Randall Fishman, the 2007 AirVenture Grand Champion 'Lindy' and Ultralight Innovation award winner, has a plan to prove a number of concepts about electric-powered flight via the development and testing of his ElectraFlyer-C, an electric-powered, single-seat airplane.
Fishman, president of Electric Aircraft Corp., flew a rechargeable, battery powered weight-shift trike at Oshkosh in 2007 and in 2008, an all-metal, low-wing bird called the ElectraFlyer-C.
The ElectraFlyer-C is a re-engined Moni motorglider from the 1980s with an 18-hp electric motor in place of its original noisy 2-stroke engine. The Experimental Aviation Association (EAA) reported last week the ElectraFlyer-C cruises at 70 mph, stalls at 45 mph, and has a top speed of 90 mph and a flight duration of 1-1/2 hours. The motor direct drives a 45-inch ground adjustable, two-blade PowerFin carbon fiber propeller, which lifts the aircraft at a climb rate of 500 to 600 fpm. Takeoff rpm is 2800.
The motor draws power from a custom-built lithium polymer battery pack; batteries are projected to have a life of 1,000 cycles. Weighing in at 78 pounds, the battery pack produces 5.6 kilowatt hours and can be recharged in as little as two hours using a 220-volt charger (or six hours with a 110-volt charger). The cost for a full recharge is 70 cents with the 110-volt charger. Fishman says it's feasible to carry a small 110-volt charger as baggage on cross-country flights.
"People will like flying the airplane because there's no vibration and it is almost completely silent in the air," says Fishman, adding you can listen to your iPod or use a handheld radio without needing a helmet while in flight.
The Electric Aircraft Corp. does not sell the airplane but does offer complete powerplant packages, including the motor and controller.
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