Chip Yates, who’s known for setting speed records with electric motorcycles, has just set a new world record in his Long-ESA electric airplane. Yates now holds the world record for being the first person to fly an electric airplane over 200 mph. Yates’ record-setting flight grabbed the world record at 202.6 mph at the Inyokern Airport in California’s Mojave Desert, beating the previous record of 175 mph set by the electric Cri-Cri.

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For the record-setting flight, Yates and the Flight of the Century team converted a Long-EZ airplane into the all-electric Long-ESA airplane. The Long-EZ is already known for setting speed and endurance records thanks to its efficient design and it easily cruises at speeds over 200 mph with its gasoline-powered engine. The electric Long-ESA is powered by a 258 horsepower electric motor and the team is currently working on a new Infinite Range Electric Flight mid-air “refueling” technique that provides the ability to swap out the plane’s batteries while it is in flight, giving it an unlimited electric flying range.

Yate’s flight this week lasted 16 minutes and was his first time flying the electric airplane. Unfortunately, the plane’s trip was cut short when “a dead cell killed propulsion following the record run.” Next, the team is going to replace the batteries and go for another run, since Yates feels that it’s possible to reach even faster speeds.

+ Flight of the Century

via Wired

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