No, Chip Yates doesn't get range anxiety. The record-setting pilot and motorcycle rider made recent news by testing out a new, EnerDel-made battery pack in the battery-electric Long-ESA airplane he set a speed record with a year ago. Yates' 20-minute flight last week got him up to 5,500 feet and he hit 175 miles per hour at "less than 50 percent throttle." Yates, whose 258-horsepower plane now has twice the battery output as last year, is shooting for 250 mph.
Chip Yates retired his electric motorcycle last year after setting records at the Mohave Mile and Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and notching several (slower than Lightning) FIM World Land Speed achievements on the Bonneville Salt Flats. If you thought he was done with his pursuit of battery-powered feats, however, you have underestimated just how crazy this Californian is. Case in point? He's just announced a plan to trace the path Charles Lindbergh took during his historic flight from Ne
In the end, the competition for the $1.35 million top prize in the 2011 Green Flight Challenge came down to just two craft, the eGenius and the Pipistrel G4. After both managed to meet the goal of the contest – fly 200 miles at over 100 miles per hour using less than the equivalent energy of one gallon of fuel per passenger – the winner seems to have been determined by its efficiency score.
The CAFE Foundation has announced that Google will sponsor the NASA Centennial Challenge flight competition known as the Green Flight Challenge (GFC). The CAFE Foundation (which here stands for Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency) will host the event from September 25 through October 2, 2011 at Charles M. Schulz – Sonoma County Airport in California. The NASA-funded prize purse of $1.65 million is the largest ever for a non-spaceflight aviation challenge, according to CAFE.
Cessna has built over 43,000 of its 172 Skyhawks since introducing the airplane back in 1955 and, until now, all have burned aviation fuel (Avgas) to fly the friendly skies. That is set to change as the ol' air-dog will learn a new trick this year with its manufacturer announcing that it is teaming up with Bye Energy to produce an electric-powered proof of concept (POC) version of the venerable bird.
We don't claim to be experts on airplanes, nor is the physics of flight one of our strong suits, but we do know a thing or two about hybrid and electric-powered stuff. Therefore, we'll focus more on the commercial feasibility and public reception of hybrid and electric airplanes, rather than on the logistics and technical elements that can be sorted out by those with the proper expertise in the respective fields. With that aside, we're ready to jump into the discussion.
During a flight that only lasted about eight minutes, the SkySpark managed to set a world record for the fastest speed attained by an electric airplane. The craft, piloted by astronaut (STS-75) Maurizo Cheli, achieved an airspeed of 155 mph (250 km/h) last week at the World Air Games in Turin, Italy. Specifically modified for the project, the battery-powered Pioneer Alpi 300 is thought to be capable of 186 mph (300 km/h).
First things first: electric airplanes are nothing new. The French eplane "Electra" flew in 2007 and the "ElectraFlyer C" wowed the crowds at Oshkosh in 2008. But, these one-offs are not for sale and they're certainly not cheap to put together.
If you have a strong interest in electric vehicles taking flight (in both the metaphoric and non-metaphoric senses) than you may want to attend the upcoming Electric Aircraft Symposium on April 24th at the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, California. The impressive line up of speakers features such notables as Dr. Yi Cui of nanowire battery breakthrough fame and will touch on subjects ranging from climate science to the proposed Aviation Green Prize (an Automotive X-Prize type competition).
The ElectraFlyer C took to the skies at the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh on Sunday, demonstrating to the crowds below the possibilities of environmentally friendlier electric-powered flight. The folks on the ground were also witness to a huge reduction in noise pollution as the converted Moni motor glider made three passes in front of the air show center. Able to climb into the skies at a rate of 500 feet per minute, the aircraft can cruise for one and a half to two hours at 70 mph using an 18 horsepo