The German government has given the nod to what appears to be the first certification of an all-electric airplane, the eSpyder. While the certification was completed last February, the announcement was just recently made. The eSpyder is an ultralight design with a single-seat cockpit held up by a fuselage boom onto which the small electric motor and propeller are mounted right above the windshield.
The eSpyder was developed and will be produced by Yuneec International, based in Kunshan, China. Recently, a U.S.-based company called GreenWing International took over the marketing, sales and support for Yuneec’s electric airplanes. The eSpyder design is expected to enter production this year. No one knows how long it will take before the design will be accepted under ASTM standards, but in the meantime the eSpyder will be available in the U.S. as an amateur built kit.
GreenWing claims that the batteries that power the eSpyder can be fully charged in less than two hours, providing the capability of one hour of flight with a 30-minute reserve. “It should be possible to use solar cells on the roof of a hangar to charge the battery between flights such that the plane can be flown daily without requiring energy from the power grid,” said GreenWing’s CEO Tian Yu.
For the complete story by Pia Bergqvist of Flying Magazine, click here.
Photo via Flying Magazine