Builders of Seraph Aviation Milestones
Green Flight Challenge entrant expects to win and design a better business jet
By Fareed Guyot, Manager – Electronic Publications, EAA 388642
May 5, 2011 — Ike Aerospace previewed its Seraph technology demonstrator aircraft at the CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium last week as its entry into the $1.65 million NASA/CAFE Green Flight Challenge scheduled for July 11-17 in Santa Rosa, California. The Seraph marries blended-wing and lifting body aerodynamic concepts, along with carbon fiber construction techniques and design for maximum weight savings and efficiency. The single-place, twin-engine hybrid powered aircraft will use biofuel-to-electric conversion to power the electric engines. This design is the forerunner to Ike Aerospace’s more ambitious project to build a business jet that will go beyond Mach 3.
Ike Aerospace founder Richard Ike bases his aircraft design on the concept of “biomimicry”: using nature as model, mentor, and measure. In aviation this is called organic aeronautics or aerospace inspired by nature. The Seraph hopes to achieve efficiencies through carbon fiber construction using an exo-skeletal approach to the fuselage, fixed-gear integrated into flight stabilizers, and lift generated by airfoils and vortex though the blended-wing and lifting body concept.
Further efficiencies are expected by mounting the engines inside the wing and using ducted propellers and even a special coating in the engine wind funnel to reduce noise. To save even more weight, Ike is proposing to eliminate the instrument panel, opting for an off-the-shelf, goggle-mounted heads-up display to feed all the necessary parameters to the pilot who, in this aircraft, can be up to 6 feet tall, enjoying 3 feet of elbow room.
According to its website, Team Ike Aerospace is confident in its chances of winning the Green Flight Challenge. The company sees the Seraph as the steppingstone to the StarCruiser, a quiet supersonic, intercontinental, all-weather business jet. Read more about the StarCruiser