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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.

  

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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh


Volume 9, Number 8 August 3, 2008     

Electric Innovator presented with Raspet Award
By Mary Jones

Adam Smith presents Randall Fishman with the 48th annual Raspet Award. Photo by Amy Gesch

EAA honored Randall Fishman, EAA 794189, of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, with the 2008 Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award for his accomplishment in developing and flying an electric-powered aircraft. Adam Smith, EAA vice president of membership, presented the award to Fishman at the end of the electric power forum on Thursday afternoon, to a standing ovation from the sizable crowd that gathered to participate in the discussion.

The Raspet award has been presented annually since 1960 to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design.

Fishman flew his first electric-powered aircraft, a weight-shift trike, during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007 and received the grand champion and innovation award in the ultralight category. This year he is displaying his ElectraFlyer-C, an electric-powered, single-seat airplane, that made its first flight earlier this summer. You can find the ElectraFlyer C parked under the wing of the Piedmont Airlines DC-3 on the south side of AeroShell Square.

Fishman, president of Electric Aircraft Corp., put together the powerplant package that is based around 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 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.

Dr. August "Gus" Raspet was a professor at Mississippi State University and avid light aircraft enthusiast. He was instrumental in elevating the aeronautical engineering program at Mississippi A&M College, as it was originally known, into one of the nation’s pre-eminent aerophysics research centers. The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory in Starkville, Mississippi, was completed in 1962.

Lifetime EAA member Craig Willan, president of Omega Engineering, an aerospace-engineering and consulting firm, moderated the electric aircraft panel, which included Fishman along with Pete Buck and John Monnett of Sonex Aircraft LLC; Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles Lindbergh and chairman of the Lindbergh Foundation; David Palombo, president of Aveox Inc., a manufacturer of brushless DC motors and controllers; and Dr. Morton Grosser, a technology consultant and venture capital investor.

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