Speed record set for all-electric airplane – 204.4 mph

Chip Yates does not like sitting still. Just a day after piloting his electric-powered Long EZ airplane to over 200 miles per hour – making him the fastest electric-airplane pilot in the world – he had to disassemble the airplane, pack it up and drive 2,000 miles east to Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Here at Airventure, Yates continues to be busy answering questions about his record-setting run. And perhaps one of the more surprising answers is that Yates is a not a veteran test pilot. He just got his license in June and has about 58 hours of experience, including the record-setting run last week.

When the electric vehicle pioneer bought the used airplane it had a 118 horsepower, four-cylinder gasoline-powered engine that is fairly standard for a Long EZ. Over the course of several months Yates and his team pulled the four-cylinder engine out of the Long EZ. They then pulled the 193 kW (258 hp), liquid cooled electric motor out of his record setting battery powered motorcycle and mounted it to the back of the Long EZ.

With the very well used (Yates calls it “abused”) lithium polymer battery back from the motorcycle in the back seat, the Long EZ was being prepared as a test bed for some of the technologies Yates needs to develop for his transatlantic flight. But after setting speed records for an electric motorcycle, first up for the Long EZ was a speed run.

 

Keep reading: Wired – The Story Behind a Record-Setting Electric Airplane Flight

 

 

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NASA jumpstarts the electric airplane industry with ultra-efficient flights – 400 mpg

This story is a bit old (October 2011), but in light of Chip Yates project to create the first all-electric transatlantic flight, is worth reading about:

 

NASA has awarded the largest prize in aviation history, created to inspire the development of more fuel-efficient aircraft and spark the start of a new electric airplane industry. The technologies demonstrated by the CAFE Green Flight Challenge, sponsored by Google, competitors may end up in general aviation aircraft, spawning new jobs and new industries for the 21st century.

The first place prize of $1.35 million was awarded to team Pipistrel-USA.com of State College, Pa. The second place prize of $120,000 went to team eGenius, of Ramona, Calif.

“NASA congratulates Pipistrel-USA.com for proving that ultra-efficient aviation is within our grasp,” said Joe Parrish, NASA’s acting chief technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “Today we’ve shown that electric aircraft have moved beyond science fiction and are now in the realm of practice.”

The winning aircraft had to fly 200 miles in less than two hours and use less than one gallon of fuel per occupant, or the equivalent in electricity. The first and second place teams, which were both electric-powered, achieved twice the fuel efficiency requirement of the competition, meaning they flew 200 miles using just over a half-gallon of fuel equivalent per passenger.

“Two years ago the thought of flying 200 miles at 100 mph in an electric aircraft was pure science fiction,” said Jack W. Langelaan, team leader of Team Pipistrel-USA.com. “Now, we are all looking forward to the future of electric aviation.”

 

Source: NASA Awards Historic Green Aviation Prize

 

 

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The dawn of electric airplanes – first all-electric transatlantic flight coming in 2014

Electric vehicle pioneer Chip Yates is upping the ante in the world of electric airplanes. Today, the world-record holder for electric motorcycles announced plans for an all-electric recreation of Charles Lindbergh’s famous trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. And Yates isn’t content with just retracing the path across the Atlantic. He’s betting that like Lindbergh’s, his airplane will fly non-stop to Paris. Yates plans on flying at least as fast as Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, and for added challenge and recreation authenticity, he’ll fly relatively low to avoid getting an extra push from the jet stream.

Yates is currently preparing an existing airplane to serve as a test bed for his electrical propulsion system. The airplane is a modified Long-EZ, an efficient design from the desk of Burt Rutan. The first flight of the electric test bed is expected in July. And because it’s a Chip Yates project, he plans to set speed and altitude records with the airplane while testing.

“You could fly this route today in an unmanned solar craft at 80,000 feet being blown over there by the Jetstream, or in something incredibly slow, or in a balloon,” Yates said in a press release, “but that doesn’t get our society any closer to realizing long-range, legitimate payload, electric flight capabilities that everybody can actually benefit from.”

 

Keep reading: Wired – EV Pioneer Plans to Recreate Lindbergh’s Flight in Electric Airplane

 

 

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