French pilot successfully flies battery-powered aircraft for 48 minutes

January 3rd, 2008 - 5:15 pm ICT by admin  

London, January 3 (ANI): It seems that the dream of environmentally friendly aviation is very close to reality, with a French test pilot successfully flying an aircraft propelled by an electric motor.

The Electra is a single-seater plane, made up of wood and fabric. Having flown for 48 minutes for 50km around the southern Alps, it has proved that applying battery power to a fixed-wing standard aircraft is possible.

The APAME group, founded to develop green aviation, announced this groundbreaking flight.

This will be a real aeroplane that will have an airworthiness certificate. It is a machine built for anyone with a pilots licence, Times Online quoted Anne Lavrand, president of APAME, as saying.

She also revealed that her team, financed by French aerospace companies and other donors, started working on this project quietly 18 months ago.

When we began, no one believed we could do it, she said.

Lavrand further revealed that her group used a Souricette kit aircraft, and adapted to it a 25-horsepower British-made motor of a type that powers golf carts.

The key to the Electras pioneering flight on December 23 was the new generation of light lithium-polymer batteries that supplied power to the plane, which has a 9m wingspan.

Lavrand said that the motor and batteries for the Electra would cost about the same as existing small petrol engines.

Its expensive, but you have to think of it like buying the fuel up front, she said. (ANI)

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