• Dec 27th 2007 at 2:47PM
  • 5

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)]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      One factor to consider: Unlike petro fuel aircraft, EVs don't get lighter as they use up their fuel. This reduces their range for the same energy storage.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Sonex has not flown (I'll be very surprised when it does), they would not even spin the propeller for avweb.

      -- Doesn't get lighter as you burn fuel but... you don't have to worry about placing the fuel tanks on the cg (opens up a lot of new possibilities), and the list of the advantages that electric motors have over combustion engines is so long that I'm not going to bother.
      • 7 Years Ago
      There's also this beauty of a self launch electric motor glider:


      What a way to get about that would be!
      • 7 Years Ago
      You don't have to go all the way to France to find an electric airplane. John Monnett unveiled an electric version of his very cool Sonex at EAA's AirVenture fly-in at Oshkosh WI this summer.

      See the YouTube video link below where John talks about this plane with AvWeb.


      I'd guess the French plane will be cheaper to build/buy given the less sophisticated design.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Woha! Yes, the Lange Flugzeugbau Antares 20E electric motored glider!!!: What a beauty of a plane!
      Have a look at the tech of the engine and batteries:

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