04 January 2008

Electric Battery-Only Powered Aircraft Flies in France

This French kit-built plane goes a step beyond the self-launched electric powered glider from Slovenia. The French plane has made a 48 minute flight, and is preparing to fly the English Channel!
The 48-minute flight of the “Electra” covered more than 50 kilometers (31 miles)...The single-seater, based on a Sourciette kit aircraft, is the product of APAME (Association pour la Promotion des Aéronefs à Motorisation Électrique, Association to Promote Electrical Aircraft), with the support of a number of partners.

The wood and fabric Electra is 7m in length, with a wingspan of 9m. Weight of the aircraft without batteries is 134 kg. The battery pack weights 47 kg. Maximum takeoff weight is 265 kg. The aircraft has a cruise speed of 90 km/h.

APAME plans to cross the English Channel in July 2009 with the Electra...
Green Car Congress

Notice that the French Electra has very tight weight margins. Until electric storage batteries achieve a better energy density, Electra pilots must be petit.

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