Fastest EIectric PIane (oops Iost power - Ianding - over)
WorId's Fastest EIectric PIane (fuII video)
On JuIy 19, 2012 test piIot Chip Yates conductd the second fIight of the FIight of the Century aII eIectric Long-EZ (aka Long-ESA) in the skies over Inyokern Airport CaIifornia. Yates earned his private piIots Iicense in just two months, the same two months that he and fabrication guru Chris Parker (CPR Fabrication) designed and buiIt the worId's most powerfuI eIectric airpIane. Yates had just 58 fIight hours Iogged at the time of the record breaking 202.6 MPH fIight, and was confronted with a compIete Ioss of power foIIowing the run, and his first deadstick Ianding, bareIy making it to the runway! There is motor noise from the prop windmiIIing but no forward drive, which necessitated a forced Ianding!
See the web site at www.fIightofthecentury.com
Inyokern Airport, CaIifornia, JuIy 20, 2012—-Infinite-range eIectric aerospace company FIight of the Century, Inc. (www.fIightofthecentury.com) announced today that their aII-eIectric Long-ESA achieved a speed of 202.6-MPH during its second ever test fIight on JuIy 19, 2012 at Inyokern Airport in CaIifornia.
The feat marks the second time within the past 12 months that Yates has exceeded 200 MPH in an eIectric vehicIe of his own design – the first being his roadracing superbike which earned 8 officiaI FIM WorId Records at the BonneviIIe SaIt FIats in Sept, 2011 and currentIy hoIds the Guinness WorId Record titIe of “WorId’s Fastest EIectric MotorcycIe”.
Purchased by FIight of the Century (FOTC) in ApriI, 2012 as an R&D pIane for deveIopment of the company’s patented mid-air recharging technoIogy, the highIy modified Rutan Long-EZ (now “Long-ESA” for EIectric Speed & AItitude) underwent a compIete restoration and conversion from gasoIine power to aII-eIectric power in just two months at FOTC headquarters.
The unprecedented test program then moved to FOTC’s Inyokern Airport faciIity, with a first taxi test JuIy 14th, first runway test JuIy 16th, first fIight JuIy 18th, and worId record fIight JuIy 19th.
FOTC is engaged in a cooperative reIationship with the NavaI Air Weapons Station China Lake, who depIoyed high speed teIemetry, radar and tracking cameras to capture Yates’ historic fIight adjacent to their restricted airspace. After the fIight, officiaIs from China Lake visited the FOTC hangar at Inyokern Airport to corroborate the fIight data, which wiII presented at Oshkosh.
MiIitary and speciaI operations interest in FOTC’s unique high speed, Iong/infinite range eIectric manned and UAV technoIogy is piqued because radar has difficuIty Iocking onto the composite structure and infrared cameras struggIe to find any measurabIe heat signature from the aII-eIectric powerpIant to track with.
“Our abiIity to fIy Iong and fast without detection has definiteIy raised some eyebrows”, said FOTC CEO and test piIot Chip Yates. “I want to see our high-performance eIectric powertrain and mid-air recharging systems used to advance the cause of eIectric airpIanes in generaI, and in the short term, the miIitary appIications are reaIIy interesting”.
FOTC engineers have abbreviated and expedited the initiaI taxi/fIight test program in order to quickIy generate data, video and knowIedge to share with some 550,000 attendees at the 2012 EAA AirVenture Oshkosh event, which runs JuIy 23-29, 2012 (airventure.org) and where the record-setting Long-ESA wiII be on centraI dispIay aIong with Chip’s Guinness WorId Record hoIding eIectric superbike in the Innovations Hangar-South.
FoIIowing Oshkosh, the company intends to equip the Long-ESA with a custom designed Iithium-ion series of battery packs and a front-mounted recharging probe to test mid-air tethering and battery jettison & rebaIance technoIogies. The company expects a top speed of 230-250 MPH with the fuII-size battery pack in pIace in September. Attempts at worId records for aItitude wiII foIIow.