Cutting Grass with Manfred Ruhmer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Manfred Ruhmer has designed a motorized trike for the Laminar wing under which he has flown to world champion status three times, and achieved a world record flight of 701 kilometers (434.62 miles).  The trike can be powered with a Simonini two-stroke or Bailey four-stroke engine, or the Geiger/Eck electric motor/controller/folding propeller combination.

Here, Manfred shows off some of his world-class flying skills.  Note that about 40 seconds into the video, the landing gear has picked up some vegetation.  Later, at around the 2:00 mark, the streamers reappear.  Whether this is from the grassy field from which Manfred flies, or some very low passes, is open to speculation.

The Icaro 2000 site is useful for making some important comparisons between the IC engine options and the electric flyer.

Each of the two engines’ installed weights is 18.3 kilograms (40.26 pounds), and the fuel tank for either holds 8 liters of fuel.  Icaro claims both engines consume about 2 to 2.5 liters per hour, giving up to four hours endurance on the small tank. 

The HP10 electric motor weighs only 5 kilograms (11 pounds) to the basic airframe, and the smallest, 24 Amp-hour battery pack adds 12.5 kilograms (27.5 pounds), slightly lighter than either gasoline-powered engine and fuel.  If one is content with 20 minutes power duration, and willing to rely on thermals to remain aloft, this is a viable electric alternative.

More endurance requires bigger battery packs, with the 40 Amp-hour pack adding 16 kilograms (39.2 pounds) and the 60 Amp-hour pack 22 kilograms (48.4 pounds).  Endurance goes to 3o minutes and 40 minutes, respectively. 

The Simonini puts out 80 kilograms (176 pounds) of thrust, while the Bailey and HP-10 each produce 60 kilograms (132 pounds). 

Pricing, depending on battery pack, runs from 8,300 Euros ($11,255) to 10,800 euros ($14,645).  The Simonini tw0-stroke version is 6,500 Euros ($8,873) and the Bailey four-stroke version sells for 7,500 Euros ($10,237).  This seems like a relatively inexpensive way to fly a stable, highly entertaining electric vehicle.

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