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ERAU Expands Electric Flight Research

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Powering Imagination, a new project developed by Erik Lindbergh, announced this week it is partnering up with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University to expand research into the development of electric propulsion systems for aircraft. As part of the partnership, students and faculty at the ERAU campus in Daytona Beach, Fla., will convert a Diamond HK36 motorglider to electric power. The airplane will be used jointly by both projects to "accelerate the growth of the electric flight industry," according to Lindbergh's news release. The motorglider, which is expected to start flying about a year from now, will be used as a testbed for new technology from various companies and development teams.

"This aircraft will serve as an investment in the future of sustainable aviation, to enable research and development of innovations that will transform the future of flight," said Eric Bartsch, chief operating officer of Powering Imagination. Lindbergh launched Powering Imagination about a month ago. "We are fundamentally a media company," he said at the time, "with a goal to inspire people around the world by leveraging stories about adventure, innovation, and sustainability on entrepreneurs around the world. Powering Imagination is funded by global brands seeking to break through the marketing clutter by partnering with us to make our adventures and projects part of their marketing campaigns." Lindbergh said he also plans to re-trace a trip taken by his grandparents, Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, around the Pacific, as described in North to the Orient. He plans to fly the route in a floatplane powered by alternative aviation fuels, in 2016.

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