July 30, 2008
"It's a magic carpet ride," says inventor Randall Fishman of his electric-powered aircraft, the ElectraFlyer-C, on display all this week at EAA AirVenture under the shady wing of a DC-3 on Aeroshell Square. The motor runs smoothly and quietly, and it can fly for about an hour and a half on a single charge, cruising at 65 mph, says Fishman. If there's any nice thermal lift available, the old single-seat Monnet motorglider can extend the flight up to four or five hours, he says. Controls allow the pilot to choose between braking the prop or letting it spin to recharge the batteries. The flight is emissions-free, and a full recharge takes less than a dollar's worth of electricity. Fishman said he is working now to develop a two-seat aircraft and he's hopeful the recent EAA petition for an FAA rule change to allow electric motors in light sport aircraft will prove fruitful soon. Fishman wants to fly the ElectraFlyer for the crowds at Oshkosh this week, and as of Wednesday afternoon, he had a tentative slot for sometime Thursday. For a closer look at Fishman's airplane, click here for AVweb's video report, shot this week at Oshkosh.
Also on Thursday, he will be among the presenters at an Electric Aircraft Forum in Honda Pavilion 7, here at AirVenture, at 2:30 p.m. Other presenters include Pete Buck, John Monnett, Dr. Morton Grosser, Ivo Boscarol, Craig Willan, and David Palombo.
Chatting with Fishman at the Electraflyer display at EAA AirVenture (video)