EAS VIII – A Day and a Half You’ll Never Forget

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Who would pass up a chance to stay at a nice resort, attend lectures that challenge and inspire, and meet at poolside with speakers who bring some of the sharpest minds in the world to bear on some of the biggest problems we all face?  Let’s face it.  Global warming probably won’t be going away anytime soon, and aviation seems destined to play a bigger part in polluting our otherwise near-perfect atmosphere. Unless…we learn how to make our favorite activity (in the top five for most of us, anyway), into a more responsible way to travel and recreate.  Since solving the problems which go with that responsibility will involve the best in aerodynamics, power systems and new, efficient technology, the CAFE Foundation has invited experts in these fields with demonstrated successes in meeting such challenges. To be held April 25 and 26, 2014 at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California, the event will host speakers on everything from practical, …

Call for EAS VIII Papers

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and president of the CAFE Foundation, shared this message today. “The CAFE Foundation is accepting presentation proposals for the 8th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, to be held April 25-26, 2014 in Santa Rosa, California. This international graduate level program will cover a comprehensive range of topics and will emphasize the latest breakthroughs in the rapidly growing domain of electric powered aircraft.  Faculty and attendees will include experts from leading aerospace, electronics and energy companies. Topics will include aerodynamics, motors, energy storage, energy harvesting, control systems, recreational aircraft, propulsion, robotics, avionics, airspace integration, manufacturing, business cases and airport land uses. “Interested parties should email inquiries and abstracts to: cafe400@sonic.net“

Flying e-Genius for Two Years

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

At this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium, Rudolf Voit Nitschmann, Len Schumann, and Ingmar Geiss shared their well-documented experiences with e-Genius, second place winner in 2011’s Green Flight Challenge.  Flown by Erik Raymond and Klauss Ohlmann, the airplane managed 397.5 passenger miles per gallon on its 200-mile trek around a closed circuit between Santa Rosa, California and the distant geothermal power plants that provided the electricity for its flight. As Voit Nitschmann, leader of the e-Genius team since 2005 noted, one must design electric aircraft around the beneficial aspects of such vehicles to gain the greatest performance.  Originally slated to be hydrogen powered, e-Genius mounts its 59-pound motor on the leading edge of the vertical rudder, more difficult with a heavier internal-combustion engine.  This permits ample propeller clearance, provides blade protection and allows a short, retractable landing gear that is light and simple. With no turbulent flow over the nose, the cockpit can be streamlined like that of a sailplane and …

Pipistrel Shares Three New Products and Springs a Surprise

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Slovenia, a tiny country which can be seen in its entirety from a light airplane, makes an astonishing array of such vehicles at the Pipistrel factory, awarded a European Union prize as the epitome of green manufacturing facilities. The company uses solar energy to power its operation and reports the number of kilowatts flowing through its plant on its web site. Naturally, we’d expect an environmentally responsible firm to build environmentally responsible products, and Pipistrel is committed to going green.  Dr. Gregor Veble, Head of Research in the Research and Development Department; and Tine Tomažič, researcher and designer, shared a multiplicity of new products and gave an all-too-brief glimpse of a surprising future project with participants at the seventh annual Electric Aircraft Symposium at Santa Rosa, California. With over 300 of their two-seat Sinus and Virus aircraft in service, and 50 Taurus G-2 recreational motor gliders surfing the high mountain waves, Pipistrel has a growing customer base, and seems to …

Seventh Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium Unveils New Technology

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Feedback, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

This year’s CAFE Foundation Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California had surprises from several sources, including new aircraft, batteries, and materials that will help make the future a good place to be.  Some technologies are maturing and some are about to spring forth in ways we won’t see coming. We’ll be looking at each presentation in detail in future postings, but know for certain that the electric aircraft movement is turning a corner as things become integrated in an ever-quicker progression.  We will see significant announcements in the next few months. The Symposium included not only technology, but seriously looked at how neighborhoods and society in general can integrate these new technologies in a more responsible way than the current helter-skelter world which pulls us away from family and community.  What point is there in having magical things and messy lives?

Panthera rollout and first engine start

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On March 28, Pipistrel rolled out its prototype Panthera, a sleek four-seat cruiser destined to be the first production hybrid aircraft and eventually, Pipistrel’s second four-seat electric airplane. It is currently powered by a Lycoming IO-390, 210 horsepower engine.  At Pipistrel’s factory in Ajdovscina, Slovenia a team of engineers and technicians fired up the engine for the first time and performed ground runs, “verifying design parameters and engine operation.” Pipistrel’s press release quotes Ivo Boscarol, their CEO: “It is very exciting to witness the tests and see the aeroplane come to life for the very first time. This is definitely a very important milestone in the development of Panthera. We look forward to the continuation of tests and the first flight soon!” With the Lycoming powerplant, Panthera can take four people 1,000 nautical miles (1,150 statute miles while cruising at 200 knots (230 mph) and burning 10 gallons of avgas per hour – 92 passenger miles per gallon.   While not …

Embry Riddle Begins GFC Test Flights

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

On August 23, 2011, the Embry Riddle Aeronautical University’s Green Flight Challenge hybrid-powered modified Stemme S10, the Eco-Eagle, began its ground tests on the Daytona Beach International taxiways, “Getting ATC used to us!”   The next day saw several ground-skimming “flights,” starting at 2-feet, and rising to 10 and 50-feet high runs, all with the gear down.  The day’s flights ended with a trip around the pattern for the airport’s longest runway. August 25 saw a morning excursion of 45 minutes, with the airplane flying in the face of the approaching Hurricane Irene.  Test pilot Mikhael Ponso reported beautiful clouds and no high winds during the seven laps around the field.  As he tested the gear retraction and various flap settings, he was able to sort things out for the upcoming GFC flights in Santa Rosa, California during the last week in September. The school’s Eco-Eagle has a Rotax hybrid-power system originally developed for Flight Design, a German firm that builds …

Google to Sponsor Green Flight Challenge

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google to bring historic firsts to aviation Aviation’s largest ever prize to be awarded at Moffett Field October 3 during exposition hosted by NASA SANTA ROSA, CA (July 29, 2011) – The CAFE Foundation announced today that Google will sponsor the NASA Centennial Challenge flight competition known as the Green Flight Challenge (GFC). CAFE (Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) will conduct the event from September 25 through October 2, 2011 at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport.  The NASA-funded prize purse of $1.65M makes this the largest ever prize for aviation.  Competing aircraft must demonstrate at least 100 mph and 200 passenger MPG on a 200 mile flight.  The aircraft in the Green Flight Challenge sponsored by Google represent a diverse mix of singular prototypes created expressly for the competition by some of the world’s top designers. Most will be propelled by batteries and electric motors, some by bio-fuel or hybrid. All competing aircraft will be …

5th Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium Launches New Age of Flight

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Dr. Brien Seeley, founder and President of the CAFE Foundation, shares this important news. SANTA ROSA, CA.—On April 29-30, 2011, an outstanding faculty from NASA, industry and academia will present the technologies necessary to inaugurate the Age of Electric Flight.  The 5th Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS V) will reveal how safe, emission-free, 2-4 seat electric aircraft could soon make a doorstep-to-doorstep round trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles on a single battery charge at nearly twice the overall trip speed of airline travel.  The latest breakthroughs in energy storage, motors, quiet propulsion, powered lift, electronic pilot assistance, autonomous flight and aerodynamics will be presented along with proposals for how they can transform transportation. EAS V will again network its faculty with the attendees, including venture capitalists, leaders of the aircraft industry, government researchers and aviation enthusiasts in the highly successful evening Theme Dinners in the Grand Ballroom of the Flamingo Resort and Spa in Santa Rosa, California.  As …