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Yates' record-setting electric airplane gets new battery pack

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.

We last reported on Mr. Yates in April, when he was preparing to tear up Colorado's Pikes Peak Hillclimb with his electric motorcycle. But last July is when he really made news by getting his Burt Rutan-designed retrofitted Long-EZ plane to hit 202.6 miles per hour before the electric motor conked out and forced the pilot into a dead-stick (and safe) landing.

Read Yates' blog post here and watch the eight-plus-minute video below.

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