Joby “Unicorn” Gains Private, Military Backing

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

NOTICE: We are publishing this entry despite not being able to download fixed images into the file.  We will have that repaired soon, but want the news to go out in the meantime.  Practice patience in the meantime.  Thank you.  Joby Aviation is one of few “unicorns” in the electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) market, a billion-dollar enterprise.  With funding coming from Toyota, several venture capital investors, Uber and the U. S. Army, Joby seems poised to demonstrate Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in a serious way. In 2011 JoeBen Bevirt, founder of Joby Energy, Joby Aviation, and creator of those knobby-looking tripods you see everywhere, invited Patrick McLaughlin to visit his design studio.  Your editor got to tag …

Norway and the Netherlands Electrifying Aviation

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

Two European states that will benefit from the electrification of short-range airline flights are becoming strong proponents of new technology.  Norwegian Would The Guardian headlined its article on greener airlines this way: “Norway aims for all short-haul flights to be 100% electric by 2040.”   A subheadline explained, “It already has more electric cars than any other country in the world and also has shipping projects underway.”  That’s in terms of market share, with electric and hybrid vehicles representing more than half of new car registrations in 2017.  Avinor, the public operation of Norway’s airports, says short-haul airliners should be entirely electric by 2040, cementing the Nordic nation’s role as a pioneer in the field of electric transport.  Chief executive Dag …

Solar Impulse Word of the Day – Penultimate

Dean Sigler Solar Power, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Headlines all over the world are sharing the word of the day – penultimate, meaning the next to the last* – in this case the next to last flight for Solar Impulse 2. The Guardian newspaper explained, “After setting off from Seville on Monday morning, the plane passed through Algerian, Tunisian, Italian and Greek airspace, and flew over the Giza Pyramids before touching down at Cairo airport at around 7.10am (5.10am GMT). Its support crew cheered as the plane, no heavier than a car but with the wingspan of a Boeing 747, landed, and trailed after it on bicycles.” Which brings up a question – why are the guys on foot outrunning the guys on the expensive electric bicycles? Certainly, …

Increasing biofuel Production 20 Times

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

What if, instead of using corn to make ethanol, we were to use corn stover, the waste stalks, leaves and non-edible portions of the corn plant?  It’s not a new or novel idea, but Michigan State University researchers have taken a new direction in extracting energy from it. The East Lansing research team has managed to produce 20 times more energy than through the use of existing methods by using microbes to “produce biofuel and hydrogen, all while consuming agricultural wastes.” The method combines biological, chemical and electrical reactions to generate fuel and energy.  Gemma Regurera, an MSU microbiologist,” has developed bioelectrochemical systems known as microbial electrolysis cells, or MECs, using bacteria to break down and ferment agricultural waste into …