ZeroAvia Finds Widespread Interest, Challenges

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, hydrogen, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

ZeroAvia is finding its way into the development of hydrogen-fueled aviation, and finding along its way great interest and challenges. ZeroAvia, now in Hollister, California, Cranfield, England, and Everett, Washington finds widespread interest in serving multiple clients, since its projects fit a wide dynamic range of exciting possibilities.  The three locations enable adhering to different certification requirements while meeting diverse challenges. Val Miftakhov, founder and CEO of ZeroAvia, has grand plans for his company and the clients it will serve. Otto Celera 500L Lurking on the sidelines of the Victorville, California airport for what seemed years, this craft was a great mystery with unspecified potential.  Now it’s flying with a 550 horsepower RED (Raikhlin Engine Development) V-12 Diesel powerplant and …

Piaggio’s Electric or Hydrogen Concept – Not Yet

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

Clearing the Fumes Charles Alcock reports for FutureFlight.com, and shares that, “Piaggio Aerospace is laying plans for a possible hydrogen-electric business aircraft featuring a completely new airframe.”  Piaggio is probably better know for the Vespa scooters that dot Italian boulevards,  Those have even gone electric, a saving grace for pedestrians along the strada who won’t have to inhale two-stroke engine fumes. Piaggio makes two versions of its Elettrica – 45 Km/H (28 mph) and 70 Km/H (43.5 mph).  Both powered by a four kilowatt (5.36 horsepower) motor, driven by a 48 Volt, 25 kilogram (55 pound) battery.  The speed difference seems to be a software/firmware setting that limits the slower scooter to a regulated speed. It would seem almost natural, then, …

Cementing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)

Dean Sigler Announcements, Fuel Cells, hydrogen, Hydrogen Fuel, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Cement, a prime component in concrete, is a major source of the greenhouse gas CO2, according to the Princeton Student Climate Initiative (PSCI). The group reports, “Cement is made by firing limestone, clay, and other materials in a kiln. CO2 is emitted from the energy used to fire the material, and the chemical reaction produced from the mixture when it is exposed to heat. According to the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, each pound of concrete releases 0.93 pounds of carbon dioxide. Since concrete is such a widespread item, the amount of CO2 released in the industry continues to grow.” Cleaning Up the Process How can cement makers reduce their contribution to global warming and make sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)?  …

Textron Acquires Pipistrel: A Good Thing?

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, hydrogen, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Textron acquires Pipistrel – just another merger?  An age-old cartoon shows ever-bigger fish gobbling up smaller fish, a kind of allegory for capitalist, competitive markets, perhaps.  In the electric flight world, this acquisitive spirit is exemplified by the news that Textron, “home to Cessna, Beechcraft, and Bell aviation brands,” is purchasing the smaller Slovenian firm Pipistel.  Pipistrel has grown from humble origins producing powered hang gliders to its current status as a major supplier of small training aircraft,  electric motor gliders and trainers and cargo vehicles. What might be great joy for Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel, comes with varying degrees of happiness and concern for others.  Boscarol will remain as Chairman Emeritus and minority stockholder for the …

Wright Electric’s 8-Year Plan

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

Jeffrey Engler has headed up Wright Electric for the last decade, working to provide efficient motors, inverters and overall power systems for airliners.  Now, his firm is working to develop those airliners.  From a startup in 2016, looking for a single-engine light aircraft to convert to hybrid power, Jeffrey has grown Wright to a recognized force in future flight.  Presenting a mission statement and schedule for the next eight years, Wright has ambitious, but reasonable plans. Currently, Wright is testing a two megawatt motor and inverter, “Collaborating with NASA, U.S. Department of Energy, and U.S. Department of Defense.”  Testing will continue through 2023. The firm predicts it will be flying its Wright Spirit between the busiest “city-pairs” in the world …

Pratt & Whitney HySIITE Hydrogen and Steam Engine

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A (Partially) Steam Engine in the Sky?  Pratt & Whitney announces that it, “Has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) to develop novel, high-efficiency hydrogen-fueled propulsion technology for commercial aviation, as part of DoE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).” Their press release continues, “The Hydrogen Steam Injected, Inter‐Cooled Turbine Engine (HySIITE) project will use liquid hydrogen combustion and water vapor recovery to achieve zero in-flight CO2 emissions, while reducing nitrogen-oxide (NOx) emissions by up to 80 percent and reducing fuel consumption by up to 35 percent for next generation single-aisle aircraft.” P&W claims their HySIITE engine’s steam injection will “dramatically reduce” nitrogen oxide emissions, a greenhouse gas.  “The semi-closed system architecture is claimed to have thermal efficiency …

Airbus and CFM: Flying on Hydrogen Power by 2035

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

Airbus and engine maker CFM International have signed a partnership agreement on a hydrogen demonstration program that could see commercial flights by 2035.  CFM is a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines. The team announced its intentions in an hour-long introduction on February 22, with members from the companies explaining the goals of the project.  A view of what they intend to do with Airbus 380 serial number one gives a view inside the cavernous craft. As pointed out in a Green Car Congress article, the main objective is to develop and flight test a direct combustion engine fueled by liquid hydrogen. The Biggest Test Bed ZeroAvia seeks to get a 20-passenger liner in flight by 2024 …

ZeroAvia Comes to the Pacific Northwest

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

In the Everett (Washington) Herald Janice Podsada reports, “ZeroAvia, which currently has offices in London and in Hollister, California, plans to invest $5.5 million to ready an Everett site for a team of 20 design and software engineers.”  This will be a new entry in Snohomish County, a location already supporting over 500 aerospace companies. Everett, site for Boeing Aircraft’s huge production facility, is also home to MagniX, poised to power aircraft such as Eviation’s Alice, currently preparing for test flights in Arlington, about 18 miles north.  ZeroAvia will accept, “A $350,000 grant to convert a warehouse at the Snohomish County-owned airport into a research-and-development facility.” Val Miftakhov, ZeroAvia’s founder, explained the importance of the state’s Department of Commerce grant. “Given …

Hydrogen harvested from Dirty and Clean Sources

Dean Sigler hydrogen, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Scientists working in England and Belgium have come up with low-cost ways of extracting hydrogen from either very dirty water or from the air around us.  If these breakthrough technologies pan out, they could set us on a different path to energy independence. Hydrogen is the futurist’s dream fuel, non-polluting and emitting only water vapor.  But it’s been hampered by its high cost of production and sourcing from natural gas. Cleaning Water and Making Clean Fuel Researchers at the University of Warwick have found a “two-fer” that cleans waste water and produces a clean fuel.  They note the following caveat and a promising development from their research: “Wastewater treatment is vital to remove pathogens, but is incredibly energy intensive. The …