First Look: Fishman's Electric Two-Place, OSH Electrics

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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh will be making an effort to showcase electric flight initiatives this year and with the recent flight of a two-seat Chinese offering from Yuneec aircraft (which hopes to have its aircraft on display), U.S. developers will be looking for their share of the spotlight. Randall Fishman, who last year flew his single-seat 90-minute-endurance all-electric aircraft (the ElectraFlyer-C), hopes to show his two-seat development aircraft, the ElectraFlyer-X. The sleek high-aspect-ratio low-wing will be powered by Fishman's own 50-hp motor, motor controller and battery solution. Putting the finishing touches on the airframe, Fishman has been working quickly to prepare/build the aircraft for Oshkosh and tells AVweb he'd prefer to have it there in flying condition rather than show a non-flying aircraft. The timing is tight, but either way the aircraft should be present. Sonex Aircraft Limited, which in 2007 announced its E-Flight Initiative to develop a two-seat battery powered aircraft, will again be present with a ground-based display.

Sonex, which has not yet produced an electric-powered flying test article, says most of the development success they've seen since 2007 "would not generate much public fascination." The company says "many significant proprietary developments have been made," though in March it suffered "a fairly major setback" when a ground test overheated the company's motor. Sonex has been running its motor from a large lead-acid battery bank or 300V power supply and says it will next be working to integrate lighter lithium polymer batteries. Sonex will this year at AirVenture have an E-Flight Waiex, the company's two-seat short-wing aircraft, involved in partial power-run ground demonstrations.