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 …

Pikes Peak 2014

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Despite only three electric motorcycle entries this year (Zero alone fielded six production bikes last year) of 65 total, and seven automobiles in production and modified categories of 70 total entrants, upsets ensued on both two wheels and four at the 2014 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The three electric motorcycles all finished and did well. The Brutus V2 is not the most powerful electric motorcycle to ever make it up the Peak.  Chip Yates’ 2011 ride had a 258-horsepower UQM motor and was probably more brutal than Brutus.  But this year’s results, even with far less power, show that weight, balance and handling probably count in the mix, too. Yates managed a motorcycle record of 12.50 minutes in 2011, …