Aero: Skyleader Pure Electric LSA Flies
Electric airplanes have been making inroads at Aero in Friedrichshafen and this year’s bumper crop included a model from the Czech-based Jihlavan Airplanes in concert with MGM COMPRO. The two companies were showing a pure electric version of the Skyleader 400, a slick, low-wing light sport model.
The airplane actually appeared at Aero last year in prototype form but the version on the floor this year has flown successfully. The Skyleader isn’t well known in the U.S., but it’s noted for a huge canopy and a wide cabin. In the gasoline version, it can be powered by the Rotax 912UL or ULS or the turbocharged 914.
The electric version has an 80 kW electric motor and about 145 amp-hours worth of batteries, according to the company, with two packs in the front of the airplane and two in the rear. MGM also provides the motor’s power controller.
Because of their power density, electric motors have generally required fluid cooling via oil and a small radiator. Pictured here is a fluid-cooled version, but the company is developing an air-cooled variant, which may reduce installation complexity.