Short-notice?

Had to abruptly leave class today just before lunch.

Not because I wanted the day off nor that I’m sick (I feel fine and I’ve loads of things I wish to do) but because Daisy received positive test results.

Not positive “good” but positive “bad”.

She has had a sore throat a few days and a cough that was medically more likely an infection, but Covid tests were requested. Test results came back positive a few days later.

Notified the instructor, filled out a form for State & CDC tracking, clocked-out, grabbed my tools and quietly left the building.

Sucks. But, do the best we can.

Trying Electric Flight…

Okay, the title is click-baity. I’m not trying electric flight — well, any kind of flight presently (though I’d love to) but on the heels of the post I’d made a short while ago about electric flight, here’s another piece that The Flying Reporter did on the Pipistrel Velis Electro.

Honestly, it doesn’t seem that Pipistrel is currently marketing the Velis Electro in the USA (but they do marked two of their other Electric aircraft as either LSA or Experimental here).

I’m still rather unclear as to the TCO for a private owner.

Although, again, ideal for training flights or flying the circuits several times round airfields in reasonable VFR conditions or as a commuter making short jaunts between airfields perhaps 50 or 75 NM apart.

Don’t think about how it won’t meet everyone’s needs (heh, just think of the uphill challenges faced by EVs in society). Instead, think about how, given what it can do very well, how it can fill some needs.

Yes, this may be an aircraft that has an optimistic future.

The State of Electric Aircraft

First, there’s Joe Scott’s take on a brief history and the current state of electrically-powered aviation along with some of the challenges that we all, socially and culturally, will need to overcome:

Are they doomed? That depends entirely upon what you consider to be “required” for an electric aircraft.

Next, there’s Pipistrel (Wiki), a Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer who has entirely-E-powered Velis Electro intended for training purposes. In fact, they have received, shockingly, the very first-ever Type Certificate from EASA — the European Aviation Safety Agency.

Pipistrel Electric Taurus (0:30), Alpha (2:18), and Velis Electro (3:44)

It’s only a matter of time until an eager aviator (or two or three) purchase and import a Velis registered as an Experimental Aircraft. Note that the Pipistrel Alpha is certificated as an Experimental or LSA already in the USA (ca. US$175,000, more or less as an LSA).

No Type Certificate for the Velis in the USA…

Yet.

Give it time.

Uh, no, it isn’t.

Spotted on one of the hand-outs that was dispersed last week:

I’m starting to think I’ve had (another) stroke.

It reads: “Is this true or false? Relative to ultrasonic testing, air is considered a good conductor and for this reason ultrasound will carry long distances in air.”

First, “relative to ultrasonic testing”? Not sure what that might mean.

Second, no, air is a rather horrible conductor of ultrasonic sound energy.

It reads as “TRUE – Relative to ultrasonic testing, air is considered a good conductor for this reason ultrasound will carry long distances in air.”

Uh… no, it isn’t and, no, it won’t. Air (of any kind or density) is an absolutely horrible sound transmission medium.

Starting a Rotary Engine…

Spotted on the Tubes of You — a hand-prop start of a rotary engine.

Now, for everyone else, this could be labeled “How Not To…”. No, nobody was puréed by the spinning prop. But there were so many possibilities for things to go pear-shaped rather quickly.

  • Inside of a hangar
  • Against a wall
  • The position of controls and the motor (and prop!) limit your vectors for egress
  • Walking around a spinning prop
  • Without ear protection (or eye protection)
  • And horrifying hand-propping technique involving walking slowly backward

Steve Thorn (FlightChops) and Kris Finkbeiner (with TacAero) demonstrates what we like to call the right way to hand-prop.

I rather like the effort Steve has shared in aviation through FlightChops. Rather inspiring, honestly.

A few last moment remarks on walking (staggering?) backward — and this applies to walking, running, bicycling, motorcycles, cars, trucks… but probably not locomotives (unless you’re its engineer):

Always watch where you’re going.

Never watch where you were.

Remain focused on the now and never fixate on what was.

Also, also: Just remembered that Steve did a couple of episodes on hand-propping. Here’s one that he covered on a de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver: