With at least a shell of Elektra One at the E-Flight Expo in Friedrichschafen, Germany this year, the engineer Calin Gologan is making good progress toward completion of his Green Flight Challenge machine, the prototype for the first of a line of aircraft production. He notes that the Green Flight Challenge, “the world’s largest prize…awarded in general aviation,” was a major incentive in his pressing forward with an environmentally conscientious design.
The Elektra One is an environmentally friendly aircraft with a single seat, ultralight, a composite airframe (light carbon fiber structure) and a high end aerodynamics. As an electric airplane the scientific green findings are integrated. With a 90 kilograms (208 pounds) empty weight, including motor, for its 27 foot wingspan, 21 horsepower, and a lightweight battery pack, the One will top out at no more than 120 kilograms empty to meet limits for the new German ultralight class. This will allow pilots to fly without a medical, a key part in making these new machines available to a broader public.
The 16 kilowatt motor on a range of 400 kilometers Elektra One has a max flight time of three hours. At a cruising speed of 160 km/h (about 99 mph), the aircraft won’t be setting any speed records, but given that it’s being designed as an eco-friendly way to enjoy “leisure aviation,” you should’ve expected to travel at a leisurely pace, indeed.
The Elektra One hasn’t taken to the air just yet, but PC-Aero plans to perform the first flight test later this month, so we can look forward to seeing another electric airplane flying overhead in the near future.
Future refinements may include solar cells in the slender wings for range extension, and some views suggest retractable landing gear. The product displayed at Friedrichshafen is beautiful, and we look forward to further developments.