Eric Lindbergh, grandson of Charles A. Lindbergh, awarded the LEAP Prize to Pipistrel’s Ivo Boscarol at the just-finished Aero General Aviation convention in Friedrichshafen, Germany. *** The 3rd annual e-Flight gathering took place there also, and Lindbergh’s Best Electric Aircraft award went to Pipistrel’s Taurus Electro. *** There were some notable challengers in the category and three finalists: the Taurus, the Electric Cri-Cri (power by Electravia), and Eric Raymond’s Sunseeker II solar airplane. *** Also awarded was the Best Electric Propulsion. The two finalists were the LZ Design FES (Front Engine Sustainer) system and the Rapid 200 Fuel Cell propulsion system from Polytechnic Torino. *** The LZ FES was the winner. *** The LEAP 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award went to Bertrand Piccard, Andre Borschberg and the Solar Impulse Team for its electric around-the-world project airplane. *** A romantic, and apt, spin on the awards is linking today’s electric pioneers to Lucky Lindy’s amazing transatlantic flight in 1927, which pretty much singlehandedly changed the global perception of aviation from a daredevil hobby or foolhardy mail delivery system to the common transportation, recreational and warfare tool it has become.
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Catching up on some particulars with Randall Fishman of ElectraFlyer after our chat at Sun n Fun, he told me he’s selling his prototype C model for $49,000.
Here’s what he had to say about it and other aspects of his electric powered aircraft pioneering efforts: “We have sold trikes since 2007. Most of our sales are propulsion kits, batteries and chargers for people either building something new or converting to electric. The first two of the new motors are in my shop now and we will be mounting them for testing.
“The C is a one off conversion of a plane I already owned (a Moni kit motorglider). I want to sell it now to help finance the new projects. It is really the first successful electric airplane other than some exotic million dollar science projects such as the solar planes. I hope there is a collector out there.
Followers of these exciting pioneering days of electric-powered aircraft will be happy to know the all-electric Waiex just made its maiden flight at Wittman Field, home of Oshkosh Airventure — and Sonex Aircraft. *** John Monnett, head honcho of Sonex, which built the proof-of-concept version of its Waiex kit aircraft as part of its E-Flight Initiative, took the controls for the flight, tasked primarily with breaking out of ground effect to analyze in-flight system performance. *** After landing, John said, “Whew. It’s different! Lot of power.” *** The program started four years ago, and involves the airplane and Sonex’s development of its own proprietary motor, battery and speed controller — all vital parts of electric propulsion technology.Jeremy Monnett, John’s son and CEO/General Manager of Sonex, said the company will test the aircraft over the next several months and has already begun design work on the fourth version of the motor and twelfth version of the motor controller, which will be integrated into the current Waiex test bed.
Keeping tabs on Cessna‘s electric C-172 project in collaboration with Bye Energy of Colorado, Bye just announced it will make a presentation at the annual NBAA (National Business Aviation Association) convention this that’s going on right now in Atlanta. *** Bye Energy as I’ve blogged in the past is working on electric and electric-hybrid propulsion systems for LSA and light GA airplanes under the banner of its The Green Flight Project announced earlier this year. *** The latest news is the electric Skyhawk will fly in the first quarter of 2011. *** George Bye, CEO, had this to say recently: “This is an ambitious effort, but we are continuing to uncover additional efficiencies with electric-powered flight,” he said. “We are grateful to Cessna for its continued collaboration and support.” *** Cessna’s head honcho Jack Pelton added: “Bye Energy’s progress toward first flight of the electric Cessna 172 demonstrator is encouraging news for the future of mainstream general aviation.” *** Backgrounder: More than 43,000 Skyhawks have com off the line since 1955.
All-electric airplane fans, this’ll stand your hair on end! Next month’s 2010 EAA Airventure at Oshkosh, WI – easily the biggest air show in America every year – will feature activities focusing on the most exciting developments in electric flight all week long. *** Visitors to the show will find display booths, daily forums and demonstration flights out on the flight line. Can you say…Zap!? *** And on July 30 there’s a major event: Airventure’s World Symposium on electric-powered flight. The day-long discussion will cover all aspects on the future of electric aviation. *** Check out who’s on the panel of moderators of aviation industry leaders: * legendary Scaled Composites founder Burt Rutan * Electric Aircraft Corporation founder and electric flight pioneer Randall Fishman (currently working on ElectraFlyer-X two-seat S-LSA * Yuneec International founder Tian Yu (Yuneec made a sensation at Oshkosh ’09 with its two-place E430 electric LSA), * FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt * Sonex Aircraft founder John Monnett * Earthstar Aircraft founder Mark Beierle, whose eGull ultralight displayed at AirVenture ’09 * Erik Lindbergh, who launched an Electric Aircraft Prize through his Lindbergh Foundation at Sun ‘n Fun this year.
The end is near! Or, is it?
The reference is to the long-running effort to revise the FAA regulation affecting Light-Sport Aircraft. The new ruleset has been discussed back into 2017 and started to take shape in early 2019. Almost two years later, what is the status?
I have reported on this earlier: May 2019 • July 2019 • January 2020 • and April 2020. For additional detail, go back and check those articles. In this newest report — based on LAMA‘s work with the aviation regulator — I will describe the newest development although a short review of the history is useful.
When I ask if the end is near, I mean to ponder if FAA is done with their work. Even some in industry believe FAA is about to release what’s call an NPRM: Notice of Proposed Rule Making.
It’s almost July and any active pilot knows what that means: Oshkosh! Except not this year. ☹️
I interrupt the ongoing battle with Covid-19 to take you on a nostalgic tour of Oshkosh-19. View this excursion by video below.
Hey, when you can’t go to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2020, why not simulate from the safety and comfort of your home or backyard? Just like Netflix urges you — “Watch It Again!”
This brief virtual tour of aircraft and people from AirVenture last year may have you wishing you were starting to pack your bags for the big show this year …sigh!…
Sometimes called “Disneyland for Airplanes,” if you like things that fly — whatever form they take — you can probably find it at Oshkosh. Like a kid in a candy store, everywhere you look offers sweet temptations.
Oshkosh is so sprawling you can’t see it all but this post along with the video below tries to capture objects of interest to readers of this website and viewers of Dave’s “The Ultralight Flyer” YouTube Channel.
In the rush of coverage of Vintage Ultralights and other late-breaking stories such as the Blackwing speed record, I had to set aside a few news items. Here’s a catch-up…
I am pleased to serve a need for news during a month when we should have been covering Sun ‘n Fun and Aero Friedrichshafen. As everyone knows, those events are now rescheduled for 2021, both as a result of the global lockdown that has affected hundreds of other events.
You hardly need any more coverage of the coronavirus craziness so let’s get to aviation news and take a small break from these worldwide events. But first…
Oshkosh — Go or No/Go?
It has become one of the most-asked question in aviation. Will the big summer celebration of flight happen or go the way of every other airshow this year?
As everyone on the planet knows by now, aviation has nary an airshow in sight. Even AirVenture Oshkosh — still planned at this writing — is hedging their bets amid the uncertainty, saying they will make additional decisions in the weeks ahead. Most of us who love (and rely on) these aviation events certainly hope OSH’20 can go on as planned. It will be wonderful to get back into a familiar routine.
Meanwhile, I have been producing more content here on ByDanJohnson.com so everyone sheltering-in-place can at least fantasy fly their favorite flying machine. I will also continue with the “Virtual Aero” or “Virtual Sun ‘n Fun” articles. In fact, next up after this one will be a post about new aircraft you would have seen in Lakeland, Florida in May …before Sun ‘n Fun regretfully* called it off until 2021.
One company, Flight Design ga, offered a “virtual press conference.” The company said, “As all airshows are postponed, we chose this way to inform you regarding the current developments at Flight Design.
In recent months many light aviation enthusiasts have been asking about progress on FAA’s proposed rewrite of the Light-Sport Aircraft regulations. Following a lengthy teleconference in 2019, the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association is pleased to provide a further update for the agency’s work on MOSAIC, or Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certification. Here is our earlier article on this subject.
This update is one of a continuing series. As time passes and FAA progresses toward its goal — of issuing a NPRM, Notice of Proposed Rule Making — LAMA requests a teleconference or in-person visit to learn the rule writers’ latest concepts and language decisions.
This progress reports identifies new discoveries and clarifies previous statements that may now be better understood.
Some Key Messages
FAA is moving forward on the rulemaking project yet everything remains in progress while the agency gathers internal assessments. What follows is as accurate as possible at this time but changes will occur.