Michael Friend’s Spark Solo

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

“The Quest for a Truly Practical Electric Touring Motor-Glider” Mike Friend is not your typical retired aircraft executive.  As Technical Director for Boeing, he oversaw “the first manned fixed wing aircraft powered by a hydrogen fuel cell/lithium ion battery powerplant that first flew back in 2008.”  He’s been associated with green energy projects since then, including work on the Boeing-supported Zunum project, a set of 10- to 50-passenger electric hybrid airliners.  On the personal front, he hopes to design and build the Spark Solo, a single-seat electric motorglider that will enable cross-country flights from his home base of Bremerton (Washington) Regional Airport. Working with Gabriel DeVault Motorgliders make a good combination with battery power.  Their clean lines enable using low …

Eurosport Crossover Sports Many Tricks

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

We’re used to seeing motorgliders which pop an engine or motor up on a tall stalk behind the cockpit, then retract it into the slim tailboom for minimum drag.  Why not do the same with two electric motors on each side of the airplane, tucking them in a slender fuselage for soaring? Emails with Eurosport’s Tom Leite and perusal of the Portuguese firm’s web site and on-line brochure verified that almost everything on the Crossover motorglider is electric and retractable. Tom notes, for instance, “Our motor/props fold into the fuselage: [they are] 3-phase PMSM motors up to 40Kw at takeoff each.”  In the video, see the long, spar web-like structure with lightening holes that separates the two motors as they …