Flight times for
the eSpyder are expected to be about an hour with the upgraded
Yuneec International, a Shanghai-based
producer of electric aircraft components and complete airplanes, added
three craft to its offering set over the past year.
In addition to the e430, a two-seat composite aircraft destined for the
LSA market, Yuneec now offers the eSpyder, an electric Part-103
compliant ultralight; the Viva, a side-by-side seating, electric,
two-seat, self-launching glider; and the APIS 2, an electric single-seat
Designs, rights, and tooling, both for
the gliders and for the ultralight, were acquired from other
manufacturers. Further development of all the models, and ultimately
production, will happen at Yuneec's Shanghai facilities. According to
Clive Coote, Yuneec's Managing Director, deliveries of the new models,
as well as deliveries of the e430, should begin in late 2011.
An eSpyder prototype appeared at
AirVenture last year. Since that time Yuneec has lengthened the wings,
lightened the structure, and doubled the battery capacity. Flight times
are expected to be about an hour with the upgraded battery.
Orders for the $27,995 craft are being
taken. Yuneec has also donated a production position to be sold at
auction during the Gathering of Eagles event Thursday evening.
The Viva and APIS 2 self-launching glider
designs were acquired from German designer Martin Wezel.
Both started life as gasoline-powered
craft. Conversion of the Viva prototype to electric is complete and
flight testing is underway.
Yuneec is still deciding whether to certify the gliders under the
self-launching glider rules or as LSAs. One outstanding challenge is the
limitation on electric power in the LSA rules, but Coote expects that to
be resolved next year.
The price for the Viva will be $99,995.
Flight testing of Yuneec's e430 two-seat
LSA class airplane continues. One of the two flying test beds is in
Hollister, California, and the other is in China.
Coote indicated that both the motor and
the controller are ready to go. Promising progress was made over the
past year on battery consistency as well.
One new feature for the e430 is removable
wing tips. Once removed the craft's span is reduced to 38 feet, allowing
it to fit into a T-hangar. Last year a number of interested AirVenture
attendees mentioned that need for the $89,995 airplane and Yuneec