Team Plans Transatlantic Electric Flight

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A new company called Flight of the Century Inc. announced last week they intend to fly an electric-powered aircraft nonstop across the Atlantic, following Charles Lindbergh's famous route between New York and Paris. To solve the problem of limited battery life, the design team plans to use small drones that will meet up with the airplane en route and recharge the batteries in flight. "Our purpose in setting out on this very difficult path is to force innovation that drives electric flight technology forward in a significant and measurable way," said Chip Yates, CEO of the company.

Yates and his engineering team have set records with an electric-powered motorcycle that reached more than 200 mph. They are now working in Mojave to modify a Long EZ as a test aircraft. They hope to fly it this summer and perhaps take it to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh if it's ready in time. The 3,600-mile trans-Atlantic flight is planned for 2014. AVweb's Mary Grady spoke with Yates this week about his plans, his design ideas, and his funding sources; click here to listen.