Klaus Ohlmann, Jonas Lay and eGenius go 2003 kilometers

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

Klaus Ohlmann and Jonas Lay in the one-and-only eGenius just completed a 2,003 kilometer (1,244 mile) trip from Germany to the Atlantic Ocean on the southern tip of France and return.  The numbers are spectacular.  The flight averaged 190.36 kilometers per hour (118.28 mph) and its hybrid power system consumed a mere 81 liters of fuel.  That works out to 24.72 kilometers per liter or 58.15 mpg.  Even a Prius at that speed would guzzle gasoline. Hybridizing eGenius eGenius was to have originally been HydroGenius, flying on gaseous hydrogen.  Starting design in 2006 and as presented at the 2009 Electric Aircraft Symposium, HydroGenius was designed by Rudolf Voit-Nitschman, Len Schumann, and Steffen Geinitz of the IFB, Institute of Aircraft Design …

Copper for Solar Cells

Dean Sigler Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Solar cells are older than we perhaps knew, and their efficiency was low in their early development.  They were also remarkably expensive.  Today, though, materials like perovskite are making new, less-expensive and reasonably efficient cells possible.  Swapping copper for the more expensive silver conductors may help make these cells even more rewarding.  In a further development, a simple plastic film wrap may make perovskite cells safer. A Long History of Low Efficiency Two dates stand out in Wikipedia’s recounting of solar cell development: 1839 –Edmond Becquerel observes the photovoltaic effect via an electrode in a conductive solution exposed to light. 1883 – Charles Fritts develops a solar cell using selenium on a thin layer of gold to form a device …

Joseph Oldham Beams an American Record

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A new “record” for an electric aircraft flight probably won’t make the books, but was a great sales opportunity for the off-grid charging system that accompanied it. 21 electric airplane records exist in the list of Federation Aeronautique Internationale-recognized achievements.  At least one was set in 2012 by Jean-Luc Soullier in his Colomban MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) – 189.87 kilometers per hour (117.98 mph) over a 15 kilometer closed course using a Lynch-type brushed motor.  It topped his record in February of the same year of 136.4 kph (84.76 mph). For a while, Soullier held records for altitude and distance, but these were eclipsed by others.  At the time, your editor encouraged beating these records, since they were early efforts in …

Sunseeker Duo has a New Radio and Big Plans

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Touring on Sunbeams Eric and Irena Raymond have an enviable life, traveling on sunbeams across Europe in their Sunseeker Duo, and if plans go well later this year, into northern Africa and beyond.  “Last summer, we flew down the west coast of Italy, landing on the islands of Elba and Corsica.”  Crossing the Mediterranean would be no major impediment to further travel, as Solar Impulse showed, because, “Being solar powered our airplanes are assured a constant supply of energy by flying over the clouds, and we can cover much greater distances.” This summer will expand their itinerary to, “Starting in Italy and flying down the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, starting by exploring the Istria peninsula, then touring the myriad countless …

Electrifly-in: Grenchen 2021

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

Electrifly-in, formerly the Smartflyer Challenge, is on for September 11 and 12, 2021, in Grenchen, Switzerland.  The event, even held in 2020 despite the pandemic, is a compact showing of the latest in electrical aircraft and technology.  Watch as this 2019 video as a Φnix (the Greek letter phi + nix –a clever bilingual pun) takes off, circuits the area and makes a landing – all the time flying with other electric aircraft. In this flight, you can see the compact airport (including a grass landing strip) and a lovely setting for a great event.  Started as the Smartflyer Challenge* in 2016, the gathering has changed its name to be more inclusive. Last year, even with travel limitations imposed worldwide, …

Sunseeker Duo Plays Among the Alps

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Eric and Irena Raymond took a lovely Sunseeker Duo flight over the Italian alps near their home in Voghera and edited it all into a video.  They designed and built their own solar-powered airplane – Eric’s third.  He flew Sunseeker 1 across the US in 1990 in 21 hops.  A big press conference scheduled for his last landing at Kitty Hawk, NC was a big disappointment since the US invaded Kuwait that day. Six Minutes of Great Beauty Their airplane has solar cells arrayed across the wing and horizontal tail, a small battery pack that gets recharged while flying in the sun, and a 22 kilowatt (30 hp) motor on the tail.  Turning off the motor they can soar on …

SolarStratos Announces First Solar Free Fall

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If you happen to be in Payerne, Switzerland tomorrow morning around 7:00 a. m. Tuesday morning, August 25, you might want to visit the local airport.  There, the SolarStratos team will stage a demonstration flight with a free fall parachute jump by the project’s founder. Miquel Iturmendi will pilot Raphael Domjan to an unspecified height, from which Domjan will depart the aircraft and free fall, open his parachute, and join the gathered throng.  Iturmendi will presumably return the airplane shortly thereafter. We’re not sure whether this flight will be available for Cockpit Virtuel viewing, but future expeditions should have that feature, much like the Perlan Project’s world altitude record ventures.   Iturmendi was co-pilot on one run to 65,000 feet. This …

Electrifly-In: A Big Show in a Small Space

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For those of us who find trudging over miles of airfield, such as Oshkosh’s AirVenture, or even local fly-ins spread along a runway tiring, Grenchen, Switzerland’s Electrifly-In may be welcome relief.  The event, previously called the Smartflyer Challenge, is planned for September 12 and 13 and should draw electric aircraft from all over Europe. Grenchen, a town of just over 2,000, has an airport with a single runway of only 865 meters (2,838 feet), enough to enable a Cessna Citation CJ3 to land (and presumably depart).  The runway will host this year’s newly re-named Electrifly-In, devoted to promoting electric aviation.  All the activities will be held in a small, easily-accessible area. All Electric Aircraft – All Day A baker’s dozen …

Eric Raymond Shares a Vision

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

Eric Raymond is a real pioneer in electric aviation.  Decades before Solar Impulse made its epic flights Eric navigated his solar-powered Sunseeker I across the United States in 21 hops, traveling from Desert Center, California to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. He flew over the Matterhorn on his way from Germany to Italy in Sunseeker II.  He and his wife Irena build the world’s first two-seat solar-powered airplane, the Duo, which they regularly fly over Italy and Switzerland.  He shared the promise and mystique of such flight with the readers of Travel Forward recently.   The Future is Electric: Exploring the World in a Two Seat Solar Powered Airplane MAY 18, 2020 BY TRAVEL FORWARD While Tesla and other car manufacturers are …

A Joyous Boxing Day Electrified

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Boxing Day is a holiday unique to the British Empire, a day-after Christmas gift-giving celebration in which the well-off gave gifts to their servants. Yahoo Entertainment explains, “While there is some dispute over what the name actually means, it’s commonly believed that Boxing Day refers to the habit of aristocratic employees gifting their servants or tradesman on Dec. 26 as a thank you for their work throughout the year. The employers would give them each a box to take home to their family with gifts, bonuses and leftover food. “Samuel Pepys, a naval administrator and Member of Parliament, is famous for writing in his diary in 1663: ‘Thence by coach to my shoemaker’s and paid all there, and gave something …