The Silent Electro2 is a self-launching single seat, 40:1 sailplane with an electric motor to get you into the air with little effort. Sold as a complete aircraft, well equipped for about $130K, it is available in quick-build kit form for about $12-15K less - that's with a trailer and complete instrument package. Continue reading "Why yes - it IS a kit!"
A European company with a solid presence at this year Oshkosh was Pipistrel. The aircraft that took my fancy was the Alpha Electro, a two place side by side aircraft targeting the training market. Continue reading "Alpha Electro - an Electric Pipistrel"
Mark Moore, NASA, Silicon Valley VTOL Air-Taxi Study
Dr. Moore started with an overview of all the unused Los Angeles helipads, required by law on every new high rise since 1974 until eliminated by Mayor Eric Garcetti in 2014. Most were not being used, and part of their original purpose – to allow life-saving drop-ins by Fire Department helicopters – seems reasonable even today. Moore asked what if we really tried to use these rooftops? Continue reading "CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium, Part Three"
John Langford: Aurora Flight Sciences and the Lightning Strike
Dr. Langford opened the second day with background on strides his firm has made in creating an unpiloted vertical takeoff and landing machine. The Lightning Strike is a 10,000 to 12,000 pound, high-speed craft with a turbine from partner Rolls-Royce and triple generators from partner Honeywell, all driving 18 wing-mounted and six canard-mounted electric, variable-pitch ducted fans. Both wings and canard pivot to allow vertical takeoff and landing, and tilt to horizontal mode to allow up to 400-knot cruising. This speed would be tactically beneficial. Continue reading "CAFE Foundation Electric Aircraft Symposium, Part Two"
The 10 Annual CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium, held at the Marriot San Francisco Airport on May 19 and 20, visited topics of electric propulsion, aircraft, airspace, and control of the various types of craft that will be sharing the skies in the near future. Continue reading "Convergence at CAFE’s Electric Aircraft Symposium"
Sustainable Aviation Syposium - Part Three
Several speakers presented talks on controlling the coming wave of unmanned aerial systems traffic management (UTM).
Dr. Parimal Kopardekar on Safely Enabling Low-Altitude UAS Operations
Dr. Kopardekar of the NASA Ames Research Center showed that he and NASA have done a thorough job of understanding drone control, and planned a sequence of actions to address the issues.
A recent series of tests in isolated areas and a planned three further steps will see increasing authority being given operators. Phase 1, to have been accomplished in August last year, reserved testing in areas over water or away from population centers and unlikely to be used by general aviation. The unmanned aerial system pilot still had responsibility for sorting out problems. Phase 2 and beyond allow operations beyond the operator’s line of sight, with increasing levels of interactions with manned aircraft and over increasingly populated areas.