Electric airplanes are a bit different from electric road cars, and are even more limited; running out of juice 15,000 feet in the air has more consequences than running out of juice on the highway. While they are not in use yet, electric airplanes are being developed and making progress, like the Solar Impulse which can fly quite far because it is equipped with solar panels. A more traditional electric airplane, the SportsStar EPOS, made its first flight a few days ago.
The SportStar EPOS utilizes a X90 RE-7 electric motor developed by Rotex Electric. It produces 50 kW (67 HP) and weighs only 37 pounds (17 kg). The 378 volt battery pack carries it for 1 hour and a range of about 150 km (around 100 miles). The battery bank was supplied by Dow Kokam, a manufacture of energy storage solutions. The SportStar EPOS cruises at 150 KPH, and has a top speed of 240 KPH, or about 150 mph with seating for two. While that’s fast, electric racing enthusiast Chip Yates still holds the speed record for electric airplanes.
This SportsStar EPOS will be exhibited at the reference European show, held from April 24th to April 27th. While pure electric passenger planes are still a long, long ways off, hobby fliers could soon have electric vehicles of their own to fly.
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