An Understandable Passion

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 1 Comment

IPSA, the Institut Polytechnique des Sciences Advancees, headquartered in Paris and Toulouse, France, has a “Green” program associated with its aeronautical engineering program. Its students have designed Buselec 2, a 14.6 meter (47 feet) span, two-seater, electric-powered airplane, which will be constructed with assistance from Daniel Dalby, the originator of the Pouchelec, an electric-powered outgrowth of the Mignet tandem-wing ultralight, and Bela Nogrady, director of the Protoplane company. (More about both of these gentlemen and their creations in near-future posts.) Motor choices have not been made at this point, but Michael Dalby, head of the Mecadalby company, explains that, “One of our partners is working on a [brushless motor] especially planned for aviation.” This motor will produce at least 20 kiloWatts (27 horsepower) continuously, and 50 kilograms (110 pounds) of 120 Watt hours per kilogram, lithium-polymer batteries will allow 30 minutes of flight, and a height gain of 1,000 meters (about 3,200 feet). Charles Donnefort, the President of IPSA Green, …

The Poop on the Puffin

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 1 Comment

Under normal circumstances, this editor would never resort to scatological titles, but Mark Moore, the NASA aerospace engineer behind this fantastic flying creation calls his electric craft, “Puffin” because, according to Moore, the bird after which it is named, “Hides its poop, and we’re environmentally friendly because we essentially have no emissions.” Like the Puffin, this craft looks a bit chubby and incapable of flight on the ground, but folds its legs on liftoff, and becomes a streamlined bullet. Moore, who spoke at last year’s Third Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, and will return for this year’s CAFE Foundation gathering at NASA Ames Research Center in April, unveiled this concept at this year’s American Helicopter Society meeting in San Francisco. Moore and his colleagues, who include personnel at NASA, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Georgia Institutute of Technology, the National Institute of Aerospace, and M-DOT Aerospace, plan on flying a third-scale model of the VTOL craft in March, and thus Moore may …

A Dream Nearing Realization

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Certain objects stir deep feelings upon first viewing.  DESiE is one such object. Its name alphabetizes its description, as translated and explained by one of its creators, Wolfgang Liehmann.   D = doppelsitziges = double-seated E = Enten = duck/canard = tail first S = Segelflugzeug = sailplane i = mit integriertem = with integrated E = Elektroantrieb = electrically-powered engine This two-seater, electrically-powered, canard sailplane has been a labor of love, taking 13 years to reach its current stage, and projected to take another three before its first real flight.  In the meantime, diligent toil and breaks for X-Plane simulated flying are leading toward an aircraft that Wolfgang says, “Shows very satisfying behavior with respect to stall and glide properties.”  Starting in 1993, the DESiE team found that motors of that time were not as powerful as they are now.  Wolfgang’s approach to solving that problem is indicative of the cleverness of the overall design.  He used six brushless DC …

Hear the Hum? Kitplanes Does.

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants 1 Comment

Kitplanes has an article of great interest to CAFE followers in its November issue. Dr. David Ullman, Oregon State University professor emeritus of Mechanical Engineering Design, was inspired by his attendance at the Third Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium in April to write a two-part article (the finale’ to be in the December issue) about the exciting future of electric flight. The first part, “Hear the Hum?” provides an overview of what’s currently happening in electric aircraft, and includes a one-page pictorial sidbar of volt-driven flying machines at Oshkosh this year by Dave Martin. In a nod to the CAFE Foundation, it includes a concise explanation of the Aviation Green Prize.  Ullman and Martin share the belief that we will be flying commercially-produced electric airplanes soon. Dr. Ullman is the author of The Mechanical Design Process, a standard text at many universities, and Making Robust Decicisons, Decision Management for Technical, Business, and Service Teams, and hosts Making Robust Decisions, a Blog …