Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Electric Airplane Sets Speedy Distance Record

Electric Airplane Sets Speedy Distance Record: "

A team from the University of Stuttgart has set a new milestone for electric aviation after averaging more than 100 mph for a little more than two hours. Not only did eGenius push the limits of speed and endurance for electric aviation, it did so with two people aboard.

The eGenius is essentially a motor glider with a high aspect ratio wing spanning more than 55 feet. A 60 kilowatt (80.5 horsepower) motor is mounted on the tail, allowing for a larger, more efficient propeller. Power is supplied by a 56 kilowatt-hour battery pack. The team didn’t say how much power it used during the flight, but said it still had juice in the pack upon landing.

Pilot and project leader Karl Kaeser took off with engineer Steffen Geinitz from their home base in Mindleheim, Germany. After climbing to 4,000 feet, the pair flew several laps between two nearby towns for a total of 211 miles. The average speed was just a shade over an impressive (for an electric aircraft) 100 mph. Not quite as fast as the record-setting electric Cri-Cri, but anything it lacks in speed it makes up for in range.

The eGenius project began in 2007 at the University of Stuttgart. A sponsorship from Airbus allowed the group to begin building the airplane in October. The first flight occurred in May, and the record-setting endurance flight was flown less than a month later on June 15. The project is the second successful electric airplane to emerge from Germany this year.

The flight was a test for the upcoming NASA/CAFE Green Flight Challenge. The contest rewards speed and endurance based on the number of people aboard. A top prize of $1.3 million is up for grabs.

Photo: Institute for Aircraft Design, University of Stuttgart


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...