Joseph Oldham Beams an American Record

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

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 …

Aussies Complete Electric Aircraft World Endurance Record

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A three-pilot crew accompanied by a five-person, multi-vehicle support crew have set a world endurance record for electric flight.  The team traversed 1,350 kilometers (839 miles) over not-always-hospitable terrain and through not-always-welcoming weather.  Participants in the record attempt held up admirably, with few problems other than seemingly constant cross-wind landings and often uncooperative weather. Their flight made it onto Australia’s largest television network. The Airplane Eyre to There Managing Director Barrie Rogers explains the limitation of the aircraft and the effect this had on the flight.  “The Pipistrel Alpha Electro – dubbed the ‘Tesla of flying’ – currently has a flight time range of about 1 hour and cruising speed of 85 knots (157km/h) so we’ve had to very carefully …

Beam Me Up: Flying on Sunshine™

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We recently reported on two electrically-powered cross-country flights for which the big issue was lack of battery-charging facilities at airports along the way.  Both “teams” had their chargers carried by an accompanying airplane or automobile.  Now, with a public demonstration a Beam Global charger at Reedley Municipal Airport in Fresno County, California, we see a no-fuss way to bring EV charging to aviation – even in remote locations. Beam Global premises its installations on a foursome of negatives: No permitting, no construction, no electrical work, and no utility bill.  Installation, if one believes Beam’s video, is almost a non-event. Beam, formerly Envision Solar, produces pre-fabricated EV ARC solar-powered charging stations.  Like a vacation camper, the ARCs can be towed right …

Pipistrel Velis: Part of an Electric Heritage

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The Pipistrel Velis is the culmination of 13 years of electric aircraft development and the first to gain certification by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on June 10. Pipistrel has been in the electric airplane business since 2007 when it announced the Taurus Electro motorglider, which entered service in 2011.  That aircraft went through several iterations, and is still part of the Pipistrel lineup of electric planes, which includes the Alpha Electro Trainer, the Panthera Hybrid, and the new Velis. Alpha Electro Trainer in SoCal An electric version of the Alpha Trainer, the Electro has been in production since 2015.  With an empty weight of 615 pounds (279 kg) and a maximum take-off weight of 1,212 pounds (550 …

Help Promote Electric Aviation

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Beth Stanton, an aerobatic pilot and superb writer (you can read her articles in Sport Aviation), shares the following action item.  Readers are invited to comment to the FAA by December 31.  Your comments could have a big effect promoting electric flight, especially in flight training.   “Progress on affordable electric training is happening!  “Joseph Oldham, director of the Sustainable Aviation Project (SAP) asked me to pass this information along – “The SAP petition to the FAA for exemption to operate 4 Pipistrel Alpha Electro Aircraft with the issuance of a Special Light Sport Aircraft airworthiness certificate to conduct flight training is now posted for public comment: “https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/12/09/2019-26468/petition-for-exemption-summary-of-petition-received-cities-of-mendota-and-reedley-california   “Comments must be received by 12/30/19.   “The progress of the …

Straight out of Compton/Woodley

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We don’t normally republish complete press releases, but this example from Taja Boscarol at Pipistrel, the Slovenian electric aircraft company, seems worthy of a full reading. Los Angeles County Promoting Green Aviation Compton/Woodley Airport Acquires Pipistrel Alpha Electro Aircraft & Charging Station Los Angeles County Public Works, in partnership with Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum welcomed the nation’s first commercial electric aircraft charging station at Compton/Woodley Airport.  The Pipistrel  SkyCharge  docking  station will  support the museum’s two ALPHA Electro  Light  Sport all-electric  aircraft and  ultimately other electric  aircraft  in  the  future  as  electric  aircraft gain interest.   The SkyCharge docking station allows two aircraft to simultaneously charge an empty battery in 45 minutes. ​Expansion of Electric Aircraft at the County-owned Airports Tomorrow’s …

Alpha Electro Achieves FAA Certification

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A Big Day in Fresno Following certification for Pipistrel’s Alpha Electro trainer in Australia, China, and Canada, the FAA presented this highly-valued acknowledgment that the aircraft meets current airworthiness standards.  After waiting for the agency to remove the restrictive word “reciprocating” from its Light Sport Aircraft regulations, electric aircraft designers have permission to field aircraft with truly modern powerplants. With FAA inspectors painstakingly perusing every part of the Electros, a formal presentation followed, enabling the Sustainable Aviation Project to move forward with plans to bring low-cost pilot training to the Fresno, California area. Officials from the four cities in which Alpha Electros will be hangared were on hand to lend encouragement during the public flight displays of the aircraft. For …

Pipistrel Alpha Electros Come to California

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News from Joseph Oldham, founder of the Sustainable Aviation Project, and Michael Coates, United States master distributor for Pipistrel Aircraft, heralds the largest delivery of electric training aircraft to date.  Four Pipistrel Alpha Electro Trainers showed up at Fresno, California’s Chandler Airport, all part of the Sustainable Aviation Project.  Described as “a public-private collaboration to reduce the cost of flight training through the use of all-electric general aviation airplanes,” the Project might become a role model for future electric flight training. On March 19, two 18-wheel trucks delivered two 40-foot shipping containers.  Each container carried two Alpha Electros, two chargers, and a pair of replacement battery packs for each airplane.  It took a mere two hours for a volunteer crew …