Editor's Note: The $60,000 Electric Flight Prize has been postponed until EAA AirVenture 2012.
One of the more established aircraft entered in EAA's $60,000 Electric Flight Prize during AirVenture is the Antares 20E, an electric-powered motorglider from German manufacturer Lange Aviation GmbH. It's the world's first certified production electric aircraft, with a 20-meter (66-foot) wingspan and an empty weight of 1,050 pounds.
Power to get off the ground at about 866 feet per minute comes from the EM42, a brushless, fixed-shaft, 42-kilowatt electric motor made for Lange Aviation and currently the only EASA-certified electric aircraft motor available.
The external rotor electric motor is mounted on a retractable mast and can deliver maximum torque of 216 newton metres over a wide rpm range. It has a large, slowly rotating propeller, is fueled by 200 pounds of lithium-ion batteries carried in long cavities within the inboard portions of the wings, and has a total efficiency of 90 percent.
The Antares 20E can climb to about 3,000 meters (9,850 feet) in calm air with very low noise emissions.
To learn more about the Antares 20E electric motorglider, click here.
The EAA Electric Flight Prize contest, sponsored by AeroLEDs, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty, Dynon Avionics, and Wicks Aircraft Supply, will include competition in four categories: Endurance, Time to Climb, Maximum Speed, and Innovation Evaluation. To learn more, click here.