A German company has successfully test flown a single-seat electric airplane it says will have a range of 250 miles and an endurance of three hours. The Elektra One by PC-Aero flew for about 30 minutes and used less than three kilowatt hours of electricity, according to a company statement. The first flight was conducted March 19 by test pilot Jon Karkow at Augsburg Airport. A second flight is said to be imminent and Norbert Lorenzen will be at the controls. While the Elektra One is intended to be perhaps the first commercially viable electric plane in the single-place sport aircraft niche, PC-Aero CEO Calin Gologan believes it will lead to the development of progressively larger aircraft, including airliners.
In the meantime, the Elektra One, if its numbers work out as planned, could scratch the flying itch for a lot of pilots looking for a relatively inexpensive weekend mount. Gologan intends to sell the plane as a package with a hangar that comes with a solar array. It's been estimated that the solar panels could provide up to 300 hours of energy for the aircraft per year even in Germany's climate. The plane and hangar package is estimated at $150,000.