Eviation’s Alice Involved in Fire

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

Time magazine lauded Eviation’s Alice last year, ranking it as one of the 100 Best Inventions of 2019.  Alex Fitzpatrick compared its green goodness to the GHG-loaded nature of commercial aviation.  “Flying is dirty work—the aviation industry emits nearly a quarter of total transportation-­related greenhouse-­gas emissions in the U.S., according to the EPA. One way to clean it up could be ­Eviation’s all-electric Alice, an Israeli-made nine-seater meant to convince the gas-­guzzling aviation world that electric power is ready for takeoff. “The real innovation is in the lightweight materials rather than the batteries and motors and controllers and all that,” says Eviation CEO Omer Bar-Yohay. If successful, the design could pave the way for larger electric commercial aircraft. Alice, which …

Project 804 Turns Turboprop into Hybrid

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Uniting Technologies United Technologies, an aerospace leader, expands its role as United Technologies Advanced Projects (UTAP), uniting Pratt & Whitney, Collins Aerospace, United Technologies Research Center “and certain as-yet-unannounced external institutions.”  The organization’s Project 804. A hybrid-electric “X-plane” intended to reduce aircraft noise, improve fuel consumption, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and cut airline operating and maintenance costs. As exciting as the prospect sounds, the new aircraft probably won’t draw a lot of attention on the ramp.  It will look pretty much like a DeHavilland Dash 8-400, a short-to-mid range passenger hauler at just about every commercial airport in the world.  It is, indeed, a Dash 8, converted to a new and innovative hybrid-turbine power system. Entering service in 1984 as …

Tecnalia Aerotaxi Levels with Reasonable Goals

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

Tecnalia, a Spanish technology and engineering firm, presented its Aerotaxi at the Paris Air Show this year.  The company demonstrates a way to make automated flight a little less perturbing to the anxious public, keeping the platform on the straight and level during all phases of flight.  It does this with four gimbaled sets of four propellers, which do all the pivoting and changes of angle while leaving the passenger compartment in a constant plane.  This should do a great deal to calm the reluctant flyer. Tecnalia adds, “Joseba Lasa, one of the people responsible for the development, explained that “the main novelty of Tecnalia’s aircraft lies in the fact that the architecture allows the cabin to maintain its orientation …

A Huge Battery with an Airplane Painted On It

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

Eviation, an Israeli company developing Alice, a high-speed, intermediate-distance commuter airplane, brought its prototype to the Paris Air Show this week.  Eviation co-founder and CEO Omer Bar-Yohay gave journalists a 27-minute overview of the aircraft, the philosophy behind it, and projections on its immediate future. “It’s basically a huge battery with some plane painted on it,” he told reporters. The 6,350 kilogram (13,970 pound) airplane carries 900 kilowatt-hours of batteries, equivalent to the cells in nine Tesla S P100D automobiles or one Tesla semi-truck.  Even that, according to rough figuring by yours truly and polished calculations by a smarter reader, seems to provide for only half the necessary energy to provide the range Eviation claims.  Will flight tests prove us …

Pipistrel Electrics in America and France

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

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Pipistrel rolled out its new 801 at the UBER Elevate Summit in Washington, D. C. last week and is flying its Alpha Electro Trainer at the Paris Air Show all this week. Launching the 801 at UBER Elevate Dr. Tine Tomažič, Pipistrel’s Director of Research & Development, was a keynote speaker at the conference in Washington, D.C. on June 11, where he presented just enough to whet appetites for more on the coming 801 eVTOL design.  His final touch – presenting an ostensibly realistic recording of the 801’s sound, demonstrated how quiet the vehicle will be. That’s accounted for by the eight fans being tuned to different frequencies, cancelling each other out like the dynamics in …

Euro/Israeli hybrid Powers Neat Italian ULM

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Great minds tend in the same directions.  Newton and Leibniz both came up with the calculus at roughly the same time, both goaded to develop a way to determine the orbit of Halley’s Comet.  So it’s no surprise that two different groups would come up with similar solutions to developing a backup hybrid system for light aircraft.  Within weeks of one another, Spain’s UC3M and Israel’s Ashot Ashkelon both unveiled add-on hybrid systems for Rotax engines. Aviation Week identifies the second team’s players in its report.  “An innovative hybrid propulsion system (HPS) for light aircraft – manned or unmanned – is being unveiled here at the Paris Air Show. The HPS was developed by an international consortium headed by Israel’s …

EAS VIII: Across the Atlantic – Twice

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Jean-Luc Soullier, holder of Fédération Aéronautique Internationale records for speed and altitude in an aircraft almost lighter than its pilot, has a greater series of ambitions to expand the range and speed of electric aircraft. Having stretched the limits of his Colomban MC-30e with two different motors, he’s looking at a longer-spanned, cleaner aircraft – the Windward Performance Duckhawk – as a means of getting higher speed and much longer range for a truly formidable (tres formidable) crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, not once, but twice. The airplane, with a Rotex motor on the nose and a specially-designed Arplast three-bladed propeller, will weigh a mere 105 kilograms (231 pounds) empty – without batteries. This is considerably less than the lightest …

Would You Believe There Are Four Electric Cri-Cri’s?

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Three electric MC-15 Colomban Cri-Cri’s have been flying for at least the last two years.  Jean-Luc Soullier created one which flew with Plettenberg model motors.  Airbus crafted one with four Rotex motors and counter-rotating propellers on each mount.  Anne Lavrand’s Electravia converted a Cri-Cri to use her motors for speed record attempts. Now they are joined by the MC-15E built by Mr. Toon Jacobs and shown at the Federation RSA ( Network of Sport Air ) Rally 2013 in Vichy, France.  The RSA, as one would guess, is the French equivalent of America’s Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Electravia provided the E-Motor GMPE 104 motors, controllers, E=Helices 370 gram (one pound, 13 ounces), 83 centimeter (32.7 inches) propellers and the E-Batts 3 kilowatt-hour battery pack.  An Electravia …

Electric Green Taxiing System Quietly Enters Paris Air Show

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Honeywell and Safran have teamed up to create EGTS International, a company that makes Electric Green Taxiing Systems for airliners.  Honeywell has extensive experience with auxiliary power systems and Safran makes “world-class landing gear systems.”  Put them together and you have the self-powered landing gear which made its public debut at the Paris Air Show this week.   Others have been working on the same type of system, but  EGTS is the first to show the technology off at an air show. Besides making the display Airbus A320 one of the quietest airplanes moving across the tarmac at the show, the system could save airlines up to four percent per flight on fuel burn.  As the EGTS web site explains, …

The Little Firefly That Could

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

This little airplane is the fastest in its category in the world, unofficially. Flying from Koksijde, Belgium’s military airport, it clocked 189.87 kilometers per hour (117.7 mph) over a 15-kilometer straight-line course, a big improvement over its official speed record set on February 27 of this year. It also holds the official altitude and distance record in its class. Designed by Michel Colomban, one of the engineers for the Concorde, the MC-30 Luciole (Firefly) has a structure weighing only 98 pounds, ideal for adding heavy battery packs as part of its electrification. Its Lynch-type motor, controller and batteries were supplied by Anne Lavrand at Electravia, and have flown in the MC-30 for over a year. These are similar to the motors used …