Antares, FES, and AdvanTec Create E-ROP Hybrid

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E-ROP is a multi-party program using an Antares self-launching sailplane.  FES and Adventec have crafted a hybrid version of the Antares 20e with a front electric sustainer (FES) motor in place of its tall mast-mounted motor.  An incremental program, E-ROP begins by replacing the retractable unit with an FES motor on the nose.  This reduces the drag created by the motor being raised into position and simplifies operation. The FES Antares flew for the first time on April 19 with Klaus Ohlmann at the helm.  Ulrich Bronet recorded this short video. Under development since 2016, E-ROP will benefit from an advanced battery package from research partner AdvanTec GmbH.  According to the project, “The concept provides for batteries in the fuselage and …

Antares Upgrades to RED.3 Batteries

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Aircraft Components, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

An airplane that’s a seasoned veteran gets even better with the new SAFT RED.3 batteries.   At the Grenchen, Switzerland Electrifly-in Lange Antares spread their wings over 21 meters of display space each.  Klaus Ohlmann flew the latest E model from the manufacturer and a hybrid e-Rop from AdvanTec GmbH was on static display.  These airplanes are evolutions of the original design, which goes back to 2003.  SAFT’s new batteries will make the plane even better. Richard Van Grunsven, founder of Van’s Aircraft, granted your editor an interview in 2010 and demonstrated the motor’s operation on his Antares.  The same 42 kilowatt (56.3 horsepower) motor is retained in the current version, but batteries have become better in the last 11 years. …

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, …

e-Genius Gets Around Quickly, Inspires Others

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Hybrid Aircraft, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Birds of the Same Tail Feather Configuration Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Rudolf Voit-Nitschmann (emeritus) had a lot to do with designing the 1996 Icare II solar-powered sailplane and the 2011 e-Genius.  Icare II set several world records in its 20 years, most under the guidance of pilot Klaus Ohlmann.  e-Genius won the award for being the quietest airplane at the Green Flight Challenge held in Santa Rosa, California, and was a close second to Pipistrel’s G4 in passenger miles per gallon (equivalent) energy use. Dipl.-Ing. Voit-Nitschmann was kind enough to explain to your editor how the propeller center came to be at the top of the tail on e-Genius.  It’s a similar configuration to that on the Icare II*, and one he …

SmartFlyer Challenge: Electric Airplanes Fill Swiss Skies

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There are few times one will see more than one electric airplane at the same place – outside of perhaps, Friedrichshafen’s e-Flight Expo every year.  But to see them flying at the same field on the same day is an even grander delight.  That happened September 9 and 10 at Grenchen, Switzerland.  Grenchen hosted the world’s first all-electric fly-in – the SmartFlyer Challenge.  It drew an appreciable number of electric aircraft of all sizes and types despite the clouds and rain that kept some from scaling the mountains. An Electric Three-Plane Formation Flight The Siemens-powered Magnus e-Fusion from the Czech Republic, the electric Phoenix motorglider, and Stuttgart University’s e-Genius all flew formation with a Piper L-4, a World War Two …

EC04 Design Wins 2016 Berblinger Prize

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A Big Win for Stuttgart Team Dipl-Ing Ingmar Geiß, Deputy Project Leader for e-Genius at the Institute of Aircraft Design at the University of Stuttgart, shared this pleasant news:  “I am happy to tell you that our hybrid-electric “ECO4” has won the Berblinger Prize 2016.  ECO4 combines an optimized electric airframe with a modern combustion engine generating electricity. This combination leads to an aircraft which cruises at 120 knots and consumes 40 percent less fuel than comparable state-of-the-art airplanes with conventional propulsion. As a further advantage, a small but powerful battery system enables a silent take-off without the combustion engine running, reducing significantly the noise emissions.”   The Berblinger Prize Gunter Czisch, mayor of Ulm, presented the 23,000 euro ($24,035 …

e-Genius Crosses the Alps on Battery Power – Twice!

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

It makes your editor’s morning to receive such wonderful emails.  Dipl. Ing. Ingmar Geiß, Deputy Project Manager for Overall Aircraft Systems on e-Genius wrote the following: “We had a great Saturday – we flew from Stuttgart over the Alps to Italy, recharged the batteries and flew back on the same day!  For us, this shows the practicability of battery powered aircraft and we think this is a milestone towards an eco-friendly and efficient aviation.” The e-Genius web page on the University of Stuttgart site expands on the story, describing the flight’s accomplishment. “A milestone towards an energy efficient and carbon-neutral aviation has been reached.” While Americans rested up for their Fourth of July festivities, “Saturday morning, the electric aircraft “e-Genius” …

e-Genius, Klaus Ohlmann Set Records, Records, Records!

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“Records, Records, Records!” heads the news on the Institut for Flugzeugbau (IFB) web site this morning.  The sub-head reads, “Experienced hands plus a high-performance airplane plus one week equals seven world records.”  Admitting to fuzzy math, the writer still draws a clear line to the seven records.  Klaus and e-Genius spent the third week of July in Seeres – La Bâtie, France where they achieved seven FAI (Fédération Aéronautique International) World Records in the Category of Electric Airplanes. According to the IFB, “In two flights (July 18th and 19th) he attained: – Speed on a 100 km round trip : 178.1 kilometers per hour (96 knots, or 110.4 mph) – Speed on a 500 km round trip : 93.03 km/h …

Green Speed Cup Day Two – A Clear Winner

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Robert Adam, one of the organizers of the Green Speed Cup in Germany and pilot of the Flight Design CTLS that ended the competition in seventh place, shared some information on the challenges faced by pilots in this year’s event. “We had 12-15 knots crosswind today (only a little less yesterday) and Tim-Peter (-Voss) managed this demanding taildragger (the SPACEK s.r.o. SD-1 microlight) calmly!”  This very light and short-coupled airplane flies with a variety of two- and four-stroke engines, but Voss’ had a Verner JVC-360 four-stroke unit of 38 horsepower.  It averaged a little over four liters per hour fuel consumption per 100 kilometers (59 mpg) over the practice day and two contest days.  In the Green Flight Challenge, it would …

Electravia Makes a Good Showing at Aero Expo

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Anne Lavrand, founder and President of Electravia, continues to find ways to expand her company’s product offerings while offering well-integrated packages of reasonably-priced electric aircraft and components. At this year’s Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany, her firm displayed the fuselage of the Electrolight 2, a modified Fauconnet sailplane, fitted with a 30-hp Lynch-type motor, controller, and batteries.  It is the least expensive electric motorglider on the market at only 30,000 Euros ($39,600), and allows powered flight for recharging costs of about 0.65 Euros per hour (86 cents).  The motor, normally graced by one of Anne’s wooden e-Props, had a forward-folding “clap propeller” or “bec de canard” (literally, the beak of the duck), a variant on the light carbon fiber propellers …