Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rocky Mountain LSA Expo

We are showing the Phoenix around the Denver area. They just had the Rock Mountain LSA Expo at the Front Range airport, and even with cold weather, many pilots attended this first event for the area. The next days have been spent in better weather, giving demo flights to interested pilots.
Steve owns an electric Telsa, which he ran me down the taxiway at maximum acceleration, something like 0-60 in 3 seconds. Since we are building the electric PhoEnix, we introduced the Tesla to the Phoenix so they could discuss the future of electric power.

Ed Babovec is taking good care of me with a wonderful house and runway in Longmont, CO just down the street from our operating base at Erie. This photo shows his backyard.

Ed's wife Cheryl and I had a great flight together. I was about to land but she wasn't quite ready so we climbed back up and stayed aloft for a while longer. Cheryl will be happy to discuss the Phoenix with any wives out there, but Ed says to talk to him first.

Graham and I found some patchy lift way up in the mountains, and explored strange clouds to see if there was lift under them, something not possible in a pure glider.

View of the Flatirons outside of Boulder. We have more bad weather today, but it may clear enough to get to Salida, CO before heading on south to Moriarty, NM.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


PhoEnix with the capital E in the middle spells the new electric powered PhoEnix from Phoenix Air. Conceived for the NASA CAFE Green Flight Challenge, the PhoEnix is purpose built for a race. A race that offers big bucks for the winner, but with a bar set so high that it is unlikely that anyone will win it. But if any aircraft can do it, the PhoEnix can!

The PhoEnix features a modified Schempp-Hirth Discus wing raised up and back on the fuselage to make room for the retractible gear.

The gear will be electrically driven, and swings back into the wheel wells which are located in the baggage compartment of the original Phoenix.

The wings are 14.5M long, and are optimized for the 100mph speed required over the 200 mile course.

The race will start on July 10 just north of San Francisco. From what we have managed to learn of the other 12 entrants, the PhoEnix will be one of the top contenders for the prize.