Tag Archives: Icon

453 The Zunum Aero Electric Airplane

Our guest is a founder of electric airplane company Zunum Aero, and he has a strong vision for the future. In the news: an update on the fatal Icon A5 crash, the disruptive nature of electric and autonomous vehicles, and the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Also, some observations from the Wings Over Pittsburgh air show, the Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, and advice to listeners about a flying career.

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

Image courtesy Zunum Aero

Guest

Matt Knapp, founder at Zunum AeroMatt Knapp is a Founder of Zunum Aero, a company that seeks to democratize access to high-speed travel through hybrid-electric regional airplanes.

Matt describes the vision of Zunum Aero, and tells us about the team and advisory board that has been assembled. He notes that the jet engine shaped aviation, and now electric power is poised to shape aviation again, initially in the regional sector.

We discuss the current state of battery technology and how Zunum is dealing with the moving target of available energy sources. Matt explains how the airplanes being developed are optimized for low costs over regional distances. We talk about the range-optimized powertrain, the battery charging strategy, and the long lead time challenges of technology development and meeting regulatory requirements.

Matt started his passion for aviation by building model rockets and airplanes at age 5. He received a pilot’s license at 17, and went on to earn his BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering at MIT. Before founding Zunum Aero, Matt was Lead Designer for the Javelin high-performance jet, and Lead Aerodynamicist for Pioneer Rocketplane’s spacecraft. Matt has consulted for major aircraft OEMs, NASA and DARPA. He’s also a certified flight instructor.

Aviation News

NTSB Releases Preliminary Icon Accident Report

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) preliminary report on the fatal Icon A5 crash centers around the account of a witness in a boat on the same lake. The witness observed the airplane flying about 30 to 50 feet above the water, heard the engine “rev up,” and saw the airplane drift to the right before it left the field of view. Subsequently, the witness heard the sound of impact.

Disruptive Tech: Electric Airplanes Could Destroy The Automotive Industry

The San Francisco-based research group and think tank RethinkX says, “We are on the cusp of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruption of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of Autonomous Vehicles, 95 percent of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transport-as-a-service” (TaaS)”

For more, download the RethinkX report.

Winner of Airbus’ ‘Fly Your Ideas’ Competition Solves Under Seat Crunch

The University of Hong Kong took home the prize in the Airbus Fly Your Ideas contest. Their idea is to create a storage space under the seat in front of you by dropping the area down under the cabin floor into the top of the cargo compartment. This year’s competition set a new record with nearly 5,500 students from around the world taking part.

Mentioned

The Aerospace Media Dinner and Awards, are to be presented in Paris on 18th June, 2017. The awards “…have been created to honour individuals and publishers who have made a significant contribution to aerospace publishing.” Shortlisted finalists include:

Qantas chief Alan Joyce gets pie in face at Perth business breakfast, via listener Dave in Adelaide.

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.

451 Talking About Planes with Carl Stebbings

Carl Stebbings, the host of the Plane Talking UK podcast, helps us discuss the Chinese Comac C919 first flight, an F-35B assembled in Italy, a UK airline trade group manifesto, a vintage de Havilland Vampire literally tears up a runway, Boeing accuses Bombardier of dumping the CSeries in the U.S., a report on the May 2016 crash of EgyptAir MS804, and the first fatal crash of the Icon A-5 amphibious LSA.

Guest

Carl Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast

Carl Stebbings, Plane Talking UK Podcast

Carlos (Carl) Stebbings is the host of the Plane Talking UK Podcast. He joins in our conversation of recent aviation news, and he also tells us about some of his memorable flights including a Tupolev Tu-134 and riding in the jump seat of a B757. Carl’s favorite remains the L-1011 Tristar, but he also talks about the DC-10.

The Plane Talking UK Podcast started in 2013 as an audio show, but it’s now a live program with a chat room and PTUK YouTube channel. We hear how Carl got started with podcasting and about the exciting plans for his 200th episode.

Like many AvGeeks, Carl’s love of aviation started at a young age as he was able to do a lot of traveling. He has flown on more aircraft types than most people can mention and Carl is an avid plane spotter, as well as a private pilot in training.

Carl the owner of a mobile disco business and when he isn’t spinning CDs or podcasting, he works for the largest book printer in England. In addition, his very understanding, long-suffering wife, Gemma, has grown to accept that most holidays will involve losing her husband at the airport while he goes off plane spotting!

Aviation News

China’s New Jetliner, the Comac C919, Takes Flight for First Time

The Chinese Comac C919 airliner made its first public flight May 5, 2017. The C919 is a single-aisle twin in the same class as the Boeing 737 MAX and the Airbus A320neo, and powered by the CFM56 LEAP-1C.

First F-35B Assembled Internationally Rolled Out of Cameri FACO Production Facility

David Cenciotti writes in The Aviationist that “the first F-35B, the Short Take-Off Vertical Landing variant of the the F-35 Lightning II, destined to the Italian Navy, rolled out of the Final Assembly and Check Out (FACO) facility at Cameri, in northwestern Italy.” This is the first F-35B assembled internationally. First flight is planned for late August, with delivery to the Italian MoD in November 2017.

This Cool Footage Shows U.S. F-35A Lightning II Combat Planes Flying Through The Famous Mach Loop For The First Time

UK airlines set out manifesto asks for new Parliament

Airlines UK, the industry association that represents UK-registered carriers, published a manifesto of policy actions for the next Parliament. The association believes these would result in stronger, more competitive UK airlines.

Vintage plane rips up runway during take-off in Wolverhampton

This video from a vintage air show at Wolverhampton’s Halfpenny Green Airport shows how the jet blast from a de Havilland Vampire ripped up the runway as it took off.

OPINION: Boeing’s CSeries trade complaint lacks credibility

Boeing says Bombardier is selling CSeries jets in the U.S. at “absurdly low” prices and as a result, the company has suffered an injury to its business. Boeing wants the Commerce Department to impose duties on Bombardier.

Reports: French investigators suspect fire caused EgyptAir crash

Reportedly, French air accident investigation agency BEA found no trace of explosives on the bodies of the victims of the crash of EgyptAir MS804 which disappeared over the Mediterranean in May 2016. The A320’s Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), indicated smoke in an avionics bay under the flight deck and in a lavatory.

Two Killed In Icon A5 Crash

An Icon A-5 amphibious LSA crashed in California May 8, 2017, killing two people on board. Both were Icon employees. This is the first fatal crash of the airplane.

Mentioned

Listener Luke sent us the link to a video interview with Captain John Hutchinson, discussing some interesting facts about the crash of Air France 4590.

John Hutchinson on Air France Flight 4590

Credit

Intro music courtesy Brother Love from his Album Of The Year CD. Outtro by Bruno Misonne from The Sound of Flaps.