Joby “Unicorn” Gains Private, Military Backing

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

NOTICE: We are publishing this entry despite not being able to download fixed images into the file.  We will have that repaired soon, but want the news to go out in the meantime.  Practice patience in the meantime.  Thank you.  Joby Aviation is one of few “unicorns” in the electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) market, a billion-dollar enterprise.  With funding coming from Toyota, several venture capital investors, Uber and the U. S. Army, Joby seems poised to demonstrate Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in a serious way. In 2011 JoeBen Bevirt, founder of Joby Energy, Joby Aviation, and creator of those knobby-looking tripods you see everywhere, invited Patrick McLaughlin to visit his design studio.  Your editor got to tag …

Wisk Tests Cora in US, New Zealand

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

Recently renamed Wisk (formerly KittyHawk) has resumed flight testing of its Cora eVTOL (electric Vertical Take Off and Landing) machines following a cautionary corona virus shutdown.  It’s already got a fleet, with several prototypes in the U. S. and at least four in New Zealand. New Zealand seems to have a lock on flight testing for unpiloted aircraft, with Pyka and Cora both finding amenable administrators willing to allow flight tests.  Boeing and Wisk are collaborating on achieving urban air mobility with the two-seat machine, and getting a lot of positive vibes from the locals.  Partly from the NZ government, partly from local businesses, and partly from indigenous Maori tribes’ people, Wisk and Cora have found wide-spread acceptance down under. …

Terrafugia in Transition

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

Terrafugia, a company started by a group of inspired college friends, has made it a mission to bring a flying car to the marketplace.  Quite literally – it’s in their mission statement: “Terrafugia’s mission is to create the ultimate mobility solution – flying cars.”  Even though the term is somewhat decried in current parlance – things like urban air taxis or sky taxis that would provide Urban Air Mobility being preferred. The Transition Their first craft, the Transition, earned a high hype score, with even Hammacher-Schlemmer including the flying car in their catalog.  It flew at AirVenture in 2013, demonstrating its folding wings and reasonable Light Sport Aircraft performance (even with a waiver for its “heavy LSA” gross weight). In …

A 2/3-Scale XTI TriFan 600 Hovers Successfully

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

XTI’s TriFan 600 recently flew as a TriFan 665, for the 65-percent test concept vehicle.  There are good reasons for a first flight on this reduced scale, including being able to use smaller motors and batteries, less material, and possibly simplified systems. On May 8, 2019, XTI Aircraft announced that they had successfully completed the first test flights of its 65% scale prototype of the TriFan 600 VTOL aircraft:  The 2/3 concept machine, built on the local Experimental Aircraft Association’s turf, elicits some wonder because none of the chapter’s recent newsletters or Facebook posts mentioned that this project was underway.  Having worked in a design/build architectural-engineering firm, your editor knows all too well what the phrase “confidential client” means.  Chapter 512, knowing …

VerdeGo’s Integrated Distributed Power System

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

Erik Lindbergh, grandson of the famed trans-Atlantic flight pioneer, has been paying his dues in aviation for decades, working to involve young people in career-building roles, and advocating for “green” aviation.  His latest roles have found him mentoring a group of Embry Riddle students in developing an electric HK-36 (shown last year at AirVenture), and in developing one of the over 100 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) potential sky taxis coming into public view.  That sky taxi may not make it to market, but Lindbergh and partners’ Integrated Distributed Power system is headed that way. At the 2017 AirVenture, he shared the news that he was working on something exciting.  That turned out to be the VerdeGo project, an …