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This year’s Sustainable Aviation Symposium Program, Chaired by Dr. Brien Seeley, features renowned leaders from technology sectors relevant to the electric aviation movement.  Please join our faculty for cutting edge and visionary presentations on the sustainable transformation of aviation.



Day 1 21 Apr 2017

08:00 - 08:05 Dr. Brien Seeley :

Welcome to SAS 2017 - Opening remarks


08:05 - 08:35 André Borschberg :

Solar Impulse: Making the Impossible Possible

In addition to covering the breakthrough technologies whose convergence enabled the record-setting Solar Impulse to circle the globe on zero fuel, the presentation will focus on the larger import of this great achievement as inspiration for both the passionate effort of a select and diverse team of experts and as...


08:35 - 09:05 Ingmar Geiss :

ECO4: New Generation Hybrid-electric Four Place Aircraft

Optimized electric airframes can be combined with modern combustion engines generating electricity. In the case of the four place aircraft “ECO4”, this leads to an aircraft which cruises at 120 knots and consumes 40% less fuel than comparable state-of-the-art airplanes with conventional propulsion. Due to the low consumption, the airplane...


09:05 - 09:35 Dr. Josef Kallo :

Long-Range Electric Flight With Advanced Fuel Cells


09:35 - 10:05 Al Bowers :

The Prandtl Wing: Maximum Efficiency

Understanding current wing technology gives us insight for possible improvement. In Applications of Modern Hydrodynamics to Aeronautics [Ludwig Prandtl, NACA Report 116, 1921] “…the wing system having the least drag …” and this is the elliptical load requirement of all wings for a given span. These wings result in very...


10:25 - 10:55 Joseph Oldham :

The Sustainable Aviation Project: eFlight Everywhere

Abstract Joseph Oldham will present the Sustainable Aviation Project: eFlight Everywhere; the first deployment of production electric aircraft in commercial flight training service in the United States.  A joint effort between the City of Reedley, City of Mendota, Reedley College, Mazzei Flying Service, the Fresno Business Council, and the CALSTART...


10:55 - 11:40 Dr. Tine Tomazic :

Sustainable Skies Keynote Lecture

Deriving from experience in the first 10 years of electric flight at Pipistrel, with its humble beginnings flying electric self-launching electric gliders, through to demonstrations of high-performance hybrid and hydrogen-powered flight, the keynote will address challenges associated with the proliferation of electric flight from a first-hand perspective. The author will...


11:40 - 12:10 Dr. Carl Schaefer:

LightningStrike: The XV-24A Hybrid-Electric Tilt-Wing/Canard VTOL

Dr. Carl Schaefer, Program Manager at Aurora Flight Sciences, will present the DARPA-funded breakthrough aircraft.


13:00 - 13:30 Jeff Engler

150 Passenger Electric Airliner

Jeff Engler will speak about the unique opportunities presented by crowdsourced technology development for electric aviation.


13:30 - 14:00 Dr. Kyle Van Houtan

The Ocean is Climate

The presentation will cover the crucial role of the ocean in the global climate system and the astonishing signals that it reveals. The ocean will be shown to be the number one contributor, measuring stick, and front line of climate change impacts.


14:00 - 14:30 Dr. Parimal Kopardekar

Unmanned Aerial System Traffic Management System (UTM) for Safely Enabling Low-altitude UAS operations

NASA is developing a system to safely enable low altitude unmanned aerial system (UAS) operations.  The system is referred to as UAS Traffic Management (UTM).  The UTM will safely enable a variety of business models and multiple operations in the same airspace.  The UTM will provide services such as airspace...


14:30 - 15:00 Joe Mohos

Sensors and Autonomy in UAVs

This presentation follows the arc of UAV/drone development from backyard R/C toys to modern workhorses. The interplay of sensor capability and control automation is leading to technological convergence in the fields of self-driving cars, UAV commercialization, machine learning, machine vision, cheap computer power, cheap cameras and connectivity. I will explore...


15:00 - 15:30 Dr. Tyler MacCready

Polite Aircraft: Cooperative Behavior in Air Traffic

In an aerial community of autonomous vehicles, principles of politeness are a way to create the cooperation needed for safety and management while preserving individual freedom. Politeness is voluntary cooperation that emanates from the individuals, as opposed to enforced cooperation from ground control. It can be built into aircraft through...


15:50 - 16:20 Wayne Cook

Amazon, Uber, Airbus & Google: Meet Your Sky Pod

The synergistic benefits of a sleek, ultra-low drag laminar design that offers the highest capacity, lowest cost, and greatest design freedom for any future electric Sky Transit vehicles. The details of the design will be shared along the economic impact of its use.


16:20 - 16:50 Dr. Sridhar Kota

Fast Morphing Wings and Prop Blades

Towards Bird-like Control of Thrust, Lift, Drag, Flare and Ride Quality Elastic design, or compliant, design, exploits the natural elasticity of materials, embracing deflection rather than avoiding it, to create monolithic, load-bearing flexible structures that change shapes on demand. By applying the principles of compliant design, various multifunctional FlexFoil shape...


16:50 - 17:20 Martin Albrecht

Higher Efficiencies of Slow Turning, Large Diameter Multibladed Propellers Concepts


17:20 - 17:50 Joshua Portlock

ElectroDucts, Optimal Thrusters for Safe and Efficient V/ESTOL Sky Taxis

By: Joshua Portlock and Rob Bulaga Affiliation: Electro.Aero & Trek Aerospace, Inc. ElectroDucts are modular electric ducted fans poised to be a game changer in VTOL performance and smooth transition to efficient forward flight. The concept melds Trek Aerospace’s expertise with ducted fan aerodynamic optimization with Electro Aero’s expertise in efficient electric...


18:45 - 21:30 Theme Dinner

Dr. Qichao Hu

Theme Dinner: Batteries with Wings

Hermes™: High Energy Rechargeable Metal Cells for Space” SolidEnergy is introducing the lightest rechargeable battery the world has ever seen. Independently verified repeatedly by customers, Hermes™ has already demonstrated over 450Wh/kg and has a roadmap to exceed 500Wh/kg by end of 2017. SolidEnergy is currently producing Hermes™ at its state-of-the-art...

Aris Symeonidis

Theme Dinner: Aeronautics Theme Dinner: Regional Sky Transit: Landing & Takeoff System on Latching Drone Cars and Ground Taxiing & Passenger Assist System

Using electric-latching-platform cars for runway operations enables extremely-short takeoff or landing (ESTOL) capability for long-range electric fixed-wing aircraft between low-noise highly-localized RST skyparks. This concept means short runways, less landing gear weight, and future integration into last-mile connections with street-or-air transport pods. This technology could be significantly advantageous in the...

Theme Dinner: Advanced Motors

A discussion on cutting edge motors for electric aircraft.

Star Simpson

Theme Dinner: APSARA (Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions)

APSARA (Aerial Platform Supporting Autonomous Resupply Actions) are biodegradable gliders designed for one-time use in resupply missions in regions with insufficient infrastructure to support other cargo. Made of a mycelium-based material, the APSARAs are designed to flat-pack until needed, capable of 1-10kg payloads and to land accurately yet have a...


Day 2 22 Apr 2017

08:00 - 08:05 Dr. Brien Seeley

Day 2 Opening Remarks


08:05 - 08:35 Dean Sigler

State of the Union for Electric Aircraft

The talk will focus on the structure, design and power for current and next generation aircraft, emphasizing what is practical now and what is possible in the near and long term. We will look at configurations for everything from ultralight electrics to the plethora of designs for so-called “flying cars.”...


08:35 - 09:05 Brian Carpenter

Treading Lightly: Low Horsepower Aircraft

Energy storage density limitations favor electric aircraft that can maintain level flight on very small amounts of horsepower (kW). The possible extremes of achievement in low-powered electric flight in personal aircraft will be presented from two design viewpoints: 1) when expense is not a limitation and 2) when expense is...


09:05 - 09:35 Dr. Brien Seeley

World’s Quietest Sky Taxi: The Sustainable Aviation Challenge

There are no less than 7 promising start-up Sky Taxi companies in the Silicon Valley area. These include Zee Aero, Kitty Hawk, Airbus “A3,”Aurora Flight Sciences, Uber, eHang and Joby. Each of these envisions what a Sky Taxi might look like if servicing high proximity aviation in a metro region....


09:35 - 10:05 Dr. Aarohi Vijh

SA Symposium Earth-Day Lecture: Solar Power for Aircraft

There is a tremendous amount of interest in solar powered aircraft, whether manned trainers or unmanned tactical UAVs where solar provides range extension, or high-altitude long-endurance pseudo-satellites where solar is the only practical power source. Sunnyvale, CA-based Alta Devices will present its record-breaking lightweight solar technology and its application to...


10:05 - 10:50 Cameron Robertson

The Paul B. MacCready Lecture: Doing More with Much Less

Doing More with Much Less: Human Flight on the Power of a Cordless Drill On June 13th, 2013, AeroVelo’s Atlas Human-Powered Helicopter captured the 33-year-outstanding AHS Sikorsky Prize. Created in 1980 and thought by many to be impossible, the prize required an HPH to fly for 60 seconds and achieve...


11:15 - 11:45 Dr. Qichao Hu

Hermes™: High Energy Rechargeable Metal Cells for Space

In ancient Greek mythology, Hermes was the God of communication, the messenger of the Gods, connecting the heavens and the Earth. Today SolidEnergy has developed a high energy density rechargeable metal cell for space application, called Hermes™, enabling high altitude drones to provide free and open access to internet and...


11:45 - 12:15

Advanced Motors for Electric Aircraft


11:45 - 12:15 Willi Tacke

New technology from Good Old Europe — an Overview of the Latest Developments in Electric Aviation Europe

Willy Tacke, the Founder and Program Chair for e-Flight Expo 2017 has been a tremendous year for the development of electric propulsion systems for Aircraft and on demand air mobility vehicles. In conventional e-aircraft there was the first 2 aerobatic aircraft we had electric Trainers getting in operations in Switzerland...


12:15 - 12:45 Kostya Khomutov

Ultra Fast Battery Charging with Minimal Cycle Life Degradation

GBatteries developed a smart battery management system, which enables existing li-ion batteries to charge ultra fast with minimal degradation. The technology is designed to prevent damage to the cell in real-time. In particular GBatteries achieved 5min to 50%, 10 min to 80% and 30min to 100% battery charge with the...








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