How often do you get to buy a piece of green aviation history? Randell Fishman’s ElectraFlyer-C-a heavily modified Moni homebuilt motorglider powered by an 18W electric motor and battery pack-is for sale to the highest bidder on eBay. “As far as I know, this is the first practical electric airplane ever,” said Fishman. “Someday that’ll probably be worth something.”
The single-seat ElectraFlyer-C can fly for a little over an hour at 70 mph. Fishman figures that hour costs about $10.60-$10 toward the lifespan of the $8500 Li-ion battery pack and 60 cents worth of electricity. Fishman is selling the airplane in part because he’s focusing his efforts on a new, two-place design that he hopes will eventually qualify for LSA status. The two place is far into design with a composite construction, detachable wingtips for easy storage and a 50-HP electric engine. That airplane will have a 28:1 glide ratio and should cruise at 80 mph for up to two hours. Additional funding for the project is coming from a Lindbergh Foundation grant of $10,580, which is what it cost to build the Spirt of St. Louis in 1927.