First Conventional Light Aircraft Powered by Electricity Flies over France
You think a Tesla Roadster is news? Try flying in the Electra, a single-seater airplane with a 25 horsepower motor and 47 (105 lbs) kilograms of lithium-polymer batteries. Anne Lavrand, the president of the APAME group, said. "This will be a real aeroplane that will have an airworthiness certificate. It's a machine built for anyone with a pilot's license."
The Google translated French website says "On Sunday, December 23, 2007 at 11:50 took place on the first flight of F-WMDJ ELECTRA, equipped with an electric motor of 25 hp and Lithium-polymer batteries. The pilot - test engineer Christian Vandamme has made this test history from the airstrip at about Buëch Aspres (Hautes Alpes)."
Charles Bremner of the TimesOnline says:
Several far richer outfits, mainly in the USA, are working on similar power packs but so far none have got off the ground. Lavrand told me that they started the project quietly 18 months ago, partly financed by donations from aerospace groups. "It's not always a question of money. When we began, no-one believed we could do it." Having proved that "ecological aviation" is viable, her group aims to extend the range and power of their technology, which for the moment uses a modified golf cart motor made by LCM, a British firm. ::Times Online
Specifications translated from Google: (read between the lines) from Apame
This is the origin of the aircraft MB02 "Souricette" built by Anne Lavrand under the NCAR, and equipped for this occasion an electric drive developed as part of the work of the APAME. . This project was carried out with the agreement of Michael Barry, designer of the "Souricette."
English translation of information on the Souricette
Wingspan: 9 m
Empty weight without batteries: 134 kg
Max allowable take-off weight: 265 kg
Cruising speed: 90 km / h
Finesse : 13 Finesse: 13
Construction type wooden canvas
Motor current "brush" Industrial 18 kW (25 hp)
Power Electronics developed specifically for this use
Lithium Batteries - Polymer (total weight: 47 kg)
Propeller-step adjustable ground ARPLAST suited to this engine
Scoreboard, throttle, engine mount, flange motor, etc.… developed and produced specifically for this device
In this configuration, the aircraft ELECTRA conducted on December 23, 2007 flights for 48 minutes, travelling about 50 km from the local airport on Aspres Buëch.. The performances have been established to speed finesse max (75 kph).
The pilot was no significant difference qualities of aircraft. Ground crew observed a significant reduction in the noise generated by the drive: you could hear the whistling aérondynamique very light-induced cell during certain phases of flight.
Note: Warren says that the Japanese did it first.