Elektra Trainer Certified

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

Calin Gologan has been in the electric and solar-powered airplane business for a long time.  Displaying and flying his Elektra One at Oshkosh, Wisconsin in 2011, he was early to the game.  Now, with the  his Elektra Trainer certified, relatively inexpensive flight training is imminent. Birgit Weissenbach announced the June 29 maiden flight, subsequent test flying, and January 19, 2023 certification of Elektra Solar’s two-seat, side-by-side trainer.  In a 20-minute flight from Memmingen International Airport, taking off in less than 100 meters (328 feet), the craft confirmed “the extraordinary characteristics of the aircraft, which even exceeded the expectations of the developers.”  Certification came from DULV (Deutschen Ultraleichtflugverbandes, or German Ultralight Association), as the representative of the Federal Ministry for Digital …

Longer Aerial Commutes to Affordability

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

Exurbs and Extended Range Urban Air Mobility (UAM) may be only a small part of electric aerial transport in the next decade.   Longer-range vehicles may enable longer aerial commutes to affordable country homes. Cities are becoming too expensive for most families, and examples abound of commuters traveling over 100 miles to and from work.  Two years ago in San Francisco, for instance, the cheapest home (a true “fixer-upper”) was listed at $699,900, a sum that used to include significant acreage and servants’ quarters.  A “typical” home price in SFO is over $1,400,000.  As a result, workers travel from places like Manteca, 76.4 miles downtown to downtown and one hour, 35 minutes in a car on a good day.  Manteca’s homes …

Solar Flight Calendar: Just in Time for the Holidays

Dean Sigler Announcements, Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A Glorious Calendar Eric and Irina Raymond, besides being skilled solar-powered airplane builders, designers, and pilots are also professional photographers.  Their 2020 Solar Flight calendar highlights all those skills and provides historical background for their work.  Besides that – it’s gorgeous. With a baker’s dozen stunning color photos, and historical black-and-white archival images on the back of each month’s offering, the calendar is a nice blend of modern artistry and the chronicle of an eventful past.  Did you know, for instance, that Eric flew the first solar-powered aircraft across America in 1990 – 23 years before Solar Impulse’s journey? One episode on Eric’s blog is worthy of attention.  “At my slow flying speed, I often flew in formation with flocks …

Sunseeker Duo Goes Dual

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Irena Raymond became the first passenger of a solar-powered airplane recently, even taking over control of the Sunseeker Duo she and husband Eric built over the last several years.  Her thoughts provoke awe and envy. “Flying the Duo, skimming the white fluffy clouds from above and playing on the sky, I feel like a bird. No limitations, a pure freedom. It’s so quiet! Compared to a normal airplane, it’s like night and day. You need a very good headset in every other powered airplane, but in this airplane you can speak normally even when the motor is running full power, no headset needed. It is unbelievable.” Eric provides some hard data to complement Irena’s understandably poetic words.  “I am expanding the …