Electric airplane prepares for 250mph flight

A record-setting electric airplane is being prepared for take off to try and reach an even higher speed.

Chip Yates, a builder and pilot of electric airplanes, is planning to launch into the sky again next month in order to break his own speed record.

After spending the best part of a year refining and remodeling the electric Long-EZ plane, Yates has prepared for a series of new flight tests next month. Last July, the pilot managed to top 200mph in the airplane, but the battery was destroyed in the process.

To try and correct power issues, a new battery supplied by EnerDel is now in use. The 450-volt, 80 amp-hour pack is able to produce 600 amps of output -- twice the horsepower of the previous battery. On just 41 percent power, the Long-EZ was able to hit 175mph.

Customized software controls the electric vehicle, and the data collected is used to further refine the design.

The plane's propeller is the critical component behind the electric plane's tests. Designed by Craig Catto specifically for the Long-EZ, the propeller is made of carbon-fiber and tailored for speed. The equipment is able to reach 3,100 RPM -- which is faster than average propellers.

If the calculations prove true, then the plane should be able to reach 250 miles per hour at 3,100 RPM. We'll have to wait until next month to find out if Yates is successful. However, the pilot is already dreaming of an ambitious plan to fly across the Atlantic in the future.

Via: Wired


This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com