July 30, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin
- A 90-minute meeting occurred at EAA headquarters Wednesday to address
questions surrounding the future of electric powered aircraft, both in
coming years in general and at next year’s AirVenture in particular.
Organized by EAA Vice President of Membership
Adam Smith, the meeting included participants from both foreign and U.S.
developers and manufacturers, as well as representatives from groups as
diverse as the X Prize Foundation and consultants working with foreign
The entire session was on a speculative basis
for the present, but a consensus emerged that while electric-powered “transportation”
airplanes may still be some years in the future, useful and practical
electric recreational aircraft are already here.
Also discussed was the need to establish
engineering and regulatory standards for electric aircraft.
This process could mirror that by which EAA,
FAA, and industry groups have already cooperated to produce the current
LSA rules; in some cases such rules might be combined.
Other topics included ways to increase public
awareness of electric aircraft, including a possible dedicated electric
aircraft pavilion, electric aircraft flight showcase periods at next year’s
AirVenture and an out-and-return flight competition, including a landing
away from the origin, for electric and other alternatively- powered
Whatever form further development of electric
aircraft may take, there’s no question that they’re here to stay—and
that they are very likely the future shape of a significant segment of