Drones Meeting the Corona Virus Challenge

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

“Ramadan Mubarak, Dean! “As a kid who grew up in the ’80s, I thought by 2020 we’d have flying cars and a clean planet, and yet here we are grappling with a global pandemic and much uncertainty in these very strange times.” This greeting from Hani Almadhoun, Director of Philanthropy for  the the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. UNRWA USA, reminds us of our common humanity and spirituality while lamenting the fact that we don’t yet have those long-promised flying cars or at least a well-looked-after planet. Like the virus, the unfulfilled dream of a “flying car” seems universal. Faced with an imperfect reality, fixed- and rotary-wing drones are showing their worth in fighting the …

UAM Realization May be Closer than We Think

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

We are on the verge of big happenings in the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) world.  Large amounts of money are flowing into the coffers of those companies which dared to pioneer in the area.  Large firms are partnering with these aerial startups.  And the Federal Aeronautics Administration is paying attention while actively pursuing certification for the new machines headed our way. Jay Merkle, FAA Certification and Airspace Integration At the Transportation Review Board’s annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, Jay Merkle, head of the FAA’s UAS integration office, told attendees that six (Urban Air Mobility) UAM  vehicles are “well along,” according to a report in Aviation Today.   He held that the growing market is ““more than just hype … this is …

EHang 216 Flies a Small Crowd in Vienna

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Well, 17 passengers, anyway.  Remember that EHang flew its entire board of directors and executive team on demonstration outings in February 2018.  In a more recent flight, EHang CEO HU Huazhi “commuted” via an EHang 216 (2 passengers, 16 motors and propellers). In April this year, EHang flew apparently happy participants at Vienna’s Generali Arena as part of the 4GameChangers Festival, an international festival of – you guessed it – game changers.  This year’s theme, “Europe Meets Asia,” seemed a mild precursor to the full frontal assault by EHang.  For those not lucky enough to get first-hand experience in the air, displays in the Festival offered virtual and augmented reality demonstrations and ample digitally-based thrills.  Aviation Week reported, “An autonomous, …