Electric aviation company Ampaire took its hybrid-electric Electric EEL prototype on a 341-statute-mile test flight this week. The trip, which the company is calling “the longest flight to date for any commercially relevant aircraft employing electric propulsion,” went from California’s Camarillo Airport (CMA) to Hayward Executive Airport (HWD). The flight lasted 2 hours and 32 minutes and averaged approximately 135 MPH during cruise.
“The mission was a quite normal cross-country flight that we could imagine electrified aircraft making every day just a few years from now,” said test pilot Justin Gillen. Gillen was accompanied by Ampaire flight test engineer Russell Newman for the flight.
Ampaire’s Electric EEL, a converted Cessna 337 Skymaster, is powered by tail-mounted 310-horsepower Continental IO-550 engine and a 200 kW—limited to 120 kW—electric motor in the nose. The company’s second Electric EEL prototype—the aircraft used for this week’s test flight—flew for the first time last month and has since logged over 30 hours in the air. Ampaire plans to conduct a series of Electric EEL flight trials in Hawaii later this year in partnership with Mokulele Airlines and climate change solutions company Elemental Excelerator.