Posted By RichC on June 15, 2009
Here’s an excellent video from the World Air Games in Turin, Italy showing a test flight flown by Space Shuttle astronaut (STS-75) Maurizo Cheli in the electrically powered SkySpark Single “Motor” Land aircraft (a lame attempt at aviation humor on py part). What makes this flight unique is that it has achieved an airspeed record of 155mph (250km/h) for an 8-minute long battery powered flight. The project plane, a Pioneer Alpi 300, is capable of 186 mph straight and level flight so expect to hear more record breaking flights. (long time blog readers might recall that my current Sonex project plane was electrically powered two years ago – link)
The engineering firm is Digisky along with Turin Polytechnic University and they have worked with both fuel cell and battery powered project. This aircraft is powered by a liquid-cooled 75 kW Valentino synchronous motor by Sicme Motori that weighs in at 55 lbs (25 kg) with energy provided by lithium polymer batteries. The team plans on focusing on a “hydrogen fuel cells powered engine” project.