Schlagwort-Archive: Plane

The First Plane to Fly on Carbon-Free Liquid Hydrogen?

Everyone agrees that liquid hydrogen is the jet fuel of the future, at least for long-distance flights. With almost three times more energy than conventional jet fuel, a liquid hydrogen-powered aircraft can travel much longer with the same fuel—and without greenhouse gases. Longer range and zero carbon emissions are worth the tradeoff of an extra storage tank’s weight.

But actually building an aircraft that can handle those tanks has proven to be a technical challenge. One German company is pushing ahead. H2Fly has been flying a four-seat aircraft called the HY4 on a fuel cell powered by hydrogen gas since 2016. In April, the aircraft set a record for the highest zero emission flight, at 7,230 feet. H2Fly announced recently that it would be installing tanks that can handle liquid hydrogen. The switch from pressurized gas should at least double the odd-looking twin-prop’s range, from 450 to 900 miles.

“Liquid hydrogen has huge advantages over the alternative pressurized hydrogen gas, not least because it becomes possible to carry a far greater quantity on board an aircraft,” Dr. Josef Kallo, H2Fly’s co-founder and CEO, told Robb Report. “The result is significantly longer ranges.” H2Fly’s current fuel-cell system was developed in 2012, though Kallo says the components have been updated over the last 10 years. “We’re currently producing 120kW, but we’re updating the stack and with the new technology we should get to a 300kW system.”

Kallo wouldn’t share performance projections, but it’s a safe bet the new system will improve on the current version of the HY4, which has a maximum speed of 125 mph with a 90-mph cruise. Those numbers are possible thanks to an efficient twin-fuselage design that provides optimal spacing of the propellers and electric motors, which are powered by the cells and a small battery bank that offers additional power during peak loads.

“If we really want to change energy use on a global scale, we have to go with the fuel that provides the most efficient way of creating power, and that is definitely hydrogen,” Kallo said. “No other process comes close.” The company has entered into a partnership with Deutsche Aircraft to develop a fuel-cell powered aircraft that will hold up to 40 passengers, with a range of 1,200 miles. Like the HY4, it will tap into liquid hydrogen. H2Fly isn’t the only manufacturer working on an experimental liquid hydrogen aircraft.

In 2020, Airbus presented three ZEROe hydrogen-fueled concepts that it says will go into commercial service by 2035. Cranfield Aerospace Solutions announced that its Project Fresson was switching from batteries to hydrogen gas power. It will have a nine-passenger aircraft that is scheduled for a demo flight next month. ZeroAvia said it’s developing an aircraft with a fuel-cell powertrain that will fly 20 passengers 350 nautical miles. Tests could begin next year, with entry into commercial service as early as 2027. Last March, FlyZero also detailed three concept aircraft that will fly on hydrogen. Testing on the liquid-hydrogen-powered HY4 is expected to begin early next year. Source: ‘RobReport.com‘.

Crossing the country solo, but not alone

“I need someone to fly my Super Cub from Frederick to Bozeman. Will you do it?” AOPA Air Safety Institute Senior Vice President Richard McSpadden’s question seemed too good to be true. You’re asking me to fly your pristine and beautiful airplane almost all the way across the country? Sign me up. On a calm June morning a few months later, McSpadden handed me the keys to N517WC and a tote of snacks his wife, Judy, had thoughtfully packed, wished me well, and I departed Frederick to the west. My plan was to fly to Wisconsin on day one if the weather cooperated and say hello to some of my favourite aviators at Middleton Municipal Airport (C29), then fly on to Mitchell, South Dakota, to join the annual Ladies Love Taildraggers fly-out. From there I’d fly to Rapid City, South Dakota, with the group, then alone to Bozeman, Montana. The more than 1,500-nautical-mile trip would take 20-plus hours at an ambitiously planned 100 mph.

On my way
The air was smooth and cool over the bemisted Blue Ridge Mountains, and I watched morning fog laze through the valleys and burn off as I approached the rolling hills of eastern Ohio. I crossed tortilla-flat farmland into Indiana and made my first fuel stop. I’d expected headwinds but was gifted a tailwind. Jeff Russell, genuine Piper Super Cub pilot extraordinaire and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met, had offered to let me keep 7WC in his hangar at Middleton. I let him know I’d be earlier than expected, and he texted me his hangar number and told me I was welcome to anything in his fridge.

After fuel stop number two, I modified my route to fly east of Chicago instead of skirting the Class Bravo to the west as planned. I’d always wanted to do the skyline flight, and with the help of that tailwind, I had daylight to burn. A CFI friend in Chicago gave me the lowdown on altitudes, and I reviewed Editor Kollin Stagnito’s account of flying the Chicago skyline (“City with a View,” March 2021 AOPA Pilot) and set off.

Folks typically fly the route from north to south. You can do it without talking to anyone, but since it was new to me and against the known flow of traffic (and a good idea), I opted to call up Chicago for flight following. I’d fly a little higher than the southbound traffic, and farther offshore. It was just gorgeous. The visibility, which had been hazy over most of Indiana, cleared up. Lake Michigan turned Caribbean-colored blues, and the skyscrapers bloomed out from the parkland greens along the lakeshore.

Once north of the city, I turned direct to Middleton. After a long day on an unfamiliar route, with only new airports and unfamiliar faces, I had a feeling of coming home once I had Morey Field insight. I’d visited in summer 2019 before heading up to OSH, missed out on summer 2020 after the cancellation of AirVenture, and was thrilled to be back at C29. I landed in the grass (as a Super Cub should), taxied in, and turned the corner to Russell’s row, only to find the door already open and Russell waiting for me. Russell and another C29 local, Gary, helped me push the airplane in. Turns out he’d been tracking my N number and knew right when I’d arrive. While washing off a day of bugs, I told Russell about my planned route, and he gave me words of flying wisdom. “You can’t fly direct in a Super Cub,” Russell told me. “That’s not what they’re made for. Fly high enough to be respectful and safe, but low enough to see the folks waving up at you. And have fun!”

Flight of six
Since I’d made such a good time on day one, I was able to stay in Middleton for a few extra nights before I needed to be in Mitchell for the fly-out. On one evening, the weather was far too perfect to stay earthbound. With a few texts, we assembled a small fleet—Jim Stevenson and his Cessna 170B, Ross Wilke and his Husky A1–B, Joe McDonough with his Mackey Backcountry Super Cub Rev 3, Joel Wyttenbach and his Cessna 172, and Russell and his Super Cub. We visited a few beginner side-country strips—two charted and one that was not. The charted strips weren’t particularly challenging, but it was all new to me, and I was grateful for the careful coaching from the group. The uncharted strip was Mike Kindschi’s, and that landing was a real full-circle moment; it’s where my love for the area started back when the Air Safety Institute’s Kurt Sensenbrenner and I visited Wisconsin in July 2019 to film Beyond Proficient: STOL Goal. Running out of daylight, we departed Kindschi’s strip as the sun set, the nearby Wisconsin River a glassy mirror of the flame-bright sky. So this, I thought, is what it feels like to own an airplane.

Into the West
The morning I intended to depart, I woke to unforecast rain. Headwinds of more than 35 knots, wind shear, and haze are not ideal conditions. There would be no flying that day. One sunrise later was a marginal, yet good enough, improvement in the weather, and a significant improvement in the company. With a new departure day on Saturday, Wilke had offered to escort me to my fuel stop, Blue Earth Municipal Airport (SBU). With a long day ahead and thankful for summer light, we were wheels up by 6 a.m. We let the river guide us to the mighty Mississippi River and passed over the farm fields of Iowa. Near Waukon, Iowa, Wilke said, “Oh hey I’ve actually been here.” I looked down to see a figure in a bright red shirt in a lush garden waving emphatically up at us. I waved my wings and couldn’t stop smiling—I had wondered if I’d actually see anyone waving at me, but Russell was right.

Ladies Love Taildraggers
I crossed into the South Dakota plains alone. The wind wasn’t finished with me yet, battled headwinds and midday turbulence to the fly-in at Mitchell. I taxied to Wright Brothers Aviation where an impressive array of taildraggers was already on the line—a Cessna 170, a Cessna 195, and a Decathlon to name a few—all securely tied down to contend with the South Dakota wind. All the airplanes were worth drooling over and most had a pair of stilettos in front of them, the Ladies Love Taildraggers (LLT) calling card. The folks at the FBO whisked 7WC away and I had just a few minutes inside to make introductions and proudly confirm that yes, I had flown that beautiful Super Cub in before we loaded up into two vans on our way to explore Mitchell. It had already been a long day of six-plus hours of bumpy, hot, gusty flying and I felt a little behind the curve while I lined up for a van. It seemed I was the only one who had come solo. I eyed the groups of old friends choosing seats together and was grateful when a pilot about my age came up and introduced herself. Laura Doornbos of Bloomington, Illinois, had flown in with her father, Keith, in the gorgeous 170 I’d admired earlier. She made sure I had a seat in the van with her and her dad, and we set off, chatting about our journeys so far.

We were taken to an archaeological site, and then to the one-of-a-kind icon of South Dakota—the World’s Only Corn Palace. That evening over dinner, and in between getting-to-know-you conversations and hangar flying stories, we discussed tomorrow’s forecast—winds gusting well into the forties almost all day. Even if you’ve never flown a taildragger before, you probably know that the wind is typically a greater factor in a go/no-go decision than with nosewheels. Judy Birchler, the organizer of the event and founder of LLT, stressed that there was no pressure to push our limits and reminded us that we were each our own pilot in command. When the sun rose, the wind was already howling. We shuttled over to the airport and began the long, somewhat frustrating process of waiting out the weather. Not only was the wind hellacious at Mitchell, it was also severe at our destination, Rapid City. I was unwilling to launch until the wind was better in both spots. As the day progressed and the winds lessened slightly, some felt comfortable to depart. But Keith made a good point: “It isn’t an emergency, is it? I’m perfectly happy to stay in Mitchell another night if we have to.” There was no need to push it. At long last, the weather improved, and we finally launched to the west. The three-hour leg felt easy compared to other days, and I made it to Rapid City as the last rays of light slipped behind the Black Hills.

Exploring
The Ladies Love Taildraggers squad spent the following morning driving the winding roads of Badlands National Park. Lunch was a feast of fry bread and ended with souvenir shopping before a stop at Wall Drug on our way back to Rapid City. Wall Drug—which I had somehow managed to live my whole life without hearing about—is a historic wonderland of kitsch, much more than just a roadside drug store (though it does still have a small pharmacy). That night in town, a group of us went to the old fire station for dinner. The others planned for the next day’s trip to Spearfish, and I said my goodbyes—tomorrow, I’d fly on to Bozeman solo, or as far as I could make it. Keith and Laura offered to help push the airplane out of its sloped, grassy parking spot. They made my morning a whole lot easier. Since I’d miss out on the drive the ladies would take the following day to Mount Rushmore, I decided to fly by on my way to my fuel stop, Sheridan, Wyoming. Helicopter pilots chattered to each other on the charted frequency. I could tell by their quick back and forth that they did this all day every day. I gave a basic position report, adding that if my altitude interfered with tours to let me know. One of the tour pilots let me know my altitude was just fine and thanked me for calling—most transient traffic, he said, didn’t call. As I departed toward Spearfish and Sturgis, waypoints on my way around the Black Hills, I marvelled at the terrain. These western hills would’ve been eastern mountains. Spearfish looked like an aviator’s haven, with multiple grass runways tucked away in the hills. Sturgis was surprisingly tiny and I wondered where all those motorcycles park every summer.

Last legs
On my way to Sheridan, the true Rocky West began. From miles out, I could see the towering, snowcapped Bighorn Mountains. I landed and checked the weather. The forecast had changed, and the radar now showed a thin but growing line of convection directly between me and Bozeman. I was only two hours away from my destination, but the risk wasn’t worth it. Thankfully, the weather the following morning was just as perfect as forecast. The familiarity of the route, plus the comfort and affection I’d grown for the airplane over the many hours of our trip, made that final leg even sweeter. These were my old stomping grounds, and where I’d earned my instrument, commercial, multi, and CFI certificates. I said hello to my old friend the Bighorn Canyon and climbed abeam the deep green Pryor Mountains. I kept climbing to give myself some more security near the mountains and headed directly toward Livingston and the Bozeman Pass. Mountain passes can present a bit of an X factor. On a calm day similar to this one during training, my instructor and I had approached the pass only to be met with a textbook downdraft. With full power at VY and still descending, we turned around and headed back toward Billings. Remembering that, I approached the pass, hypervigilant of any changes in the wind and ready to turn around if needed. Before I knew it, Bozeman tower cleared me to land, I touched down in the grass and taxied in for a post-trip oil change. Minutes after shutdown, I handed the keys over to McSpadden, and my little companion was whisked away into the hangar at its new summer home. My job was done.

Time to spare
The next day, feeling grateful after 24.7 hours and a couple of thousand photos, I flew home to Los Angeles via the airlines. I learned so much from this trip. I do, I confirmed, want to own my own airplane one day. I want adventures like this to be part of my normal life. I learned for myself something I’d already suspected and been told—flying with friends is better than flying alone. Last, I was reminded on every leg just how fortunate we are to live in a place where a trip like this is possible. From one coast through the heartland, across the Mississippi, to the mountains, this country is extraordinarily diverse. So, what are you waiting for? Take the long and winding road. Go fly. Source: ‘Alicia Herron on the AOPA website‘.

Flight Shame in Great Barrington

Thirty years ago I was living on the Red Sea coast on the Egypt-Sudan border in an area where there were no roads. Nomadic tribesmen went down to the sea to fish and sometimes found the shore covered with plastic that drifted in on the waves. Plastic bags filled with air and skittered away over the landscape making circles in the desert wind. I think of those plastic bags when I see the small planes coming over the wooded ridges around the old farmhouse where I live in rural New York state. Since the pandemic began, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people going up in small planes. These are coming from an airfield in Great Barrington, Mass., where the newspapers reports town hall meetings packed with local residents shouting at the owners of the Barrington airfield about the squalid atmosphere of noise pollution and intrusion — the general degradation of conditions of life they impose on the people below.

Small planes fly low above the ground. They are the only vehicles in the United States that still use leaded gasoline. Studies from the Harvard Medical School and elsewhere link air traffic noise to the onset of heart disease and stroke. The Berkshire Eagle reports that the airfield has come up with a noise mitigation strategy: Tell the pilots to fly across the border into New York state. The damage done to daily life by an airfield of this kind stands in sharp contrast to the trivial nature of who the pilots are and what they are doing. A glance at FlightAware shows that in Barrington these people, who teach or have taken up aviation as a hobby, fly around in circles pouring noise and toxic emissions on the landscape and the people who live there. The Massachusetts pilots use local New York state farms for practice, circling the fields with the farmhouse as the target in the middle. The supervisor of the Town of Austerlitz sums up the situation: “This is obviously deliberate harassment, but the pilots tell me they can do whatever they want.”

Small planes are unmonitored. They do not need to use tracking devices. They can “request invisibility.” The pilots of small planes are not supposed to fly below 500 feet, but as their transponders are easily turned off, the FAA cannot track their altitude. If an amateur pilot plays at flying “below the radar” low above the ground, who can stop them? At least Jetskis are confined to shorelines and motorcycles by roadways. They cannot circle houses revving their engines. But small planes buzz houses for fun. Last summer careening small planes killed a woman on a riding mower and hit a woman in a kayak. In recent years an 87-year-old man crashed not far from here in Ghent, a 17-year-old girl crashed in Millbrook, and an amateur pilot flew into a house in Lagrangeville, setting it on fire and killing the residents inside.

It is time for the FAA to draft new regulations that prioritize the health and safety of people on the ground. The FAA needs to insist that recreational planes fly at an altitude high enough to muffle the engine noise, that they are tracked and monitored, and that they are not used in a manner that endangers public welfare, whether by dangerous proximity to people and houses, or noise pollution that poses a threat to health and well-being. Currently, the FAA seems to restrict its focus solely to the pilots and their machines. There needs to be broader attention paid to the effect that small planes have on the environment, and on the people who live in it. Small planes are not harmless. And experience has taught those who live near private airfields that we cannot rely on the manners, skill, or sense of responsibility of the pilots. Scaling back commercial aviation has long been a primary topic in the discussion of mitigating climate change. The Flight Shame movement already considers flights under 200 miles unnecessary and environmentally indefensible. Last year, France moved to ban short-haul domestic flights.

Small planes need to be part of this discussion. They have a particularly disproportionate effect as polluters of the environment, and while they are an amusement and convenience to pilots passing through—or over—that comes the expense of people who have given their lives to the place they live in. The romance of Lindbergh’s solo flight gave way in a mere few decades to Lindbergh’s recognition that aviation would become a blight on the world. Though other aspects of his career remain problematic, he spent the last years of his life fighting for conservation. The answer to climate change does not lie in pursuing escapist fantasies in the air, but in taking responsibility for where you are, for the ground under your feet. Source: ‘Susan Brind Morrow in The Nation‘.

Flight Design F2 EASA CS-23 certified

Flight Design general aviation announced December 8th, that the F2 is an EASA CS-23 certified aircraft. The F2-CS23 is a modern 2-seat aircraft featuring many completely new design concepts. With high performance, unmatched efficiency and comfort, the F2 CS23 brings a familiar automotive feel and simplified operation to private owners and flight schools. “We couldn’t be happier to see this important step for the F2 program which ultimately will lead to the F4 four-seat version and the all-electric F2e,” said Matthias Betsch, Head of the FLIGHT DESIGN, Design Organization, creator of the F Series and many of its advanced concepts.

The F2-CS23 is the next step in FLIGHT DESIGN’s ‘Vision Zero’ concept which incorporates all commercially available safety features appropriate for this type of aircraft. These features include a passive stall and spin resistant airframe design, airframe emergency parachute system, AMSAFE airbags and inertial reel harnesses, Garmin ESP (electronic stability and envelope protection), a strong occupant-protective enclosure for the pilot and passengers, automatic fuel management, simplified controls such as a combined throttle and brake lever and a more modern, car-like atmosphere and operation.

“We are very pleased to see the F2 EASA CS-23 certified said FLIGHT DESIGN general aviation CEO Daniel Guenther, this is an important milestone for our business and a tribute to the hard work by the F2 design team and our different businesses within FLIGHT DESIGN general aviation.” The F2-CS23 comes with an impressive list of standard features such as an all Garmin G3X avionics suite, 2 axis autopilot, Rotax 912iS fuel-injected 100HP engine with a DUC certified propeller, Beringer wheels and brakes, perforated leather seats, heat exchanger heating system and Whelen lighting.

“The EASA CS-23 category is an internationally recognized certification standard which will allow the new F2-CS23 to be easily accepted in all markets worldwide,” said Dieter Koehler, Head of Design for F2 and F4 projects. “The international design team of the F2-CS23 brought a tremendous amount of talent into this program and the EASA Type Certificate is well deserved.” FLIGHT DESIGN sees the F2-CS23 as an excellent choice for Flight schools with its wide and easy-to-enter cockpit, fuel efficiency, unique safety features and state-of-the-art avionics suite. All new FLIGHT DESIGN aircraft come with carbon compensation up to TBO under FLIGHT DESIGN’s pro-climate plan. The F2-CS23 follows the F2-LSA which began deliveries earlier this year.

Wingwalker plane crashes in Poole Harbour

Eyewitnesses say it was a “miracle” no one was seriously injured after a wing walker biplane crashed in Poole Harbour, just feet from numerous pleasure craft. The aircraft, part of the Aerosuperbatics display team, had been thrilling the crowds at the Bournemouth Air Festival just minutes earlier. Both of the people on board, the pilot and the wing walker, were rescued safely. Source: ‘BournemouthEcho.co.uk‘.

Promo video of the Pipistrel Panthera

A video that tells the story of the flying beauty of the Pipistrel Panthera from her birth at the Pipistrel production facility all the way to her sunlit cruise flights over the Bay of Piran – and wider, all over the world. Source: ‘Pipistrel‘.

DA62 SurveyStar exceeds all expectations

Expectations were high and so was the pressure, after the glorious roll-out of the new DA62 SurveyStar. The entire Aerial Survey Industry was having an eye on the first steps of the DA62 SurveyStar.

Meanwhile the first aircraft has accomplished well over 100 mission hours with GeoFly and has already proven its efficiency and versatility. In fact, the aircraft is outperforming all expectations and has marked a couple of cornerstones worth to highlight:

  • Endurance: Equipped in the multi-sensor setup including the Riegl VQ-780i and the Vexcel Ultra cam Eagle M3, an endurance of 7:17 hours was achieved with fuel remaining for almost two more hours, resulting in a max total endurance of 8:20 hours + 0:45 hours of reserve.
  • Autonomy: With the help of the three-axis digital autopilot and a special procedure (see below) the aircraft is able to fly survey missions almost fully autonomously; thus even ultra-long missions become less exhausting for the crew.
  • Efficiency: Due to the extremely low fuel burn of the jet-fuel engines, efficiency is that good, that the aircraft can even compete with turbine-powered aircraft in high and fast missions, assuming your acquisition window (weather/atc, etc.) big enough. However, the flight takes longer due to lower speeds, the cost below the line are way cheaper when compared with classical turbo-prop aircraft.
  • Versatility: In light of the above, GeoFly already ordered the integration of its Vexcel Ultra cam Osprey series, including the new 4.1 on the DA62 SurveyStar, which is usually used on turbo-prop aircraft.

Garmin G1000 flight line loading:
Loading the photo-mission flight lines into the Garmin G1000 is done by converting latitude and longitude points of project-specific files and constructed them into a Garmin “.fpl” file. The information is gathered from the Aerial Flight Management software used by GeoFly, and thereafter converted to a “.fpl” file after setting the parameters required by the equipment or higher (e.g., such as starting line number, turn bearing offset, and offset distance). The “.fpl” file is thereafter loaded into the MFD via Bluetooth using Garmin Flight Stream, or through an SD card and loaded in as any other flight plan.

The IGI CCNS5 used on this particular flight uses a 1 nautical mile extension of the line for the establishment and to enable recording and mount movement prior to line start. Therefore, in this particular project, the waypoints “A” (Start of the line) to point “B” (End of the line) were calculated with 1 additional nautical mile. For turns, the same principle is used with an estimated spacing distance and bearing offset to allow the aircraft to make the turn on its own. Due to unknown actual head-, tail- or crosswind, some manual overrides were required in the turns. Source: ‘Diamond website‘.

Small plane stolen and flown away

The FBI and local police are investigating after a small plane belonging to the chairman of the Nashville Airport Authority was stolen. CSB affiliate WTVF reports the Cessna 172 was taken and flown away from John C. Tune Airport in Nashville. The incident unfolded over the weekend at the airport, the station reported. The plane belongs to Bobby Joslin, chairman of the Metro-Nashville Authority Airport Board of Commissioners. According to a statement form the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority, “Joslin reported that when he arrived at JWN [John C. Tune Airport] on Sunday morning to take his plane out of its hanger, he discovered the plane was missing and notified JWN management. The incident was then reported to Nashville International Airport’s Department of Public Safety, which arrived on the scene to begin the investigation.” The airport said Metro Police, the FBI, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) have also been notified. Joslin told WTVF he believes someone moved the plane to the tarmac, started the engine and then took off. The thief escaped undetected by flying under 400 feet to avoid radar, WTVF’s Nick Beres reported. Metro Nashville police and the FBI are on the case. Quelle: ‘CBSnews.com‘.