Two Wood Aircraft Leading to the Future

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Two French manufacturers are reverting to bois et toile (wood and fabric) for ultra-modern aircraft.  Both of their aircraft will be electrically powered, and both will use non-traditional approaches to construction.  In the meantime, both have fairly traditional demonstration models. The French have done wonders with wooden aircraft from the very beginning of aviation.  Santos Dumont built the petite Demoiselle with bamboo longerons, for instance, and Henri Mignet crafted his diminutive Pou du Ciel (flea of the sky, or flying flea) from available wood.  After World War Two, Messrs Joly and Delemontez fashioned a small single-seater, the Jodel D-9, from wood and ply and powered it with converted VW Kubelwagen engines, Jeep-like German vehicles which littered scrap yards and former …

Landing Zones for All Those eVTOLs (and eCSTOLs)

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

Siting  and Building Considerations at the 2019 SAS As we see an inrush of capital to finance new electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) machines and now electric Conventional Short Take Off and Landing (eCSTOL) machines, we are on the cusp of seeing newly envisioned landing zones for these machines.  With the departure of Uber from the aerial scene, we probably won’t see the grandiose platforms the firm promoted. Your editor poked fun at these visions in his talk at the 2019 Sustainable Aviation Symposium at UC Berkeley, doubting that urban centers would welcome hundreds of arrivals and departures overhead day and night. Luckily, presenters who had worked on real-world re-imaginings of Uber’s grander vision helped talk your editor down.  …

Hydrogen Instead of Batteries?

Dean Sigler Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

As battery makers worldwide strive to develop safe, high-energy-density cells, Breezer Aircraft, a German small-aircraft manufacturer, unveils plans to power one of its ultralights with a hydrogen fuel cell. Breezer’s  B400-6, receiving 600kilogram certification by the DAeC (German Aero Club), is light enough to enable a small fuel-cell-motor combination to power it.  Usually powered by the ubiquitous Rotax range of engine, an electric version will initially to be driven by batteries, and then powered by a hydrogen-fuel cell. eCap and Re-Fire   eCap, a German company specializing in systems integration and installation for a diverse range of classic and modern vehicles, will work with Breezer on the first installations.  eCap’s demonstrated ability to convert everything from an antique farm tractor and classic …

Bigger, Better, and Electric – Flight Design F2e

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

Electric Flight.eu reports on the new Flight Design F2e, a two-seater and first of an expanding range of aircraft that might even include hydrogen-powered craft.  The smaller Flight Design CT has been flying for over 18 years, and over 2,000 have been sold, but typical of the small aircraft industry, Flight Design has been assimilated under a larger entity, Lift Air. Working with Siemens for the new craft’s motor and APUS* for assistance with design and certification, Flight Design has created a light sport aircraft that provides safety, comfort and good performance on either gasoline or electric power. While the gasoline-powered version will probably be held to LSA weights, the electric model will have a reported maximum weight of 1,100 …

Lilium Elevates Five-Passenger Uber-Ready Vehicle

Dean Sigler Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Uber Elevate, headed toward its third annual meeting in Washington, D. C., has established guidelines for what it wants to see flying in its service.  Lilium, a German electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing maker, has flown a vehicle that seems to meet those guidelines. The web site, A New Domain.net, notes, “The authors of the Uber paper point out that the high-profile German concept, the Lilium, is a ‘push to extremely high levels of distribution while coupling the vertical lift in closely with the wing high-lift system.’ The concern here, however, is that such jet-lift approaches “will require substantially higher power for takeoff and landing, with greater challenges operating quietly within cities,” according to the Uber paper.” “From the looks of it, …

When You Wake Up Hungry – Fly to the Bakery!

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants Leave a Comment

Electric-Flight.eu reports on three Germans who made a bathtub fly – and used it to fetch pastries.  As the website reports, “The Real Life Guys” are two Darmstadt students and one DB train attendant who shook up the media last week . They connected a bathtub with an aluminum scaffolding and six 9.6 [kilowatt] motors (€1 065 or about $1,191[each]) from the model building sector to 42-Volt batteries and blew it up.”  “Blew it up” means lifting it skyward on the power of what look like six Hacker model airplane motors, capable of putting out 15 kilowatts (20.1 hp) each for 15 seconds.  The 9.6 kW (12.9 hp) output cited in the Electric-Flight article seems realistic for sustained output, and …