Aero: Skyleader Pure Electric LSA Flies

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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.  

Comments (6)

145 amp-hours delivered at what voltage?

Posted by: YARS (Tom Yarsley) | April 22, 2018 10:44 PM    Report this comment

Usually around 300 to 400 volts.

Posted by: John Piepers | April 22, 2018 11:47 PM    Report this comment

So, about 50 kilowatt-hours of power, to zero-charge. That's enough for a little under one hour of touch-and-goes, if you don't mind the last landing being a true dead-stick. To be minimally useful, this plane needs about three times the installed battery capacity. But at that weight, it would be incapable of flight with two humans aboard. Am I wrong?

Posted by: YARS (Tom Yarsley) | April 23, 2018 8:51 AM    Report this comment

I don't see a need for this, or electric cars for that matter.

The day will come we run out of gasoline but that day is still generations in the future, especially with all the reserves we have in ANWAR.

It's too early for this unproven technology, but perhaps by the time fuel supplies are indeed running low battery technology will have developed to the point where electric cars and airplanes are practical.

I think an electric plane may be more reliable, but that is still very unproven. I thought about this last week when my Maule's muffler was discovered to have a crack and needed repair.

Still not as bad as a shorted motor or battery fire or running out of volts an hour after takeoff would have been.

Posted by: William kalichman | April 23, 2018 1:07 PM    Report this comment

you peoples comments remind me of Thomas Watson founder of IBM's comments in 50s !

I Think "There might be a market for 4-5 personal computors"
Tomcatrv4 (Tom)

Posted by: Tom Hankamp | April 25, 2018 12:15 PM    Report this comment

You people remind me of IBM founder Thomas Watson in 50s !
I think " there might be a market for 4-5 personal computor"
Thomas Hankamp

Posted by: Tom Hankamp | April 25, 2018 12:18 PM    Report this comment

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