Jekta’s Amphibious Commuter Liner

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

Jekta’s amphibious commuter liner made its debut at the Abu Dhabi Air Expo 2022.  The 10-motor amphibious, 19-passsenger craft could become a familiar sight at coastal landings around the world based on initial interest. Deena Kamel, reporting for The National News, revealed PHA-ZE 100, short for Passenger Hydro Aircraft Zero Emissions, is now in its design stage, “with a prototype scheduled for 2026 before entry into market by 2028,” according to Jekta CEO George Alafinov. Intended to transport people in mega-cities and coastal areas “sustainably and affordably,” according to the article, the 19-passenger is a response to a “world population with an appetite to travel safely, cheaply and ecologically.” Mr. Alafinov makes the case for amphibious craft.  “The solution is …

Delta and Joby: United and Archer and Eve

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Delta and United Airlines are teaming with eVTOL makers Joby, Archer, and Eve – elevating ways to get to and from their airports.  The newly-formed alliances will make airline travel a little less tedious and eliminate the often long and sometimes frustrating drives between flights. Delta and Joby Delta Air Lines will invest $60 million in a partnership with Joby Aviation in return for a two-percent stake in Joby and a seat on its board. Joby can receive another $140 million if it meets “certain milestones.” The selling points of convenience and time saving could certainly entice prospective customers.  Initially set up as premium services in New York City and Los Angeles, passengers would still rely on automobiles or shuttles …

Remy Oktay, A Pipistrel Alpha Electro and a Fleet of Ford F-150s Set a Record

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Last week, we reported on the planned flight from Hartford, Connecticut and back in a Pipistrel Alpha Electro.  Lafayette College student Remy Oktay devise a clever way to recharge the airplane along the way, enlisting a small fleet of Ford F-150 Lightning pickups to charge the small craft.  Remy managed to fly over the school’s football game that weekend, something even Super Bowl fans won’t necessarily see.  The scheme worked exceedingly well. as reported by the school newspaper and repeated here.  Jenny Davis did an admirable job of reporting on a complex project. Remy Oktay ‘24 sets world record flying electric airplane Jenny Davis, Assistant News Editor|November 18, 2022 Remy Oktay ’24 plans to fly an electric airplane over the …

Using Ford F-150 Lightnings to Charge a Pipistrel Alpha Electro

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Using Ford F-150 Lightning pickups to charge a Pipistrel Alpha Electro will enable spectators at the Lafayette College-Lehigh football game to see an electric airplane flyover.  Remy Oktay wants to perform at his school’s football game, and needs to fly the craft from Hartford, Connecticut to the game in Easton, Pennsylvania. Bringing Your Own Charging Stations Recent attempts to fly reasonably long distances with electric airplanes have shown a few limitations.  Aside from the self-recharging craft like Solar Impulse or the Raymonds’ Solar-Flight Duo, planes with rechargeable batteries cannot go far without needing a compatible charger. We reported on several of these distance flight, noting the accommodations each made to fly beyond their home fields. Gabriel DeVault made a California …

Evolito and ElectroFlight

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A Profusion of Names  Evolito is the new name for YASA motors that fly.  YASA (Yokeless and Segmented Armature) motors are a product of Oxford University research, and have become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mercedes-Benz.  Mercedes is now creating and marketing a line of electric vehicles using the YASA motors.  But what of aeronautical applications? With that in mind, Mercedes spun out Evolito, taking YASA skyward with “high-power density, light-weight electric motors and controllers for aerospace applications.”  Evolito’s Managing Director, Gareth Morris, explains, “We’re building the future of electric flight with motors that have the highest power and torque densities in class with the ability to manufacture at scale, whilst achieving efficiencies of over 98%.” Although their web site claims …

Following the Money to Green Flight

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The path to green flight is paved with money.  In our transactional world, good ideas are sometimes rewarded with filthy lucre, even if those ideas are intended to clean up a besmirched world.  Several examples of clean aviation attracting solid investments follow, along with some stumbling on unexpected obstacles. Jetson ONE For a flying machine lighter than most of its prospective pilots, the Jetson ONE has attracted a host of followers, including the host of a late-night chat show.   Besides receiving 3,000 purchase requests in two months the firm has sold its initial production runs for 2022 and 2023. At $92,000 a unit, 100 craft in the first year would net $9.2 million, enough to finance the simple assembly …

A Short Holding Pattern

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To All: Your editor thought he’d be back in command in just a few days following a recent minor surgery.  Things do not always go as planned, but the blog will be back in two days.  We’re working on the economics of electric flight from many manufacturers, and delving into SPACs, short-selling, and other financial vagaries that bedevil the industry.  Believe it or not, but not all transactions are transparent and not all projects go according to plan.  You may have noticed that the financial market and aircraft in general, like winds aloft, can be variable and not always light.    

Hydrogen Capsules for Swappable Energy

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Hydrogen capsules, quickly swappable and motor pods easily switched on a long wing share a common theme.  H2-Mobile, a French web site, shared three stories that share forms of encapsulation, one pointing back to a story your editor wrote about a decade ago. An HUV (Hydrogen Utility Vehicle) from NamX A French-Moroccan company, NamX showed a car co-developed with Pininfarina, and the sleek sedan reportedly can hit 294 kilometers per hour (182 mph) and accelerate from zero to 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds.  Most surprising, perhaps is the car’s method of storing energy. Michael Torregrossa, writing in H2-Mobile, reports that, “Present for the first time at the Paris Motor Show, NamX lifts the veil on its …

SABERS – Solid State Batteries Designed for Aircraft

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SABERS (Solid-state Architecture Batteries for Enhanced Rechargeability and Safety) is NASA’s approach to making batteries lighter, safer, hold more energy, and (we hope) be ready soon for flight.  In fact, SABERS batteries are intended specifically to meet the challenges of aircraft applications. NASA TV reports, “Instead of housing each battery cell inside its own steel casing, as liquid batteries do, all the cells in SABERS battery can be stacked vertically inside one casing.  SABERS can do 500 Watt-hours per kilogram, double that of an electric car.” Rocco P. Viggiano, one of the program’s researchers, explains, “Not only does this design eliminate 30 to 40 percent of the battery’s weight, it allows us to double or even triple the energy it …

Electra Flies Dawn One, Solar Powered Climate Observatory

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Dawn One is a solar-powered climate observatory, one of many to come and an outgrowth of a long career for John Langford, Electra Aero’s CEO, and collaborator with Professor James G. Anderson of Harvard University. A seeming callback to John Langford’s human-powered aircraft from his MIT days, Dawn One is a 90-foot span unmanned aircraft system (UAS) destined to fly at stratospheric altitudes (49.000 feet maximum) while observing data for quantitative forecasts of risks in the climate.  We see its first flight from the Manassas Regional Airport in Virginia on September 9.  The assistants in hot pink  and orange vests are Hokies, part of Virginia Tech University, and whose name is explained in a lengthy Wikipedia entry. The “solar-battery hybrid …