Attendees of this year’s Paris Air Show got to see history being made as the mighty micro Cri-Cri broke the electric plane speed record. The plane first took to the skies last September and drew in a lot of attention for its très petit size and flying capabilities. Now the developers and pilot can add another “world’s fastest” to the list as they hit 283 kilometers per hour, running on only electricity and two 35-horsepower engines.
The two engine version of the plane already holds the speed record, so maybe its not really a surprise that they overtook the old one. The little plane packs in 3kWhrs of batteries powering two 26kW electric motors packed in a lightweight frame that shaves the total weight of the plane to about 200 pounds.
The plane is now setting its sights on the 2011 CAFE Green Flight Challenge where the “Team aircraft must fly 200 miles in less than two hours using the energy equivalent of less than 1 gallon of gasoline per occupant. Team aircrafts include those propelled by gasoline, bio-diesel, hydrogen, and electricity.” The winner will fly off with $1.3m after the September event.
As the competition heats up, we expect to see some dynamic advances in electric-powered air transportation that will ultimately be transferred for commercial use.