Airflow Moves toward Full Scale eCSTOL, AI

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

Airflow, a recent entry into the electric conventional short takeoff and landing (eCSTOL) market, is pushing forward into fielding a full-scale demonstrator.  They are also testing the limits of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in nailing their landings. Airflow’s mission is spelled out in big ideas and bold fonts. “Freight without the wait.  The first electric Short Take Off and Landing (eSTOL) aircraft for middle-mile logistics.  1 pilot, 500 lbs of cargo, 0 lbs of CO2.” Airflow’s concept illustrations show a twin-boom pusher with 10 distributed electric motors along the wing’s leading edge.  Trying out their ideas for extremely short takeoffs and landings will fall to a modified Cessna 210.  In the meantime, the team is advancing its concept at this time …

SAS 2019: IBM Battery Research with Dr. Jangwoo Kim

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

Dr. Jangwoo Kim has a resume’ that puts a great many qualifications together that spell “battery designer.”  He has a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Yonsei University, one of three “Sky Universities” regarded as South Korea’s most prestigious.  At Cornell University, he received M. S. and Ph.D degrees in chemical engineering, and then worked for LG Chem on lithium-ion battery pack design.  After that, he returned to Cornell to work on his Ph.D, investigating “next-generation rechargeable battery technology, including Li-Air and Li-Sulfur, specialized in inorganic nanomaterial synthesis and polymer processing via an electrospraying method.”  He joined IBM Research, Almaden Research Center in 2016 and participated in the Battery 500 project, aiming to build a battery pack with a specific energy …

Twisting, Turning and Nailing the Landing

Dean Sigler Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We like to think that our mastery of aerobatics is second to none, but aircraft only achieve a small part of the birds’ ability to hover, swoop, and perch on a target at zero forward airspeed.  Researchers in Switzerland and England, though, are making progress toward deeper emulation of nature’s masters of flight. Our Fine Feathered Drone Dano Floreano and his team of researchers at  Switzerland’s École Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne’s (EPFL) Laboratory of Intelligent Systems, obviously spent lots of time observing birds in flight, noting that our avian friends alter their wing configuration to “change direction, increase their speed or counter headwinds.”  Changing wing shape helps birds make near-instantaneous maneuvers. Floreano, attempting to mimic the birds’ movements, helped develop …