Stable Nickel-rich Cathodes in Lithium Metal Batteries

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A battery with 560 Watt-hours per kilogram, a stable long life, and no fires.  What’s not to like?  Researchers at Helmholtz Institute Ulm (HIU), founded by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) in cooperation with the University of Ulm, have come up with a dual anion, nickel-rich cathode, lithium-metal battery that, although in early stages of development, may point a way forward. Academic journal Joule reports, “High-energy batteries, in particular lithium batteries, are the key to achieve carbon-neutral mobility…. However, it is foreseen that a fully electrified mobility and transportation can only be achieved by the development of batteries employing lithium metal as the negative electrode (anode) while still granting long-term cycling performance and safety.”  Safety may be the deciding …

VoltAero Demonstrates Quiet Flight

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

At least two Cessna 337s are flying on modified power systems – one with Ampaire in various locations around the world and one in France.  VoltAero’s French Cessna push-pull twin has been turned into a tri-motor, with twin motors sprouting from the front of the craft’s tail booms.  Like its American counterpart, VoltAero’s machine is a test bed for the planned power system that will mark its successor.  VoltAero reveals its coming aircraft will feature a “barrel”-type arrangement of three 60 kilowatt electric motors ringing a central internal-combustion (thermal) engine.  Jean Botti, CEO of VoltAero, explains the motor configuration is well-proven, having flown in the Cassio 1 demonstrator (the Cessna) since October last year.  Since then, it’s been flown around …

DLR’s Novel Configurations

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Researchers from the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) conducting research into the potential of new types of design have crafted novel configurations for future flight.  The DRL and BDLI (German Aerospace Industries Association or Bundesverband der Deutschen Luft- und Raumfahrtindustrie)  have published a white paper: “Zero Emission Aviation – Emissionsfreies Fliegen” explicating these configurations. Surprisingly, one of their major findings is that “Electric flight enables lighter aircraft with smaller wings and distributed propulsion systems.”  Battery weight has caused MagniX and Ampaire to reduce the number of passengers or the cargo loads on conversions of existing airframes.  To counter those issues, “An EU research project is investigating the potential for new propulsion systems and aircraft concepts.”  …

Ampaire’s Second Electric Eel Sets Record

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

There are now two Ampaire electric EELs* flying, courtesy of Ampaire Aviation.  The second test vehicle recently set a world record, staying in the air for two hours and 32 minutes, covering 341 miles at an average speed of “around 135 mph.” A six-seat Cessna 337 “Skymaster,” the “push-pull” twin has been modified by Ampaire “with an electric motor in the nose and traditional [internal] combustion engine in the rear.  The paired powerplants act as a parallel hybrid, both electric and ICE units providing thrust simultaneously. Ampaire flew an electric-and-gas-powered Cessna 337 this year. With assistance from Ikhana, a modification and conversion specialist,  Ampaire replaced the 337’s rear engine (which drives a pusher prop) with an electric propulsion system, leaving …

A L.E.A.P. Forward for Electro.Aero

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Heady Ambitions Joshua Portlock, Co-founder, Director and Chief Technology Officer for Electro.Aero in Perth, Australia, has a heady set of ambitions.  He and Rob Belaga presented a simple electric vertical takeoff and landing machine, FlyKart, at two different symposia in northern California two years ago, and presented a refined version for the Boeing GoFly competition shortly thereafter.  They’ve made it to the finals of the $2,000,000 contest and will be in the February, 2020 flyoff. In the meantime, he’s started a flight training program using Pipistrel’s Alpha Electro trainer, and is partnering with an almost bewildering  set of industry, government and academic leaders, including Ampaire, Bye Aerospace, E/S/Aero, NASA, Pipistrel, University of Western Australia, and Zero Emissions Vehicles Australia.  Joshua …

Volt Aero Cassio Hybrid – From France

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

You may have noticed an ongoing divide in electric aircraft philosophies, that of designing from a blank sheet, or that of converting an existing airplane from fossil fuel to electric power.  French company VoltAero has chosen the second path with its Cassio. A conversion of a Cessna 337 Skymaster, it shares similarities to Ampaire’s 337 conversion, with significant differences in its power configuration. What has Five (Three?) Motors and Three Propellers? Ampaire’s 337 conversion retains the “push-pull” arrangement of the original, with the “pusher” an electric power unit behind the cabin and between the twin tail booms.  VoltAero’s replaces the front engine with a faired, engineless nose and one REX 60-kilowatt (80.4 horsepower) electric motor on the nose of each …

Ampaire Flies Hybrid Test Bed

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Ampaire, a tech startup based in California, announces, “Our mission is to be the world’s most trusted developer of practical, compelling electric aircraft from short-haul cargo to supersonic passenger transport.”  They also claim to have demonstrated the “highest-capacity electric aircraft ever flown” last Thursday, June 5th at Camarillo, California.  The company hopes to “have regular commercial service for passengers and cargo as soon as 2021.” Using a Cessna 337 Skymaster was a canny move for the young firm, giving them ample weight-carrying ability to have a petrol engine in the nose and a dual-Emrax motor system behind the cabin and between the twin tail booms. The push-pull arrangement adds to engine-out safety with no assymetrical thrust as on a conventional …

Solar Impulse Foundation Seeks 1,000 Solutions

Dean Sigler Announcements, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Andre’ Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, founders and pilots of Solar Impulse, have founded an important outgrowth of their globe-spanning mission – The World Alliance for Efficient Solutions.  With almost 500 members and seeking 1,000 with responsible and profitable solutions the two are working to gain investors in literally saving the world. Bertrand Piccard sees a current vision of a world that’s out of phase with technological reality.  In an editorial, he mused: “When I was flying with my solar plane over the Atlantic Ocean, I remember looking at the sun that was giving energy to my four electric motors and their huge propellers. There was no noise, no pollution, no fuel… and I could fly forever. At one moment I …

Ampaire and its Zero Emission Airplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Ampaire, a California-based startup, has a simple, two-fold set of goals.  Its TailWind™ aircraft will solve the problems of high operating costs for short-haul airlines and reduce emissions by 99 percent.  They must make a compelling argument since they won one of ten awards at the recent the 2017 Hello Tomorrow Global Summit Deep Tech Challenge in Paris.   Kevin Noertke, CEO of the firm, presented a brief but energetic rundown on the company’s goals and the elegant aeronautical offering he and co-founders Cory Combs (CTO) and Ryan Bilton (CFO) envision.  Note the crowd, the band, and the high production values of the Summit. Your editor wondered about the “Powered By” reference to Airbus.  Kevin cleared that up in an …