Madagascar Medicine Meets the Green Flight Challenge

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

In the Small World category, the team leader of the 2011 Green Flight Challenge winning team is designing the next generation of a drone that can carry blood and stool samples from remote and otherwise inaccessible parts of Madagascar to a central laboratory where the samples can be analyzed.  Jack Langelaan, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, is working with Vayu Aircraft to develop a vertical takeoff and landing machine specially crafted to meet the needs of the ValBio Centre. The video shows an early version of the drone, while pictures on Vayu’s web site depict a sleeker, more refined approach.  The functionality for both machines would seem to be identical, but the styling for the projected future version is far more “marketable.” Dr. Peter Small, Founding Director of Stony Brook’s Global Health Institute, sees the flights as a win-win for drones and villagers. “The flights to and from villages in the Ifanadiana district [of Madagascar] ushers in …

Pipistrel’s Flight Through Wine Country

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Brien Seeley forwards a video of Pipistrel’s historic, Collier Trophy nominated electric powered flight.  He notes, “It applies its performance data file and a weather map overlay to annotate scenes of the visual beauty of the Sonoma Wine Country,” a feature that will also delight visitors to Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport when they attend the electric aircraft flight demonstrations that are part of this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium. The Team will present details of their aircraft and its achievement at the 6th Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium on April 27, 2012 in Santa Rosa, for which registration can be obtained online. The video will remind one of the weather overlays Dr. Jack Langelaan created for his autonomous soaring exercises, and which were also shown to be helpful in general aviation flight planning and execution.  

The Sixth Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The CAFE Foundation will hold its sixth Electric Aircraft Symposium on April 27 and 28, 2012 at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California and at the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, site of the Green Flight Challenge. Not only will there be a stellar lineup of speakers, but flying demonstrations of electric and hybrid aircraft, a first at any EAS. Jack Langelaan, team leader for the GFC-winning Electro Taurus G4 team, and Tine Tomazic from Pipistrel will share insights on the design and flight of the 403.5 epmpg aircraft.  David Calley, Chief Technical Officer for Motor Excellence, will describe ideal low-RPM motors for electric aircraft, and Mark Moore from NASA’s Langley Research Center will share breakthroughs in distributed propulsion.  And that’s all before the first coffee break! Typical of the packed schedules for all EAS’s, the rest of the presentations will fill your brain and lighten your spirit.  Gene Sheehan will discuss his Quickie-like Feuling Green Flight Challenger …

The G4 Gets Off the Grass

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

Pipistrel had a good week at Oshkosh.  Shortly after its G4 placed ninth in the Dead Grass Awards, an indication of the number of spectators who tramped around the perimeter of the displayed aircraft,  the company could announce the first test flight of the four-seat electric motorglider. “We are pleased to announce that after long and demanding work nearly of a nearly 30-member team of developers and constructors from Pipistrel’s R & D Institute the first 4-seat electric aircraft in the world took off this morning [August 12, 2011] at 7 AM local time.” Pipistrel overcame several difficulties in achieving this milestone.  Developing the electric power system, the most powerful currently in an aircraft, and importing the 450 pounds of lithium-polymer batteries needed to energize it presented many issues.  Perhaps the utterly new and unique design and the possibility of that many batteries self-igniting caused insurance companies to be more than normally cautious, although one did finally step forward. Because …