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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedYuneec adds to all-electric stable
Story and photos by Randy Dufault
 

Flight times for the eSpyder are expected to be about an hour with the upgraded battery.

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 self-launching glider.

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 responded.

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