Pipistrel’s Plans Evolve in Exciting Ways

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

In its 30th year, Pipistrel is making many changes, from a crisp new logo to new emphases and technologies.  Its 801, intended for Uber’s Urban Air Mobility program, will segue into a cargo version and return later after the firm gains experience with deliveries.  Meanwhile, Pipistrel will concentrate on developing a 19-seat, 300-mile range regional airliner while growing its global outreach for personal aircraft.  Pipistrel is evolving and flourishing in exciting new ways. From Hang Gliders to Global Reach Ivo Boscarol, founder, owner and president of Pipistrel companies, CEO of Pipistrel d.o.o. Shares a look at his firm’s three-decade history and plans for the near future. Pipistrel reports in its newsletter, “The information that Pipistrel is running a program developing …

Joby and Uber Elevate Form Partnership

Dean Sigler Announcements, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

In a new partnership agreement, Uber Elevate recently added Joby Aviation to its stable of aircraft companies which are to supply craft for its Urban Air Mobility program.  Joby builds electric motors, 12 of which line the wing of NASA’s X-57 Maxwell, with two larger motors for forward thrust when the small units are shut down. This inventory of electric motors on the NASA project gives Joby a certain entrée to interest from the Urban Air Mobility movement, and it’s received that interest from Uber.  Well financed in its own right, Joby has committed to meeting Uber’s desire to have operating sky taxis in the air by 2023, as reported by Andrew J. Hawkins in The Verge. We have written …

Atea Looks Like a Cessna Overhead

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

French company Ascendance Flight Technologies offers a four-seat design that combines hybrid propulsion with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities, and then scoots around on conventional wings.  Etea’s technology seems a lot like that of Pipistrel’s 801 or several other eVTOLs. Some Historical Perspective The design team at Ascendance comes from Airbus, and claims to have made the first electric aircraft flight across the English Channel with the E-Fan 2.0.  Your editor offers a few minor inclusions. First, as we reported on October 10, 2009, “Gerard Thevenot, a long-time championship-level hang-glider pilot, celebrated the centennial of Louis Bleriot’s flight across la Manche by flying his hydrogen-powered La Mouette hang glider over roughly the same route Bleriot took between Calais and Dover on …

A L.E.A.P. Forward for Electro.Aero

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Heady Ambitions Joshua Portlock, Co-founder, Director and Chief Technology Officer for Electro.Aero in Perth, Australia, has a heady set of ambitions.  He and Rob Belaga presented a simple electric vertical takeoff and landing machine, FlyKart, at two different symposia in northern California two years ago, and presented a refined version for the Boeing GoFly competition shortly thereafter.  They’ve made it to the finals of the $2,000,000 contest and will be in the February, 2020 flyoff. In the meantime, he’s started a flight training program using Pipistrel’s Alpha Electro trainer, and is partnering with an almost bewildering  set of industry, government and academic leaders, including Ampaire, Bye Aerospace, E/S/Aero, NASA, Pipistrel, University of Western Australia, and Zero Emissions Vehicles Australia.  Joshua …

Sustainable Aviation Symposium 2019

Dean Sigler Announcements, SAS, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The 2019 Sustainable Aviation Symposium is moving to a new date and location – and a new inclusiveness. The University of California, Berkeley Institute for Transportation Studies (ITS) will host the 2019 Sustainable Aviation Symposium (SAS) on October 7-8 of 2019.  SAS 2019 is focused on safe, quiet, electric aviation solutions to the most pressing problems of our age: climate change, urban surface gridlock, and the need for integrated community and urban planning to enable high proximity aviation at meaningful scale. Dr. Jasenka Rakas, founder and head of the Airport Design Studio at the University of California at Berkeley, and Sustainable Aviation Foundation founder and President Dr. Brien Seeley will co-chair the meeting that will present a challenging review of aviation’s …

Biofuels from Many Sources

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We’ve looked at an array of different biofuel sources ranging from used cooking oil and algae to farm and municipal waste.  This is essential as the percentage of airline emissions becomes a bigger part of our overall greenhouse gas situation.   The Guardian reports, “A 2017 estimate said air travel accounted for 2.5% of all carbon dioxide emissions, with the total emissions expected to quadruple by 2050.”We’ll look here at how some of the early efforts have panned out and examine a late-breaking surprise or two. Mustard Seeds? According to the Guardian, “A Qantas plane powered partly by mustard seeds has become the world’s first biofuel flight between Australia and the United States, after landing in Melbourne on [January 30, 2018].” …

Referencing Uber’s Elevated Challenge

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

We can tell things are heating up in the electric aircraft marketplace.  Established aircraft companies are investing (Boeing and Airbus for starters), growing numbers are planning for electrified and autonomous future flight (Uber Elevate Summit), and an absolute plethora of new designs are tumbling forth from an aeronautical cornucopia.  Their video of an Uber sky taxi ride illustrates the charm of the idea. A Common Reference Uber provided two common reference eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) reference models for partners to emulate.  Both seem to share a common passenger pod with an unusually long tail boom. Perhaps taking the 2011 Green Flight Challenge as his reference point, Mark Moore explained how Uber inspires others to give their best efforts …

Pipistrel’s Tine Tomazic Tours West Coast for eVTOL

Dean Sigler Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Visiting Los Angeles for UBER’s second Annual Elevate Summit on May 8, Tine Tomazic and Igor Perkon presented Pipistrel’s new electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) concept.  As described in their press release, Pipistrel’s new design “utilizes dedicated propulsion systems for both cruising and vertical lift and embraces an aircraft styled family approach of eVTOL able to carry between 2 to 6 passengers.” Mark Moore, UBER’s Director of Engineering, attempted to find out about the “sauce” that helps make Pipistrel’s eVTOL concept unique, but was deflected by Tine’s response that the “airplane” (important distinction) would be a “cruise plus lift” machine, emphasizing speed of transit, but relying on electric power to provide vertical lift.  He also noted that propulsion would …

MAHEPA, Modularizing the Approach to Clean Flight

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Pipistrel, itself flying pure electric and hybrid aircraft, has announced its participation in MAHEPA, a Modular Approach to Hybrid-Electric Propulsion Architecture.  MAHEPA aims to,” reduce the gap between research and the production of low-emission propulsion technologies that would enable the achievement of environmental objectives in the field of aviation by 2050.”  Mahepa’s first meeting, held May 15 and 16 at Pipistrel’s headquarters at Ajdovscina (Slovenia), helped define the direction for a major academic/industry project. Led by the aircraft manufacturer, in cooperation with Compact Dynamics, DLR (Germany’s equivalent of NASA), the University of Ulm, H2Fly, Politecnico di Milano, TU Delft and University of Maribor, project goals are impressive. – “To boost research in the field of low emission propulsion technology to …

Uber Elevate Summit Announces Sky Taxis by 2020

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

A scad of news about electric aircraft hit the internet and newsstands last week.  Even USA Today reported on the Uber Elevate Summit in Dallas, Texas – held with many of the participants in the 2017 Sustainable Aviation Symposium a few days before. Big news came from Uber’s announcement that it intends to offer electric VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi service in Dallas and Dubai by 2020.  Bigger news for SAS participants is that it is partnering with Pipistrel and Aurora Flight Sciences, both presenting at the San Francisco event.  Jeff Holden, Uber’s chief product officer, said Bell Helicopters, Brazil’s Embraer, and Mooney Aircraft would also provide “concepts and technologies” for the near-term launch. According to Aviation Daily, …