G4 to HY4 – Swapping Batteries for Fuel Cells

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

The University of Stuttgart and Pipistrel started down similar paths around 2007, with the Stuttgarters attempting a hydrogen-powered two-seat aircraft, the Hydrogenius; and Pipistrel developing a self-launching craft with either two-stroke power or an equivalent electric motor. The two groups came to rely on one another, with hydrogenius using the forward fuselage and wings of the Taurus G2 with hydrogen tanks in the fuselage and a Sineton motor on the tail.   On February 27, 2008, Professor Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann, the father of the solar powered aircraft Icare 2 and the unofficial World Record holder for distance flown in a solar powered aircraft, along with dipl. ing. Steffen Geinitz and dipl. ing. Len Schumann met with Pipistrel leaders, including CEO Ivo Boscarol and …

SmartFlyer – an Electric Four-Seater?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

The people behind the Smartflyer, a Swiss design concept now under development ask, “Why does the Smartflyer look like this?  With a tail-mounted electric motor, it’s a bit reminiscent of e-Genius, and also a bit like a strutless Rutan Skigull.  In fact, the basic configuration has been used on many significant aircraft over the last several decades, as a segment of Smartflyer’s web site shows. As Herr Professor Dipl-Ing. Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann, Project Leader on e-Genius explained, several benefits accrue from this arrangement of aerodynamic elements. Compared to a conventional touring motor glider a substantial larger propeller-diameter can be realized without a high and consequentially heavier undercarriage. Therefore the propeller-efficiency will increase. The front body part has the aerodynamic quality of a modern glider (no …

Germany to Two Places in Austria – On Solar Wings

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

e-Genius spent July 4 crossing the Alps both ways from Germany to Italy, a first for a two-seat, battery-powered airplane.  Although the Elektra One Solar from PC-Aero GmbH is lighter and seats only one, its flights starting two weeks before and ending two days before e-Genius’s journey are equally proud accomplishments. The outgoing flight started in Unterwössen, Germany on June 25, crossed over the Grossglockner and landed, according to PC-Aero’s description, “In the sunny town of Lienz in East Tyrol, Austria.  The flight took around 2.5 hours. After the successful flight on the south side of the Alps, Elektra One Solar started [on its next trip] on 2 July (few days before the eGenius of the University of Stuttgart also flew …

e-Genius Crosses the Alps on Battery Power – Twice!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

It makes your editor’s morning to receive such wonderful emails.  Dipl. Ing. Ingmar Geiß, Deputy Project Manager for Overall Aircraft Systems on e-Genius wrote the following: “We had a great Saturday – we flew from Stuttgart over the Alps to Italy, recharged the batteries and flew back on the same day!  For us, this shows the practicability of battery powered aircraft and we think this is a milestone towards an eco-friendly and efficient aviation.” The e-Genius web page on the University of Stuttgart site expands on the story, describing the flight’s accomplishment. “A milestone towards an energy efficient and carbon-neutral aviation has been reached.” While Americans rested up for their Fourth of July festivities, “Saturday morning, the electric aircraft “e-Genius” …

e-Genius Extends Its Range

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC 1 Comment

Shown at the E-Flight Expo at Friedrichshafen’s Aero 2015, Stuttgart University’s e-Genius had an aerodynamic-looking pod next to one wing, containing an ENGIRO range extender consisting of a Wankel-type engine and a generator.  The unit could, as its name implies, help e-Genius go for new records to add to its already significant collection. Bill Lofton at EV Hangar has detailed the extender, now associated with the e-Genius and in a larger variant on the Equator P2 amphibian being built in Norway by Tomas Broedreskift. Equator’s web site describes its power system: “The hybrid propulsion system being developed by Equator is called EHPS (Equator Hybrid Propulsion System). The engine specific project is being co-funded by Transnova and the company doing the development work …

Powering Imagination at the Museum of Flight

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

Powering Imagination, a symposium devoted to that premise and to encouraging the development of electric aviation, achieved both goals on Saturday, February 28 at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.  Organized by Erik Lindbergh and Eric Bartsch, the gathering included two panel discussions and eight presentations that helped define where the world of electric flight might be heading.  Between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., presenters covered a lot of ground. Following Cale Wilcox, the Public Programs Coordinator for the Museum’s, introduction, Erik Lindbergh took the stage to explain the goals of the Powering Imagination organization, including making aviation clean, quiet, exciting and affordable.  This democratization of flight mirrors aspirations of the CAFE Foundation and is reflected in the educational efforts made by …

e-Genius, Klaus Ohlmann Set Records, Records, Records!

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

“Records, Records, Records!” heads the news on the Institut for Flugzeugbau (IFB) web site this morning.  The sub-head reads, “Experienced hands plus a high-performance airplane plus one week equals seven world records.”  Admitting to fuzzy math, the writer still draws a clear line to the seven records.  Klaus and e-Genius spent the third week of July in Seeres – La Bâtie, France where they achieved seven FAI (Fédération Aéronautique International) World Records in the Category of Electric Airplanes. According to the IFB, “In two flights (July 18th and 19th) he attained: – Speed on a 100 km round trip : 178.1 kilometers per hour (96 knots, or 110.4 mph) – Speed on a 500 km round trip : 93.03 km/h …

The Green Speed Cup – Fourth Edition

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Robert Adam helps run the Green Speed Cup, a time, speed and economy run for aircraft in Germany.  The rules for this year’s contest elucidate the intent and ambitions for the event: “The GREEN SPEED CUP is an aviation competition focusing on efficient flight. The emphasis lies on fast and energy saving transportation. The competition is meant to develop new methods to reduce energy consumption of motor driven aircraft using external energy sources like lateral winds and updrafts. In making the ability of certain aircraft and techniques transparent, the competition shall set new standards in general aviation.” The Cup provides a sounding board for discussion of energy efficient flight and the changing experience of flying while exploring new techniques and …

Sunseeker Duo Goes Dual

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Irena Raymond became the first passenger of a solar-powered airplane recently, even taking over control of the Sunseeker Duo she and husband Eric built over the last several years.  Her thoughts provoke awe and envy. “Flying the Duo, skimming the white fluffy clouds from above and playing on the sky, I feel like a bird. No limitations, a pure freedom. It’s so quiet! Compared to a normal airplane, it’s like night and day. You need a very good headset in every other powered airplane, but in this airplane you can speak normally even when the motor is running full power, no headset needed. It is unbelievable.” Eric provides some hard data to complement Irena’s understandably poetic words.  “I am expanding the …

Quiet May Be the New Black

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Noisy airplanes are the bane of modern living.  (Well, that and the myriad other intrusive sounds with which we are surrounded.)  People can create and easily get signatures on petitions to close 70-year-old airports surrounded by 20-year-old housing developments, so General Aviation’s survival will at least partly depend on hushing our aircraft. We’ve been privileged to see and hear the passage of e-Genius, Pipistrel’s G4, and Chip Yates’ Long-EAS with a Craig Catto propeller, which emitted a barely discernible howl when it pushed the airplane at full power to a new time-to-climb Guinness record at the California State Airshow in early October 2013, reaching 500 meters (1,640 feet) in one minute, four seconds. This quest for quiet presses on the …