An electric-powered airplane flew over the
main air show runway at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh today, and it wowed the
crowd with its quietness. Recognizing its uniqueness, onlookers applauded
as the airplane made its first pass.
What electric flight
enthusiasts have been waiting for all week … the ElectraFlyer C
makes its first flight at Oshkosh. Photo by Dan Luft
Randall Fishman, who
developed the electric powerplant, shows off the motor. The
ElectraFlyer C is parked under the wing of the Piedmont Airlines
DC-3 on the south side of AeroShell Square.
Photo by Cindy Luft
Joe Bennis relaxes
after flying the ElectraFlyer C over the main air show runway to
the delight of the crowd. Photo by Cindy Luft
Bennis taxies out in
preparation for his first flight at AirVenture Oshkosh. Photo by
Piloted by Joe Bennis, the ElectraFlyer C
made three passes in front of air show center. Randall Fishman, president
of the Electric Aircraft Corp., which designed the powerplant, said that
the quietness of the engine and absence of vibration are two of the
machine's best qualities. Not to mention that you can recharge its 18-hp
motor in as little as two hours at a cost of about 75 cents with a
110-volt charger. That's right-75 cents. "That makes the proverbial
$100 hamburger cost … well, the price of the hamburger plus 75
cents," Fishman quipped.
The ElectraFlyer-C cruises at 70 mph,
stalls at 45 mph, and has a top speed of 90 mph and a flight duration of
1-1/2 to 2 hours. The motor direct drives a 45-inch ground adjustable,
two-blade PowerFin carbon fiber propeller, which lifts the ElectraFlyer-C
at a climb rate of 500 to 600 fpm. Takeoff rpm is 2800.
The motor draws power from a custom-built
lithium polymer battery pack; batteries are projected to have a life of
1,000 cycles. Weighing in at 78 pounds, the battery pack produces 5.6
kilowatt hours and can be recharged in as little as two hours using a
220-volt charger (or six hours with a 110-volt charger). Fishman says
it's feasible to carry a small 110-volt charger as baggage on
Fishman was honored with the Dr. August
Raspet Memorial Award on Thursday afternoon during an electric aircraft
forum with a standing ovation from the crowd, which was anxious to see
the airplane fly. And now it has, to the delight of Fishman.
The Electric Aircraft Corp. does not sell
the airplane but does offer complete powerplant packages, including the
motor and controller. For more information, visit www.ElectraFlyer.com.
You can see the ElectraFlyer on AeroShell Square, where it's tucked under
the wing of the Piedmont Airlines DC-3.