We had previously mentioned that the PC-Aero Elektra One would soon be taking its first flight and, less than three months later, it officially has. Twice! Piloted by Jon Karkow, the all-electric aircraft took to the skies over the Augsburg Airport in Germany with a set of initial flights in what the team terms its "internal" first flight.
On the 23rd, the controls were handed over to Norbert Lorenzen who conducted an "official" first flight. On the first first flight, the little bird eagerly winged its way 500 meters (1640 feet) upward with a climb rate of 400 feet per minute. On its next first flight it continued to please the PC-Aero team, staying aloft some 30 minutes while using only half the capacity of the 6 kWh battery installed. Design goals for a commercial model call for a three-hour flight time.
The Elektra One is about to be fitted with a new variable pitch propeller and fancy retractable landing gear but you can catch the flyer in action this April when it will appear at Aero 2011 in Friedrichshafen along with its solar hanger. It's also registered as a contestant of the "Berblinger-Prize 2011." Hit the jump for video footage of hot electric first flight action as well as the official press release.