Skip to comments.German electric airplane completes first flight
Posted on 03/29/2011 10:17:49 AM PDT by smokingfrog
Electric airplanes are getting more numerous, with the latest making its initial flight in Augsburg, Germany. The Elektra One, developed by Calin Gologan of PC-Aero, was flown by test pilot Jon Karkow.
Since that flight, the aircraft has completed an additional three flights for up to 30 minutes. It will next be upgraded with a variable pitch prop and retractable landing gear.
Karkow was the project leader and test pilot for the around-the-world Virgin Global Flyer, and more recently served as technical program manager for the Virgin Galactic commercial space program at Scaled Composites in California.
The single-seat Elektra One is claimed to have a three-hour endurance using rechargeable batteries and a range of more than 216 nm. The aircraft has a payload of 220 pounds and claimed to cruise at 86 knots.
It is the first of a family of airplanes. The Elektra Two will carry two passengers, while the Elektra Four will carry four. Half of the design work is completed for the two-seat model.
Every electric airplane needs a solar-powered hangar, right? After all, there is a lot of battery recharging to do between flights. Elektra One comes with its own solar-powered hangar. The complete system, airplane and hangar, will enter the market at a goal price of $141,300, a variable price based on the Euro.
The aircraft will first be offered in Germany in the Ultralight class, or it can be sold in the US as Experimental when it comes to market. Eventually it will be sold as a U.S. light sport aircraft, when ASTM standards are completed for electric aircraft. That could take one to two years, designer Gologan said in a telephone interview from Germany. Gologan will complete German and ASTM certification, and then sell the project to Neo Wings for serious production.
(Excerpt) Read more at aopa.org ...
I believe this is what George Jetson drove to work.
Looks pretty sweet.
Effective range 30 NM just like a dolt?
Does the emergency rubber band run between the legs.
Unfortunately, by the time they get a 4 seater out, who knows what the price will be.
Three hour endurance.
Think how quiet this puppy is. Man, you can scare the #@*#@& out of geese.
I’d bet the farm this dog has a ballistic recovery system and I still wouldn’t get on board.
King sized Air Hogg.
Being electric and flying, I have to wonder why there is no “solar panel” molded into the composite structure to charge the batteries while flying. Solar Cells are light in weight and it is a VFR plane afterall. Anyway, $141K is rediculously expensive.
Not on a bet would I get on board.
Is it coin operated?
We were going to use a ceramic electric motor of 300 HP powered by 6 of the fuel cells( about 1.5 cubic feet each. It took about 15 minutes to fire up one, then fire up the rest so a minimum of 1/2 hour before flight. Efficency was about 52 to 60%. Total weight of system was the same as a IO 550 with he same HP.
So with equal fuel loads range was doubled, and no altitude penalty.
One killer problem - The fuel cells cost about $60,000 each and the capillary system in the internal ceramic would plug with the contaminants in the kerosene fairly quickly.
I think GM produced a few fuel cell powered cars in the 70’s - Oh well - maybe fusion will work someday.
Was wondering the same exact thing. Lots of surface area for cells.
You wouldn’t need $650 dollar Bose headsets.
Looking at the size of the craft, you may be able to make 300 watts in full sun.
I don’t know how big the batteries are or the power usage but during a 3 hour flight, solar cells would only add another kilowatt hour under optimum conditions.
I suppose if you ran out of juice out in the desert, you could recharge the batteries after a few days and fly out.
So that 2 hours flying time with ample landing reserved at 85 knots effective range 150 miles ...maybe 180 with tailwind..
It includes a hangar with solar panels. I have a friend that factory built a Glassair Sportsman and by the time he got done getting avionics he was over $200k. It’s a really nice airplane, though.
Just fly into a thunderstorm and recharge the batteries.
I’d rather bring back the “Gossamer Albatross” Totally enviro ANd cardio friendly..
It isn’t going to be a cross country machine, that’s for sure.
People talk about “range anxiety” associated with all-electric cars; when this baby runs out of juice, you can’t just coast over to the side of the road.
There is no way it could do without the retractable gear. It wouldn’t be able to get as good a range with the gear out all the time. But maybe such things are human powered.
The chief danger would be unanticipated flight delays. An electric car that’s about to fizzle can at least usually be pulled to the shoulder. What would occupants have to do here, bail with parachutes and let the craft crash?
I’d bring some swim gear in case a headwind shows up unexpectedly.
Would you get in a glider?
That’s all any aircraft is when the engine stops functioning.
Let’s see how popular these things are when the left shuts down more nuclear power plants.
I don't know if I'd want to get into one of these things at all, let alone over a body of water.
That’s what you call “no runway” anxiety - or “landing on a public highway” anxiety.
Down to Home Depot to buy a few pallets of power cords . . .
No different than any other kind of short range airplane. I flew a small fighter in the Navy that didn’t have “real” IFR reserves. You pretty much had to check weather on the way in a lot of cases and make a decision before you got to your intended destination.
Its innovators like this that have always moved things forward, unlike GM ...
I have a feeling the builder/flier of an electric airplane is more up to speed with reality..than the GM Volt crowd is.
Great.......A ground power unit with a propeller. I guess they can fly it to your plane parked on the ramp for auxiliary power until you’re ready to fly.
“You wouldnt need $650 dollar Bose headsets.”
LOL Excellent point!
I could see this as a type of UAV, very silent.
Imagine filing VFR on top? Hoping that the ceiling of 600feet becomes thin-scattered at your destination? At night? I’m not a user of landing lights on purpose, but this is a lawsuit waiting for a litigant.
Cessna is looking to do this with one of their smaller aircraft, as well. They seem to think that the majority of instructional flights are about an hour. Not sure what the turn around time to charge would be.
Will the commercial deluxe version be called the ElectroLux!
That thing looks like it will float real good.
They could use interchangable batteries like a fork lift.
The biggest obstacle to that would be the FAA. I’m sure they could write a 1000 page book of regulations for it. The article I read in “Flying” magazine said they were going to put the batteries in the wing, the space currently filled with fuel.
“Would you get in a glider?”
Umm.. no. Plus, that doesn’t look like a glider. It looks like a brick with a propeller.
All the single engine prop planes look like that. Funny how we/I have got all that confidence in four banger Lycoming with lots of parts to fail and none in this cute puppy. LOL