decreasing timeline for accomplishing that task.  University of Illinois at Chicago and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have made inroads into creating a carbon dioxide battery that uses CO2 as an energy storage component. Amin Salehi-Khojin, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering at UIC’s College of Engineering, explains, “Lithium-carbon dioxide batteries have been attractive for a long time, but in practice, we have been unable to get one that is truly efficient until now.” A 7X Battery The incentive to use CO2 comes from lithium-carbon dioxide batteries having a specific energy density more than seven times greater than conventional lithium-ion cells.  …

Scylax E10: Electric Flight Over the North Sea

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

A joint venture between the East Frisian FLN airline (FLN FRISIA-Luftverkehr GmbH Norddeich) and Munich aircraft manufacturer Scylax GmbH has helped expand the success of two “clean-sheet” designs, the E6 and E10.  Both are promised to China Blue Airlines, and their first-time sale to a German-based airline will help ensure economies of scale for production. Short Runs with no Range Anxiety FLN already operates 10 BN-2 Norman Britten Islanders and a few Cessna 172s and 182s.  The Islanders would be replaced over time by E10s.  As one can imagine, The North Sea and limited airports make special demands on aircraft, including being able to take off and land in 300 meters (984 feet) and manage 40 knot (46 mph) crosswinds , as …

A Boxy (Motor) Glider That Delivers

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Chip Yates used the same UQM motor on his record-breaking Pikes Peak and Bonneville Salt Flats motorcycle and his modified Long-Eze aircraft (Long-ESA for Electric Speed and Altitude).  He planned an ekectric trans-Atlantic flight using an audacious concept for mid-air recharging.  A bit quiet for the last several years, Chip has come up with a boxy glider, a load carrier that will, at some point, use the same kind of UQM motor with which he set so many records. The Silent Arrow GD-2000 Capable of hauling 907 kilograms (2,000 pounds) to front-line troops, or emergency supplies to otherwise inaccessible disaster zones, the GD-2000 Silent Arrow allows delivery of heavy cargo from a range of aircraft and helicopters. Yates Electrospace lists …

Electric Flight for the Masses

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

Paracas, Peru lies on the South American country’s Pacific coast, halfway between Ecuador and Colombia to the north and Chile to the south.  There, Alex Ferrer has built a Super Goat ultralight glider and powered it with a Chinese motor, controller and batteries for electric flight.  Since he displays in-flight data on his videos, one can get an appreciation of the small amount of energy required to keep a very light machine like the Mike Sandlin craft in the air. Sandlin makes plans for his gliders available for free on line.  Excellent drawings with high-grade details, they enable a committed craftsman the ability to use simple hand tools to make a glider that one can carry atop a compact car …

Tehachapi Soars with New ideas

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Every year, Labor Day weekend brings sailplane enthusiasts to Jeff Byard’s hangar on Mountain Valley Airport above Tehachapi, California.  It’s a friendly get-together that always has challenges and surprises for the participants. History on the Field This year, attendees were treated to an opening talk by Jeff Byard titled “Soaring, Something for Everybody.”  It lived up to its name, with a review of sailplanes of all types, with many examples right in the presentation hangar. For history buffs, jeff’s hangar, and Doug Fronius’ a few doors away, offer a glimpse of every type of hand-made soaring machine, including Doug’s recreation of Waldo Waterman’s 1911 hang glider, something which has been flown over the California coast. Jeff’s collection includes a Slingsby …

The Prieto Battery Receives Affirmation

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Dr. Amy Prieto created her namesake battery a decade ago, and has been seeking funding and other support for its development ever since.  It gained such funding from Stanley Ventures in 2016.    Prieto Battery, as reported by GreenCarCongress.com then, is, “A company commercializing a 3D Lithium-ion battery technology (earlier post), announced a strategic investment from Stanley Ventures, the venture arm of Stanley Black & Decker, a world-leading provider of tools and storage, commercial electronic security and engineered fastening systems.” Possibly more important that money, Dr. Prieto’s battery recently received third-party validation of its claimed safety and performance attributes from Energy Assurance, LLC.  GreenCarCongress reports, “Specifically, Prieto had a group of fully assembled batteries containing their proprietary 3D anode tested against an …

HET: Quadrupling the Flux, Quintupling the Torque

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Linear Laboratories operates (if you take their video at near face value) out of a barn in Texas and partners with Abtery in Sweden.   The partnership is significant, since Abtery is working on a Swedish regional airliner Elise (“Elektrisk Lufttransport i Sverige” or Electric Aviation in Sweden). The project is funded by the Swedish innovation agency Vinnova. And has multiple partners including Chalmers University.  Their goal is to apply the HET (Hunstable Electric Turbine) technology developed by Linear to real-world uses. Swedish Partners Anders Forslund, researcher at Chalmers in Gothenburg, Sweden, leads the development project Elise.  “We started a little later than they did in other countries but now we’re up and running probably faster than they do. Intensive research is ongoing …