Brien Seeley to Speak at AirVenture’s Innovations Pavilion

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and head of the CAFE Foundation, presented his vision for the future of small, electric commuter aircraft at the seventh annual Electric Aircraft Symposium held in late April at Santa Rosa, California.  He gave a forceful, detailed picture of why we need to lift some of the traffic from the highways and examined the benefits that society and the environment would accrue from such sweeping changes. Imagine, for instance, not having to build another highway or on-ramp because existing roads were capable of handling the decreased surface traffic without further expansion.  Think of being able to hop over traffic on a 50-to-400 mile excursion – something not handled well at all by current surface or aerial alternatives.  Think of a “pocket” airport that took up only a few acres of land, and that could be sited safely within walking distance of your home.   Finally, imagine this costing no more than current, ground-bound options.  That is …

Seventh Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium Unveils New Technology

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Feedback, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

This year’s CAFE Foundation Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California had surprises from several sources, including new aircraft, batteries, and materials that will help make the future a good place to be.  Some technologies are maturing and some are about to spring forth in ways we won’t see coming. We’ll be looking at each presentation in detail in future postings, but know for certain that the electric aircraft movement is turning a corner as things become integrated in an ever-quicker progression.  We will see significant announcements in the next few months. The Symposium included not only technology, but seriously looked at how neighborhoods and society in general can integrate these new technologies in a more responsible way than the current helter-skelter world which pulls us away from family and community.  What point is there in having magical things and messy lives?

What Do You Have on Your DVD Burner?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Richard Kaner and Maher El-Kady have “micro-scale graphene-based supercapacitors” on their front DVD burner, showing an energetic alternative to saving all those ‘80’s rockers to disc. Dr. Kaner is a member of the California NanoSystems Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and professor of chemistry and biochemistry.  He and graduate student El-Kady are using a “consumer grade” LightScribe DVD burner to make dozens of micro supercapacitors on what looks like a typical DVD. Dr. Kaner’s research lab hosts 17 undergraduate and graduate student researchers who’ve helped amass at least 390 papers in four main areas of research; conducting polymers, graphene, superhard materials and thermoelectric materials.  Their recent investigation of supercapacitor fabrication seems to encompass almost all of these fields. An abstract for their recent article in Nature Communications hints at the possibilities this research may realize in the commercial world. “The rapid development of miniaturized electronic devices has increased the demand for compact on-chip energy storage. …