Conventional Light Aircraft with Electric Motor Makes First Flight; Channel Crossing Planned for 2009
|The Electra in flight.|
A conventional light aircraft propelled by an 18 kW electric motor powered by lithium polymer batteries made its first flight late in December in France. The 48-minute flight of the “Electra” covered more than 50 kilometers (31 miles).
The single-seater, based on a Sourciette kit aircraft, is the product of APAME (Association pour la Promotion des Aéronefs à Motorisation Électrique, Association to Promote Electrical Aircraft), with the support of a number of partners.
The wood and fabric Electra is 7m in length, with a wingspan of 9m. Weight of the aircraft without batteries is 134 kg. The battery pack weights 47 kg. Maximum takeoff weight is 265 kg. The aircraft has a cruise speed of 90 km/h.
|Blériot preparing for the Channel crossing in 1909.|
APAME plans to cross the English Channel in July 2009 with the Electra—100 years after the first crossing of the Channel by Louis Blériot in his prototype Blériot XI.
(A hattip to Clett!)