New Sustainable Aviation Symposium Set For May

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A new two-day symposium to explore the future of electric-powered flight will be held May 6 and 7 in Redwood City, California, the Sustainable Aviation Foundation has announced. The program, which is being developed by SAF President Brien Seeley, will include a "global faculty of technology experts and visionaries," according to the SAF website. The list of presenters includes NASA chief scientist Dennis Bushnell, Tian Yu of Yuneec, Tine Tomazic of Pipistrel and many others. The Foundation aims to explore technologies that "encompass all sectors of aviation … from UAVs and sport/recreational through commercial air carriers, since sustainability is everyone's concern," according to the website. Meanwhile, the CAFE Foundation, which for many years has hosted a similar annual conference, has not yet finalized a plan for this year.

Larry Ford, the president of the CAFE board and one of the founders of the group, recently resigned from his post, Vice-President Steve Williams told AVweb this week. Williams said CAFE plans to hold a board meeting soon to make plans for this year. A "strategic concept statement" posted recently at the CAFE website said the group "plans to broaden the scope of topics and speakers at [Electric Aircraft Symposium] 2016 to include propulsion, batteries, airframe design, flight operations, autonomous flight, and information integration. EAS 2016 will look at the challenges facing electric flight, and how the aviation industry can reach beyond its own walls for technological solutions and business opportunities." Seeley, also a founder of CAFE, left the organization last year and formed the new SAF. He told AVweb this week there are more presenters in the works for his May symposium and he'll have more updates soon.