We’ve seen electric aircraft advance the horizons of carbon-free aviation by leaps and bounds lately, and this month a brand new electric plane successfully conducted its maiden flight. The all-electric Sonex aircraft completed its first flight on December 3, 2010 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, WI.

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The airplane was piloted by Sonex Founder and E-Flight team leader John Monnett, who took the plane on a short jaunt in order to break ground-effect and analyze in-flight system performance. This short test run represented four years of development by the E-Flight design team in engineering, building and testing what has been dubbed “one of the most advanced electric flight packages ever conceived.”

“We are very proud of this achievement,” said Jeremy Monnett, CEO and General Manager of Sonex Aircraft. “We have a flight envelope expansion plan and will be working on this in the coming weeks and months. We have also already started our motor v4.0 design and motor controller v12.0 to be integrated on N270DC. Many more great things to come on this project!”

The Sonex Aircraft is a standard Waiex kit aircraft that has been modified with the installation of proprietary E-Flight electric power components. These include an E-Flight 54kw brushless DC electric motor, E-Flight electronic motor controller, a 14.5kw-hr lithium polymer battery system, the E-Flight battery management system, and E-Flight cockpit instrumentation and controls.

The E-Flight Initiative electric flight project was first announced in 2007, but has seen many challenges since then, including designing and testing electric components that use cutting-edge technology. With innovation such as this, electric aircraft could rapidly become more and more common.

+ Sonex Aircraft

Via Green Autoblog