Siemens Unveils a Little Something Extra

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Extra 330Ls have a long nose, usually cowling a Lycoming IO-540 or -580.  The 330 EL, though, houses 14 battery packs of 18.6 kilowatt-hours each (according to InfoAvion, an Argentinian publication), all to allow the Siemens D-SP260 to flex its 300 horsepower muscle and demonstrate what 1,000 Newton-meters (737 foot-pounds) of torque can do for vertical rolls. Flying Magazine thought that its display at AERO Friedrichshafen in Germany “could be a harbinger of the future of emission-free airshow performances.” Siemens intends to use the 330LE for flight test and optimization of a electric propulsion system based on the 50 kilogram (110 pound) motor on display.  Even the large battery array under the clear plastic cover (for Friedrichshafen only, one presumes, although it would be a style leader on any airfield) will give only about 15 to 20 minutes of wide-open airshow power, enough for a great routine, lacking only the airshow noise.  We’re all looking forward to a demonstration.

Big Frog Diesel Racer – A Different Kind of Green

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

There are only 10 Nemesis NXT racers in the world, and one happens to be in France, getting tuned up to compete in this year’s Reno Air Races in about 10 weeks.  On display last month at the Paris Air Show, the lightweight, carbon-fiber racer lacked the usual Lycoming IO-540 engine, a six-cylinder powerplant that cruises the 1,500 pound two-seater at 325 miles per hour. Aviation International News Online’s Olivia Saucier reported, “The Big Frog racer is getting attention for more than just its tongue-in-cheek patriotic name. The French aircraft is the first carbon-fiber race plane to run on a Diesel engine powered purely by jet-A fuel. And it is turning heads here at the Le Bourget show. “Big Frog is the brainchild of three pilots–Frank Doyen, Mario Soave and Willy Gruhier – who dreamed up the project in 2005. They wanted to prove that a high-performance aircraft with a Diesel engine could win the prestigious Reno National Championship Air …