ElectraFlyer-C, an electric-powered, single-seat airplane, recently made its
first flight, reports Randall Fishman, president of Electric Aircraft Corp.
Fishman previously flew an electric-powered weight-shift trike at EAA
AirVenture Oshkosh 2007, for which he won grand champion ultralight and
outstanding innovation awards. He is now using the same motor on an all-metal,
low-wing airplane. He expects to demonstrate the ElectraFlyer C at AirVenture
With an 18-hp electric motor 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 ElectraFlyer-C at a
climb rate of 500 to 600 fpm. Takeoff rpm is 2800. The experimental
amateur-built airplane is currently in its required 40-hour flight testing
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 that 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. For more information, visit www.ElectraFlyer.com.