Otherlab’s Cardboard Drone – “A Pizza Box… Shaped into a Wing”

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Aircraft Materials, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A disposable drone that will make a one-way trip to a disaster area won’t add to the suffering if it dissolves within a few weeks of delivering its life-saving cargo.  That’s the promise of the “Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions” (APSARA), currently being developed by Otherlab, a San Francisco-based group specializing in next-generation creations.  Funded by DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), APSARA is part of their ICARUS program (Inbound, Controlled, Air-Releasable, Unrecoverable Systems).  The acronyms are becoming overwhelming. Disposable medical supplies are a commonplace in today’s clinics and hospitals.  A recent chat with a nurse elicited her concern that medical supplies were so readily disposable.  Latex or nitrile gloves, single-use syringes, and protective paper covers and wraps …

A Very Long Towline

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

John Carpinelli has a lofty vision, borne on gossamer threads that would pull giant cargo planes into the heights. We’re familiar with the rapid ascent of a sailplane on a winch tow, pitching up into a fighter-like climb and dropping off the towline at some predetermined altitude. What if the tow ropes were attached to a large, electrically-propelled airplane, pulling a heavy jet transport to a point several kilometers above its launch? It’s not as wild-eyed as it sounds – at least according to the CleanTech Open organizers. The Cleantech Open is an organization looking to find, fund and foster startup companies in green industries, and chose Electric Takeoff, Carpinelli’s firm, as a semifinalist in the Transportation category in their …