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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedEAA, industry discuss electric aircraft
By Peter Lert, EAA AirVenture Today

July 30, 2009 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin  - A 90-minute meeting occurred at EAA headquarters Wednesday to address questions surrounding the future of electric powered aircraft, both in coming years in general and at next year’s AirVenture in particular.

Organized by EAA Vice President of Membership Adam Smith, the meeting included participants from both foreign and U.S. developers and manufacturers, as well as representatives from groups as diverse as the X Prize Foundation and consultants working with foreign certification agencies.

The entire session was on a speculative basis for the present, but a consensus emerged that while electric-powered “transportation” airplanes may still be some years in the future, useful and practical electric recreational aircraft are already here.

Also discussed was the need to establish engineering and regulatory standards for electric aircraft.

This process could mirror that by which EAA, FAA, and industry groups have already cooperated to produce the current LSA rules; in some cases such rules might be combined.

Other topics included ways to increase public awareness of electric aircraft, including a possible dedicated electric aircraft pavilion, electric aircraft flight showcase periods at next year’s AirVenture and an out-and-return flight competition, including a landing away from the origin, for electric and other alternatively- powered aircraft.

Whatever form further development of electric aircraft may take, there’s no question that they’re here to stay—and that they are very likely the future shape of a significant segment of general aviation.

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