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Electric cars, and conversion kits, can be found all over the Internet. But when was the last time you saw a full size electric plane? Yeah, me neither. This is not an RC toy, it’s a full size, human carrying, electric plane powered by an 18 kW, 25hp, brushed “industrial” motor. It flew for 48 minutes and went 50 km, that’s about 31 miles. I would love to know what kind of noise it made as it flew by.

On Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 11:50 took place, the first flight of F-WMDJ ELECTRA, equipped with an electric motor of 25 hp and Lithium-polymer batteries.

The website was originally published in French, but there is a translated version that has some interesting information and more pictures. – Link [Via]

Related:

  • An Amazing electric car – Link

Marc de Vinck

I’m currently working full time as the Dexter F. Baker Professor of Practice in Creativity in the Masters of Engineering in Technical Entrepreneurship Program at Lehigh University. I’m also an avid product designer, kit maker, author, father, tinkerer, and member of the MAKE Technical Advisory board.


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Comments

  1. P says:

    Have a look at the Antares self-launching electric glider. It has a brushless motor, lithium batteries in the wings, and a engine management unit comprised of a linux PC. It’s also a beautiful, very high performance glider!

    One charge can lift the glider over 3000m.

    http://www.lange-flugzeugbau.de/htm/english/products/antares_20e/antares_20E.html

  2. HamboneMalone says:

    This is awesome! So what if it only has a range of 50 km. When you land, all you have to do is switch your motor over to “windmill mode” and recharge the batteries for your next leg. No more fuel costs! Considering that avgas is about $5 a gallon, and that a Cessna 152 burns about 6 gallons an hour at cruise, that’s a HUGE savings in operational costs. Plus an electric motor doesn’t loose horsepower with altitude or atmospheric density. YIPPIE! Sign me up!

  3. Mark says:

    I’m fairly sure it would sound similar to a normal plane. I think most of the noise from small planes like this comes from the propellor, not the engine.

  4. ttgrthomas says:

    Go here now:

    http://www.lange-aviation.com

    Find the new ” DLR-H2 ” airplane/glider combo.

    It’s 42-kW or 56 horsepower electric motor, PEM type fuel cell and underwing refrigerated liquid hydrogen pods, with a 56 to 1 glide ratio allows this new ” one-off ” prototype to travel ….

    …. for over 24 hours at 85 – 100 mph airspeed before it must land for refueling.

    Filler up the Thermos bottle with alot of really strong coffee before takeoff, eh?

    48 minutes – Good for a lithium powered bird
    over 24 hours aloft – Big wind generator makes alot of refrigerated liquid hydrogen. http://www.airliquide.com delivers it to http://www.linde.de underwing LH fuel bottles. Radiator uses airflow to warm LH up to hydrogen gas temperatures. PEM-type fuel cell uses hydrogen and [ up to 10,000 ft. elevation ] oxygen.

    Tea
    Lasts for 48 minutes – lithium battery powered small plane

    Coffee [ & donuts I presume ]
    Lasts for 8 hours – modified LH fuel cell http://www.microdrones.com search & rescue camera drone

    Espresso
    Lasts for well over 24 hours – coast to coast or over the ocean zero pollution flight that keeps going & going & going & going ….
    http://www.lange-aviation.com
    DLR-H2 piloted airplane

  5. Mark D says:

    Yeah I don’t know if I would want to risk battery times in a plane. Being stranded in a car is on thing, but who knows in the future they may well be common.

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