Aerolite 103 – As Simple As Aerial EVs Get

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

Shown and flown at this year’s Sun ‘n Fun and AirVenture, the Aerolite 103 is a well-tested, best-selling ultralight that in FAA Part 103 form is a true ultralight.  As an electric aircraft, it’s heavier and faster than accepted ultralight standards but no less a competent flyer registered in the Experimental category. Designed in 1996, and with hundreds of the original two-stroke engine-powered versions flying, Aerolite’s originator Terry Raber sold the rights to Dennis Carley in 2012.  Manufacturing moved from Millersburg, Ohio to Delano, Florida. The airplane retains its position as an inexpensive FAA Part 103-compliant ultralight – true to its name.  In the last few years, it has also become part of zero-emission flight. Aerolite as an EV One …

That’s the eSpirit!

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

We reported in the blog four years ago that Embry Riddle Aeronautical University not only displayed their eSpirit of St. Louis at AirVenture that year, but ran the motor for the crowd.  The crowd included Federal Aviation Administrator Michael Huerta, who sat in the cockpit during the runup. The eSpirit of St. Louis A product of Embry-Riddle, eSpirit is finally making its presence on the taxiway known.  Kelly Pratt, writing in the Embry Riddle Aeronautical News, reports, “After nearly four years of perseverance, the Eagle Flight Research Center (EFRC) team at Embry-Riddle is celebrating a milestone in its electric propulsion research: its Diamond HK-36 completed a successful taxi test exclusively on electrical power at the Daytona Beach International Airport.” Erik …

Schleicher’s Sustainable Flight for Two

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

Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau (sailplane maker) has been crafting high-performance soaring craft since its inception in 1927.  Their latest creation, a two-seat, 20-meter (65.6 feet) span motorsegler, the ASG32 El, includes a 25 kilowatt synchronous motor driving a Schleicher-designed 1.55 meter (5 feet) retractable propeller.   The motor is a “home help” device, a sustainer motor to keep the ASG 32 El aloft once it is launched by a winch or by being pulled by a towplane.  The motor does not allow for self-launching.  Its low power, coupled with the airplane’s clean design, does enable a 1.3 meter-per-second (255 feet per minute) rate of climb.  The aircraft’s battery is sufficient for 20 minutes of all-out power or 100 kilometers (62 miles) …

Sustainable Aviation Symposium 2016: Would You Believe Eric Darcy Deliberately Blows Up Batteries?

Dean Sigler Batteries, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Eric Darcy is NASA’s go-to guy for battery safety.  He is Battery Group Lead for Projects & Integration at NASA-Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and consults frequently with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado. His talk at the First Sustainable Aviation Symposium was titled, “Passively Thermal Runaway Propagation Resistant Battery Module That Achieves > 190 WH/KG.”  The output may not sound like much, being at the middle-to-high end of lithium battery performance: but the promise of passive thermal runaway resistance is all-important.  Remember, too, that larger output numbers are usually for individual cells.  Putting cells into a battery pack with battery management system (BMS) components, wiring, etc. usually reduces overall performance per weight. A few years ago, Dr. Darcy told …

Silent 2 Electro Certified in Germany

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Luka Znidarsic shared this happy message this morning. “We are very proud to inform you, that the SILENT 2 Electro, equipped with our FES system, has been awarded Type Certification by the German Aero Club (DAeC). “This is the very first electric powered Ultralight sailplane certified, by DAeC. This represents a significant milestone in gliding history, which marks a new age of technology!” We hope this breakthrough in Germany encourages our own Federal Aviation Administration to review their schedule for electric aircraft certification.  Such rule making would allow sales of existing electric motorgliders and   light aircraft and encourage others to step up development of these alternatives to fuel-burning lightplanes. The Type Certificate gives some clear ideas of the technology incorporated in the very …

A Smart Battery Management System and Multiple Sensors

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Fraunhofer and the Hochschule Esslingen University of Applied Sciences have created an electronic race car that they will show at the Sensor + Test Measurement Fair in Nuremberg, Germany from May 14 through 16.  Not only electrically driven, the innovative vehicle holds a number of sensor and control systems that might be of interest to electric aircraft designers. EVE, the product of the school and Fraunhofer’s labors, can sprint from 0 to 100 kilometers an hour (62 mph) in 3.6 seconds with its twin 60 kilowatt, 4,500 rpm motors, and reach a top speed of 140 km/hr (86.8 mph).  Its 8 kilowatt-hour lithium polymer batteries allow only a short run of 22 kilometers (13.64 miles) though, not surprising in terms of …