March 18, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
AERO-Friedrichshafen, April 2 through 5 in Friedrichshafen, Germany, will feature an exhibit hall dedicated to ecological alternatives for general aviation. Among the exhibitors will be the Sunseeker, an American solar-powered glider created by Eric Raymond; French company Helite’s hydrogen-powered ultralight; and the University of Stuttgart’s Hydrogenius project—a hydrogen-powered two-seat ultralight. The Hydrogenius is based on the Pipistrel, a Slovakian airplane. The Sunseeker has already flown 500 hours and flown across the United States in 21 stages.
In addition, the University of Turin’s SkySparks hydrogen fuel cell project will be featured. The SkySparks is scheduled to have its first flight later in 2009.
New biofuels and high-performance batteries will also be on display.
This will be AERO’s first “e-flight-expo,” and the “e” in the name stands for ecological, electrical, and evolutionary propulsion developments that are environmentally friendly. AERO developed the e-flight display concept with the help of the authors of a German reference book called Fluegel der Welt (Wings of the World).
Previously a biennial event, AERO will take place annually after the 2009 show. As in years past, AOPA Pilot will be there to provide near-real-time online reporting and video coverage of what has become Europe’s most popular and significant convention dedicated solely to general aviation.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
Congress has passed an omnibus spending bill that keeps the FAA, and other government agencies, funded through September 2015.
Christmas will be a bit more festive for the 460 residents of Tangier Island, a remote fishing village on a tiny spit of land in the Chesapeake Bay, thanks to a group of general aviation pilots.
Daher-Socata has signed a contract with Airbus Group’s VoltAir subsidiary to design, develop, and certify the electrically powered E-Fan 2.0 aircraft.
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