Doubling Down with Ascendance

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

Ascendance Flight Technologies, a French firm developing an electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, has doubled down on its original, smaller airplane.  Originally a four-seat, hybrid-powered machine with three lift fans, Atea has retained the name, but grown considerably. Holey Wings Atea now has eight lift fans and two horizontal propellers arranged in a push-pull configuration.  It can carry its five passenger in a “Skyview cabin” for 400 kilometers (248 miles)  Powered by its modular “Sterna” hybrid-electric propulsion system, the craft will hit as yet unspecified speeds, but within a two-hour range, that will probably be about 124 mph. An expansion of their original design, Atea comes from a group of former Airbus e-Fan engineers and technicians.  The …

Drones Meeting the Corona Virus Challenge

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

“Ramadan Mubarak, Dean! “As a kid who grew up in the ’80s, I thought by 2020 we’d have flying cars and a clean planet, and yet here we are grappling with a global pandemic and much uncertainty in these very strange times.” This greeting from Hani Almadhoun, Director of Philanthropy for  the the United Nations Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. UNRWA USA, reminds us of our common humanity and spirituality while lamenting the fact that we don’t yet have those long-promised flying cars or at least a well-looked-after planet. Like the virus, the unfulfilled dream of a “flying car” seems universal. Faced with an imperfect reality, fixed- and rotary-wing drones are showing their worth in fighting the …

Hydrogen-powered Drone Makes Ocean Flight

Dean Sigler Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

A one-hour, 43-minute flight between a hospital on the Caribbean island of St. Croix and a testing facility on the neighboring island of St. Thomas probably set a record for hydrogen-powered multi-rotor, over-water drone flight.  The flight delivered live bacteria samples from a hospital on the Caribbean island of St. Croix to a testing facility on the neighboring island of St. Thomas.  The demonstration was carried out by Guinn Partners and associated organizations. Most such medical deliveries are usually over land and within urban areas. Fixed-wing drones flying with Zipline in Rwanda deliver clinical samples and blood 80 kilometers (49.6 miles) each way out and return. The Doosan Mobility Innovations (DMI) DS-30 drone is a large machine able to carry …

First Commercial Drone Medical Delivery

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

Medicine, STAT! Matternet is a U. S.-based company promoting its mission to, “Make access to goods as frictionless and universal as access to information.  Our products enable organizations around the world to build and operate drone logistics networks for transporting goods on demand, through the air, at a fraction of the time, cost and energy of any other transportation method used today. “ On March 27, it announced a collaboration with United Parcel Service (UPS) that delivered the first commercial medical payload at the WakeMed medical facility in North Carolina. Other non-commercial operations by Zipline, operating in Rwanda and Gambia; and  Swoop Aero, Ltd. and Wingcopter delivering vaccines in the South Pacific, are bringing “last mile” delivery of medical goods …

DHL Parcelcopter Delivers the (Medical) Goods

Dean Sigler Hybrid Aircraft, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Vertical Daily News this morning reports on the DHL Parcelcopter 4.0 as it delivers medicines to an island in Lake Victoria on the northern tip of Tanzania.  The Parcelcopter is a fourth generation design from Wingcopter, a German drone manufacturer.  It’s found delivering packages autonomously in German mountain demonstrations and now in differently rugged terrain, flying life-saving packages to a remote island. With financial help from the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ – The German Society for International Cooperation ) GmbH ( on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), DHL and Wingcopter have flown a total of 1,367 miles (2,200 kilometers) and about 2,000 flight minutes in a six-month trial.  The 37-mile (60-kilometer) flights …

Autonomous Drones Air-Drop Medical Supplies

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

Zipline, a San Francisco-based startup, has partnered with the government of Rwanda to air-drop medical supplies to remote villages, truly a potential life-saver for many without immediate access to medicine or blood for transfusions. Several firms in America have promised delivery of consumer items using drones, with Flirtey’s quadrotor drone delivering “a package that included bottled water, emergency food and a first aid kit” to an uninhabited residential setting in Hawthorne, Nevada on April 7. Flirtey calls the flight “the first fully autonomous, FAA-approved urban drone delivery in the United States.” Another firm, Matternet, displayed its quadrotor delivery systems five years ago at the Green Flight Challenge Expo held at NASA Ames Research Center following the completion of the flying …