Chip Yates Becomes World’s Fastest Person in an Electric Airplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

On July 19 at Inyokern Airport in California, Chip Yates and his Long-ESA electric airplane set an unofficial world’s speed record for battery-powered flight, hitting 202.6 mph just before a dead cell in the battery pack forced an emergency landing.  It was the airplane’s second test flight. Following a day of taxi tests, Chip, who has been taking flying lessons and recently achieved his Private Pilot’s license, set out to see how fast his 258-horsepower mount could go.  He has become the first person to break the 200 mph barrier for electric aircraft in level flight, beating the previous record by Hugues Duval at last year’s Paris Air Show in an Electravia-powered Cri-Cri.   Duval managed to hit 175 mph on …

An Atlantic Crossing With Mid-Air Recharging

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Chip Yates, already famous for his high-speed motorcycle racing with eight world records, four national records, and a world record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb among others, wants to make aviation history with a flight across the Atlantic, emulating Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 crossing – but this time with an electric airplane.  Even more exciting, the voyage is planned to include inflight recharging of the airplane. For starters, Yates’ team, composed of aerospace engineers and energy specialists, has purchased a Rutan Long-EZ, removed its gas-burning powerplant, and is converting the airplane to electric power, which they might adapt from Yates’ racing motorcycle, claimed to be the world’s most powerful road-racing electric superbike.  That unit puts out 258 horsepower and …