The Future of Electric Aircraft

jueves, 12 de agosto de 2010

It can only fly for 15 minutes but it is a breakthrough all the same. Improved batteries have finally made a manned electric helicopter a reality. It follows rapidly on announcements of all electric fixed wing aircraft from Germany (PC-Aero), France (EADS), Italy (SkySpark), China (Luneec) and the USA (Sonex etc) and an historic 24 hour flight by Solar Impulse powered entirely by the sun. Solar Impulse has the wingspan of an Airbus (over 200 feet) and carries 11,628 solar cells to power four motors.

For a few years, all-electric power assisted gliders and hang gliders have been available. Advantages of electric aircraft include improved manoeuvrability due to the greater torque from electric motors, increased safety due to decreased chance of mechanical failure, less risk of explosion or fire in the event of a collision, and less noise. There will be environmental and cost benefits associated with the elimination of consumption of fossil fuels and resultant emissions. As with on-road vehicles, the problem is range - the best range of both being 160- 400 km (about 100-250 miles) in practicable manned configuration.

Some of the fixed wing pure electric aircraft and other electric flying vehicles are now available in kit form. The SkySpark pure electric fixed wing aircraft has reached 155 mph (300 kph) though 100 mph is more typical of such aircraft, and they have flight time of 1 to 3 hours. The SkySpark experiment is based on a two-seat Pioneer Alpi 300 powered by a 75 kW (100.5 horsepower for the nostalgic) electric motor using brushless technology and lithium polymer batteries.


Accidente de un avión con 375 pasajeros al aterrizar en la capital de Zimbabue

Un Boeing 767 procedente de Londres con 375 pasajeros ha sufrido un accidente al aterrizar en el aeropuerto internacional de la capital, Harare
«sólo hay heridos; no muertos».


Air Force looks for machine autonomy to enable UAVs and piloted aircraft to work and play well together

U.S. Air Force researchers are asking industry to develop autonomous control technologies that will enable unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to operate together with piloted aircraft in congested airport terminal areas, and to achieve what the Air Force calls "same base, same time, same tempo" operations.

Scientists at the Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio, have released a broad agency announcement (BAA-10-05-PKV) for the Autonomous Control of UAS Ground Operations in the Terminal Area program. The goal of the program is to enable UAVs to operate with manned aircraft by equipping unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to act autonomously and react like a manned aircraft so they can navigate the terminal area alongside manned commercial and general aviation aircraft. The emphasis of this program is on ground operations, according to U.S. Air Force officials.


Aerojet Successfully Demonstrates Next Generation Solid Ramjet Fuel

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Aug. 10, 2010 – Aerojet, a GenCorp (NYSE: GY) company, announced today that it has successfully tested an advanced solid ramjet fuel in an engine ground test. The fuel is being developed to provide long-range, high-speed capability for the U.S. military and potentially for the future USAF/Navy Joint Dual Role Air Dominance Missile (JDRADM).

Ramjet engines have historically used liquid fuel which mixes with atmospheric air in order to provide thrust at high speed. However, for tactical missiles, the military services have expressed interest in a storable solid fuel. In order to meet this need, Aerojet developed the world’s first throttleable solid-fueled ramjet for the U.S. Navy GQM-163A Coyote missile target starting in the year 2000. Since that time, Aerojet has been developing a family of advanced formulations called AerGen™ fuels with properties suitable for a tactical missile ramjet engine. The fuel burns very efficiently, resulting in more delivered energy and reduced visible exhaust.

The ground testing was conducted at Aerojet’s Airbreathing Test Facility located in Orange County, Va. A full-scale engine was tested at conditions simulating high-altitude, high-speed flight. “Our airbreathing propulsion business represents cutting-edge technology aimed at future military requirements,” said Aerojet Vice President and Deputy to the President, Dick Bregard. “Aerojet is proud to demonstrate our commitment to advancing our country’s military capability through this innovative ramjet fuel research.”

Aerojet is a world-recognized aerospace and defense leader principally serving the missile and space propulsion, defense and armaments markets. GenCorp is a leading technology-based manufacturer of aerospace and defense products and systems with a real estate segment that includes activities related to the entitlement, sale, and leasing of the company’s excess real estate assets. Additional information about Aerojet and GenCorp can be obtained by visiting the companies’ Web sites at and


Darpa To Demonstrate Unmanned Close Air Support (CAS)

Unmanned aircraft responding to calls for fire support from ground controllers, who directly command their sensors and weapons, could become reality if a Pentagon demonstration of advanced close air support technology is successful.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Precision Close Air Support (PCAS) program aims to develop a kit that enables joint tactical air controllers to take command of sensors and weapons on manned and unmanned aircraft to increase the speed and accuracy of fire support for ground forces.


Analyst: International Partnerships Are Key To Russian Aviation Success

For an industry long absent from the international arena, Russian aircraft manufacturers generated a surprising amount of interest at Farnborough this year. Although Western companies like Airbus and Boeing dominate the narrow-body and wide-body category, Embraer and Bombardier the regional jet category, and Bombardier and ATR the turbo-prop category, things are slowly shifting. Because the Airbus A320 aircraft family and Boeing 737 family are still on the fence about whether to adopt the clean sheet narrow body model, newcomers have a rare opportunity to optimize on market interest in the production of such aircraft, according to Frost & Sullivan. With the right strategic partnerships with western manufacturers, Russian aircraft are more likely to succeed on the international arena.


KC-X Bidder Dialogue Begins Despite Protest

This signals that the service is proceeding with its KC-135 replacement source selection despite the protest launched last week by would-be bidder U.S. Aerospace, which teamed with Ukrainian state-owned Antonov to pitch a modified An-70 tanker. U.S. Aerospace claims in its Aug. 2 protest that Air Force personnel deliberately delayed a messenger carrying the proposal at the security gate at Wright-Patterson AFB on July 9. As a result, the Air Force stamped the proposal as being received five minutes after the due date, and disqualified the company from bidding (Aerospace DAILY, Aug. 5).

The “evaluation notice” (EN) process with Boeing and EADS began Aug. 11, according to these officials.


AeroVironment Global Observer long endurance UAS completes wing load tests

AeroVironment has passed a critical milestone in the development of its Global Observer unmanned aircraft system (UAS). The company reports that the High Altitude Long Endurance (HALE) aircraft has completed a series of Wing Load Tests at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center – proving that the aircraft's all-composite 175-foot wing can withstand the level of dynamic stress it will be subjected to at altitudes of between 55,000 and 65,000 feet.

During the test, the full-scale wing successfully passed load testing for positive (pulling up) and negative (pushing down) directions. The data will be used for validation of the design as well as flight test comparisons.

“These successful tests confirm that the Global Observer wing, one of the most critical elements of the system, is prepared to handle the stress of high altitude, long endurance flight,” said Tim Conver, AV’s chairman and chief executive officer. “With ground and wing load testing behind us we look forward to demonstrating Global Observer’s unique ability to fly longer and higher over any location than any other aircraft.”


Estafa usando el nombre de Spanair

FACUA-Consumidores en Acción alerta de una estafa a través de correos electrónicos en la que se suplanta la identidad de Spanair ofreciendo billetes gratis mediante el método del phishing. El mensaje remite a una web que simular ser la de la compañía aérea, donde se solicitan datos bancarios para ser usados fradulentamente.


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