Three Light Electric Motorgliders

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

Light electric motorgliders work well in the real world.  They’re light, compact, and easily transported to a flying site or back home.  Their small battery packs can be charged at home (under safe conditions) and provide enough duration to get the small machines to altitude, where they can explore thermals and ridge lift.  Because they are small, they require less materials and are often less expensive than standard-class or larger sailplanes.  Because they can self launch, they spare the cost of towplanes and possible chase crews. Economics aside, these craft provide fun flying and fairly untroubled ownership. Birdy We’ve reported on Birdy before.  It’s a 120-kilogram airplane, a class that in Europe allows pilots with a sport license and no …

Electrifly-In, Grenchen 2020

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Grenchen, Switzerland’s airfield hosted the fourth electric fly-in on that site over the weekend of September 11 and 12.  No fewer than 16 different electric craft flew in or were on hand to greet the lucky visitors.  Even celebrities were there, including Solar Impulse pilot Bertrand Piccard and Olympic champion, astrophysicist and pilot Dominique Gisin. The Grenchner Tagblatt (daily news) was on hand to report on the proceedings, and seems to have come away impressed with the turnout and the technology.  The paper reported this sidelight on the recent record-setting trip from Switzerland to the North Sea of Germany in a Pipistrel Velis (also on display on the field). “Lush parties were celebrated almost everywhere, all under the sign of …