The Second Electric Airplane to Fly in Oregon

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

Ken Dawe and Vim Toutenhoofd own a pair of Aeriane Swifts (“Manufactured and Improved by Aeriane since 1993”) powered flying wings they hangar at a small airport outside Newberg, Oregon.  Vim’s has a single-cylinder, two-stroke engine for self-launching and Ken’s has the Eck-Geiger HPD-10, 10-kilowatt motor, controller and battery system, as part of the Icaro 2000 setup designed and sold by Manfred Ruhmer. After Vim and Ken studied the videos left by Manfred Ruhmer on charging the batteries and hooking everything up,  and a few frustrating delays (flat tires mainly), Ken was able to start the motor, taxi out and take off.  The craft showed a good rate of climb and full control of the ultralight airplane.  The wing alone weighs around 100 pounds, the pod and electrical components might add another 100, and Ken doesn’t look over 150 pounds.  The 350-pound total takeoff weight seemed to accelerate and climb well on the 13 horsepower available, with the 1.4-meter (4.6-foot) …

Berblinger Flight Competition Winners for 2011

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The town of Ulm, Germany holds an annual Berblinger Prize competition to honor the memory of the Little Tailor of Ulm, Albrecht Berblinger, who attempted to fly an early hang glider across the Danube in 1811.  This 200th anniversary year has been marked by special celebrations, including an ambitious aerial challenge for “green” aircraft. 36 applicants were pared to 24 participants in the actual flight competition, and on April 15, a mere 13 started on the flight between Friedrichshafen and Ulm and return.   Eight were able to complete the exercise, according to contest officials.  The rest were unable to compete or finish, “due to insufficient financial backing, technical difficulties or the absence of the appropriate flying licenses the remaining competitors were not able to take part in the practical phase of the competition.” Judging criteria overseen by an “independent jury comprising experts from the aerospace industry, representatives of universities and research institutes, aviation historians and representatives of the town of …

A Swiss Swift

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Feedback, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Editor’s note: Livio Mengotti sent this comment regarding Dr. Steve Morris’s Swift’s first  flights in California, under the pilotage of Brian Porter.  (See “A Manned Swift Takes Flight,” March 1, 2010.) The videos are self-explanatory and filled with technical detail. Based on the videos, Switzerland is filled with open fields and glorious vistas awaiting aerial exploitation. Compare Livio’s undercarriage and pilot accommodations with those of Morris’s craft and the pod on Manfred Ruhmer’s Swift conversion.  Note, also, that the motor is mounted on the front of the wing, instead of behind it, as on the other two examples.  Congratulations for your performance! I built an electric Swift too. I made two flights on April 2010. I can mount and remove the motor and the rechargeable battery with 5 bolts. So I can flight the Swift also without engine as a hang glider. All the best for the further development of your Swift Livio Mengotti

Cutting Grass with Manfred Ruhmer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Uncategorized Leave a Comment

Manfred Ruhmer has designed a motorized trike for the Laminar wing under which he has flown to world champion status three times, and achieved a world record flight of 701 kilometers (434.62 miles).  The trike can be powered with a Simonini two-stroke or Bailey four-stroke engine, or the Geiger/Eck electric motor/controller/folding propeller combination. Here, Manfred shows off some of his world-class flying skills.  Note that about 40 seconds into the video, the landing gear has picked up some vegetation.  Later, at around the 2:00 mark, the streamers reappear.  Whether this is from the grassy field from which Manfred flies, or some very low passes, is open to speculation. The Icaro 2000 site is useful for making some important comparisons between the IC engine options and the electric flyer. Each of the two engines’ installed weights is 18.3 kilograms (40.26 pounds), and the fuel tank for either holds 8 liters of fuel.  Icaro claims both engines consume about 2 to 2.5 liters per hour, giving up …