- Dec 27, 2007
French manned electric plane test flight a success
In a project called "Electra," a group of French engineers have managed to successfully fly a manned electric plane. The plane, called Electra F-WMDJ, has an electric motor good for 25 HP and lithium-ion batteries. The first flight took 48 minutes inside a closed circuit based on Aspres-sur-Buëch's aerodrome, in the Rhône-Alpes region. The flight had to be expressly authorised by the French Civil Aviation Agency, because of its experimental characteristics.
The plane, which is made from wood and cloth, weights only 165 kg (about 365 pounds, without the pilot), has a wingspan of 9 meters (30 ft) and can seat one. The creators are enthusiastic about the results of the test, which they claim is "a great alternative to current ICE that yield between 15 and 50 HP". They also consider the whole plan a success, because the plane was developed in just a year and a half.
[Source: APAME via La Flecha (h/t to David for the tip)]