Electron’s 2024 Round the World Plans

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

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 …

Autoflight Lifts Off and Transitions

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Autoflight, the latest outlet for Tian Yu’s creativity, has demonstrated a successful transition from vertical lift to forward flight.  Yu, the founder and CEO of Yuneec, fielded a wide range of drones, motors, and eventually an ultralight electric aircraft under the Greenwings name. Yuneec Goes to Oshkosh He managed to obtain FAA approval for flights of his Yuneec e430, an electric two-seat lightplane, at Oshkosh in 2009.  At that time, Ed Warnock, CEO of the Perlan Project, called your editor to allow him to hear Yuneec powerplants humming audibly in their display area on Wittman Field. Eric Lindbergh tested the Yuneec e-Spyder, a derivation of Tom Pehigny’s design.  A pair of e-Spyders showed up at AirVenture in 2013, becoming the …

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 …

Zeva Aero’s Zero Test Flight in Full Size

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While waiting for Eviation Alice’s first test flight, we got a glimpse of another type of electric aviation in Pacific Northwest skies.  Zeva Aero’s Zero single “seat” flying saucer lifted off in someone’s sunny back yard for a series of hops. The overlay of soft music keeps us from knowing how noisy this thing is, and it would be of interest to know if it passed the good neighbor test while levitating, and whether the eight motors and propellers hummed or screamed.  (NOTE: since the video of the flight test has been removed from YouTube, we’re substituting the company campaign video. Founded in 2017 “to compete in the Boeing GoFly competition and then build a business on the back of …

Doubling Down with Ascendance

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Ascendance Flight Technologies, a French firm developing an electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has doubled down on its original, smaller airplane.  Originally a four-seat, hybrid-powered machine with three lift fans, Atea has retained the name, but grown considerably. Holey Wings Atea now has eight lift fans and two horizontal propellers arranged in a push-pull configuration.  It can carry its five passenger in a “Skyview cabin” for 400 kilometers (248 miles)  Powered by its modular “Sterna” hybrid-electric propulsion system, the craft will hit as yet unspecified speeds, but within a two-hour range, that will probably be about 124 mph. An expansion of their original design, Atea comes from a group of former Airbus e-Fan engineers and technicians.  The …

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 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 …

Group 14: The Next Battery Innovation?

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Tina Casey, writing in Clean Technica, reflects on the coming changes in the “gasmobile” to EV ratio.  “Somewhere in the outer reaches of talk radio, a ghost stalks the halls, mumbling of light bulbs and plastic bags and electric cars that won’t start in cold weather. Meanwhile, most automakers are not waiting around for the other shoe to drop. They have finally begun pivoting into the sparkling green world of zero emission personal mobility, even those once wedded to the idea of ‘clean diesel,’ and a new battery formula is here to help.” Her article, “Game Over For Gasmobiles: Electric Vehicle Batteries Just Keep On Getting Better,” describes efforts at Group 14, the second of two electric vehicle firms recently …

Following the Sky Taxi Money: eVTOLs

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As though by magic, money from Wall Street, venture capitalists and other investors show a growing interest and cash flow in sky taxis.  It started on August 11 with JoeBen Bevirt of JOBY ringing the bell that starts trading on the stock market floor. As one web site points out, it’s up to the discretion of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) as to who gets to ring the bell and, “Only those companies with stocks or exchange-traded funds (ETFs) listed on the exchange can ring the bell.” We’ll look at a sampling of companies making electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles and selling in domestic and foreign markets for an overview of what’s hot.  Later, we’ll look …

Craft Aero’s 16 Motors and Diamond Wings

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Craft Aero, yet another newcomer in the electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) market, brings a novel 16 motor, diamond wing design to regional aviation. Laurie Foti writing for Tech Crunch, thinks, “Air taxis may still be pie in the sky,” but acknowledges Craft Aerospace for aiming to move the air travel industry forward, “with a totally new vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that it believes could make city-to-city hops simpler, faster, cheaper and greener.” She credits Craft for its “new” method of deflecting airflow downward to gain vertical takeoffs, something qualified by company co-founder James Dorris.  He notes that, “Our tech is a combination of both existing and novel tech.  The box wing has been built and flown; …