Elektra Solar Trainer Unveiled 

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Elektra Solar introduced its Trainer, a new two-seat craft, at this year’s Aero Expo.  As reported here last year, the airplane features side-by-side seating to facilitate training, doubtless enhanced by the low noise level – 50 dB, according to the company.  Based on German ultralight standard LTF-UL 2020.  Compared to a “moderate rainfall noise,” the low sound level allows operation in noise protected areas and should enable easy communication between student and instructor. Safety and Performance With safety in mind, Calin Gologan, the plane’s designer, chose Geiger Engineering’s HPD50D dual motor.  Putting out 50 kilowatts continuously or 70 kW peak power, the 16 kilogram (37.3 pound) unit can run on either or both rotors.  Both independently controlled motors drive a 1.75 meter (5.74 foot) controllable-pitch propeller at up to 2,600 rpm.  If one motor fails, the remaining unit can maintain a climb rate of 1.5 meters per second (295 feet per minute).  With both motors running, the craft can climb …

Qinetix Motor at E-Flight Expo

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

QinetiX GmbH in Germany manufactures a motor and controller combined in one case to lower weight and simplify installation.  Their QPD-40, shown at the Aero Friedrichshafen E-Flight Expo and on their web page, seems to exemplify those goals.  Its 12 kilogram (26.4 pound) weight and 40 kilowatt (53.6 hp.) output gives it a power-to-weight ratio of 3.2 kilowatts per kilogram (2 horsepower per pound). Running on 60 Volts at a maximum 680 Amperes, the motor produces 212 Newton-meters (156.4 foot-pounds) of torque, swinging a propeller at only 1,800 rpm, allowing for quiet operation.  The liquid-cooled stator and power electronics will require some form of heat exchanger, but probably with fairly low cooling drag overall. Only 90 millimeters (3.54 inches) thick and around a foot in diameter, the motor should fit neatly into streamlined propeller spinners.  Other uses in automobiles and wind turbines present hopeful potential applications for this neatly-packaged motor.

Klaus Burkhard and the Archaeopteryx

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Klaus Burkhard is a sailplane pilot exploiting the air currents over his native Germany in 120-kilogram (264-pound) ultralight machines (most of which weigh far less) – which may become a part of an increasingly electrified sport.  He wrote this to your editor in response to recent coverage of the electric version of a record-setting ultralight sailplane. “I just came over your interesting website, reading your blog about the Swiss Archaeopteryx, where you described the Archaeopteryx as a high-end hang-glider, publishing a picture from an older version in ‘open’ variety. “Of course the Archaeopteryx is classified as hang-glider in the OLC (on-line competition)  and also as Class-2 hang-glider within FAI-regulations, as it´s foot-launchable and foot-landable as well, both basic requirements for FAI Class-2. “Since the Archaeopteryx is -contrary to normal hang-gliders- three-axis aerodynamically controlled by elevator, rudder and flaperons, it´s an Ultralight-Glider of the best with fantastic flying-abilities, outstanding flying-performance and uncritical in any situation. L/D is 29 in race-covering. “In 2012 …

Sunseeker Duo Makes Maiden Test Glide

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Dr. Seeley shared this video a few hours ago. Eric and Irena Raymond have been crafting their Sunseeker Duo for the last five years, and finally have an airworthy craft, as shown in the video during its maiden flight near Voghera, Italy – new home to the Raymonds. Finishing construction of the world’s first two-seat solar-powered airplane in time for Friedrichshafen’s Aero Expo in April, the pair were honored with pride of place at the international showcase.  “This week we brought the Sunseeker Duo to AERO Friedrichshafen for its public unveiling. The airplane is fresh out of the paint shop, and since it is too large to fully assemble in the Slovenian workshop, it is also the first time that we got to see the airplane in its full glory!” Sunseeker Duo is a 22-meter (72 feet) solar-powered aircraft that weighs a mere 280 kilograms (616 pounds) empty, no more than a typical light sport aircraft.  This is a major …