Three Personal Flyers You Can Buy

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…Or Invest In We exhibit here three personal flyers you can buy today or within a year or so.  Perhaps that wait might be prolonged in some instances because a few of the makers are also looking for investors.  Recent instances of troubles getting a certain stainless steel electric pickup to market come to mind, for instance.  As always your mileage may vary. Doroni H1-X “Engineered for the new generation of personal mobility,” the Doroni H1-X is a sleek little four-fan runabout that can fit in a two-car garage.  Two pusher propellers help drive if forward.  An owner could roll it out after an overnight charging session and fly up to 60 miles at up to 120 miles per hour, landing and taking off vertically from and to a driveway-size patch. Obviously, with a $300,000 to $400,000 price tag, one expects a well-sorted-out machine that will perform as promised and provide the utmost in safety.  To that end, Doroni suggests …

A 1k\Wkg Aluminum-Air Flow Battery

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A one kilowatt per kilogram battery would be a literally fulfilled wish in any aircraft designer’s list of desirable advances.  Tesla’s drive around with 260 Watts per kilogram in their floors, and Amprius recently announced 500 Watt per kilogram cells.  A battery able to store one kilowatt of energy in one kilogram (2.2 pounds) would be an enormous breakthrough for electric aviation.  Under “stealth” development before being announced in 2023, the battery could become a fitting companion to the lightweight motors and controllers Wright is crafting. ARPA-E (the Advanced Research Projects Agency–Energy)  rewards some very creative teams.  One winning team combines Wright Electric and Columbia University in an effort to develop tomorrow’s 4X batteries. Three Project Parts ARPA-E awarded $1,499,098 to  “support development of an ultra-energy-dense aluminum battery and novel artificial intelligence system.”  Part of the Plane Electrification with 1K energy storage systems program (PROPEL-1K), the award will fund what Wright promotes as “Air-1, [an] elevated temperature battery designed for …

Helios Horizon Aims for New Highs

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Altitude records are tricky.  Aiming for new heights requires careful definition of one’s launch points, means of elevating oneself, and apparently adherence to a tightly defined set of rules.  Helios Horizon set some new altitude records last year, and hopes to reach even higher soon.  Its eventual goal is to fly “into earth’s stratosphere”– in an electric aircraft. Records at Altitude – and Speed This might seem like a bit of a step down for Miguel Iturmendi, the founder and test pilot for the Helios Horizon project.  He’s already been to 65.605 feet (19.9 kilometers) in Perlan II, on August 28, 2018.  As the Saratoga Times notes, the flight hit “The fastest known speed of Mach 0.48—roughly half the speed of sound—in a glider over El Calafate, Argentina, which earned him and his team the Society of Flight Test Engineers’ James S. McDonnell Award, as well as a Triple Lennie Pin (an aviation award for soaring named for the lenticular clouds …

Climate Impulse – Not at All Impulsive

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Born of the heritage of the Solar Impulse Foundation and taking it further, Climate Impulse wants to showcase concrete technologies that can revolutionize the aviation industry, and the mobility sector in general. Two Well-Travelled Partners We are all familiar with the exploits of Bertrand Piccard, which include the first circumnavigations of the globe in a balloon and more recently in a solar aircraft.  He comes from a family of explorers who have climbed the heights and plumbed the depths of our world.  We are probably less familiar with an equally intrepid adventurer, Raphael Dinelli. Dinelli attempted a solar circumnavigation of the globe as part of the 1996-1997 Globe Vendee competition.  He didn’t quite make it full circle, sinking in the Indian Ocean.  The Australian Air Force dropped a life raft to him and then he was pulled to safety by another competitor, Peter Goss.  According to Wikipedia, “He went on to sail with Goss in the 1997 edition of the …

A Different Kind of Blown Wing

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32 Motors across a long Wing Cosmic Aerospace has announced a different kind of “blown wing,” hiding 32 specially developed electric turbines across the inner span of a high-aspect-ratio wing. Cosmic will attempt to achieve jet-like speeds at half the cost of fossil-fuel or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) powered jet. Electric-flight.eu notes the American-Belgian firm was founded by “graduates of Boom Supersonic, NASA, Oxford and Kittyhawk,” a broad spectrum of talent.  Part of that team is creating a fully-electric “jet engine,” currently under test at Limburg Regional Airport in Belgium. The motors will be fed by packs of 360-Watt-hour per kilogram batteries, achievable with today’s technology.  This enables up to 1,000 kilometer (600 mile) range for a long-winged craft carrying 24 passengers.  “Unlike other startups in the field, which are mostly focused on sustainable jet fuels, hydrogen, and battery tech, Cosmic has focused its engineering efforts on better propulsion systems and a unique air frame design, CEO Christopher Chahine told …

GoAero Prize Highlights Rescue Missions

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The GoAero Prize has a simple-sounding, but incredibly complex goal: Design and build a safe, portable, robust, autonomy-enabled Emergency Response Flyer. The Vision The Prize’s vision defines the heroes who look past danger, who step in to be, “The difference between triumph… and tragedy, and especially, those who “Use Their Minds to Create technology that Saves Lives.”  There’s $2 million waiting for those who come up with the best solutions.  And the competition promises even greater glory, “This is your chance to make history… and save lives.” GoAero says, “The world needs this,” explaining that, “In the U.S. alone, nearly 4.5 million people live in “ambulance deserts,” in a medical crisis, people in these areas have to wait as long as 25 minutes or more for an emergency medical crew to arrive.” We’ve seen recent examples of how serious such waits can be.  Paradise, California was a thriving community of over 26,000 before the disastrous Camp Creek fire in 2018. …

ZeroAvia Cryo-Compresses Hydrogen

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

ZeroAvia, already deploying hydrogen as a main part of its flight program, is exploring the use of cryo-compressor technology to deliver more energy dense H2 for longer flights. If we think of gasoline or Diesel fuel as “Cream of Energy Soups,” we might understand their preeminence as energy carriers.  A U. S. gallon (3.8 liters) of Gasoline for instance, contains about 33.4 kilowatt-hours of energy.  Compare this to a state-of-the-art lithium battery, which tops out at around 0.5 kW-hrs.  A Diesel engine might be able to convert 50 percent of that to useful work, with the rest going to waste heat.  A gasoline engine fares even worse, extracting perhaps 30 percent as work and 70 percent as waste heat. Electric Motors, however, are highly energy efficient, some extracting up to 97 percent of a battery’s stored energy.  If one uses hydrogen instead of batteries, one can reach parity with the amount of energy available to spin the propellers.  As early …

An Unplanned Hiatus

Dean Sigler Uncategorized 1 Comment

Apopologies for missing a few weeks of electric aviation reporting.  Your editor’s Internet service provider and some home-grown electric difficulties colluded to prevent our outreach.  All should return to normal shortly once we get some formatting issues resolved.  Thanks for your patience.

Wright Electric Passes Partial Discharge Tests

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Wright Electric, testing its 1.2 megawatt motor, has passed partial discharge tests, a significant achievement in high-altitude safety.  The company explained the results and their importance in a press release. ”Wright Electric Announces Successful Partial Discharge Testing on our Motor” “We are pleased to share a significant achievement in our ongoing pursuit of decarbonizing the industries that are hardest to decarbonize. Wright Electric proudly announces the successful completion of an altitude simulation test conducted in the Wright Lab, showcasing our 2 megawatt motor’s robust performance at a simulated atmosphere equivalent to 43,000 feet without experiencing Partial Discharge (PD).” Jeffrey Engler, founder and CEO of Wright Electric, explains in the press release, “Partial discharge is a form of electrical failure where electric charge escapes through tiny voids in apparently solid insulation. When partial discharges occur they can degrade the insulation and create a risk of fire in the motor.  PD becomes more likely at high altitudes due to thinning of the …

E9X: 90 Passengers, 480 Battery Miles

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What can carry 90 passenger 480 miles on battery power alone?  Such a query flies in the face of others’ efforts to hybridize medium-range flight, but may be answered by Delft-based Elysian Aircraft.  Their eight-motored, battery-powered E9X uses a backup turbogenerator only for reserves, putting a level of trust in the 365 Watt-hour per kilogram cells buried within the long, slender wing for safe transit. Graham Warwick’s Article Graham Warwick, writing for Aviationweek.com, explains that, “Breaking with traditional design principles, Delft-based Elysian says it has found design space where a large electric aircraft looks viable with near-term battery technology.”  That kind of range for that large an aircraft seems extreme, but the E9X’s developers are using currently-available batteries to achieve their goals.  Reynard de Vries, director of design and engineering at Elysian, explains, “If you want to make a significant impact on the sector as a whole, then you need to electrify flights up to 1,000 km [620 mi.]. Then …