Electric aircraft development and innovation continues at a slow pace as alternatives to fuel guzzling airplanes are put to the test.
One of the latest comes out of the Czech Republic in Europe, where Evektor recently made a first flight with its prototype of the electric motor powered aircraft SportStar EPOS.
Evektor recently mentioned this first flight took off from the airport in Kunovice, Czech Republic. It stayed aloft for about ten minutes, landing afterwards and taking off almost immediately afterwards. It is said the total time the aircraft was driven by an electric motor has reached about 30 minutes.
The SportStar EPOS (Electric POwered Small Aircraft), according to its maker, is a derivative of the company’s SporStar RTC. The two-seater electric aircraft "was aerodynamically optimized and is equipped with new trapezoidal wing of extended span."
It is powered by a 50 kW electric motor, which is also reportedly suitable for gliders, motorized rogallos or powered paragliding. The motor draws energy from two pairs of containers, each hosting 45 lithium polymer cells connected in a series. It is projected to cost 75 percent less to "fuel" the aircraft versus traditional planes with internal combustion engines.
Technical specifications of this electric aircraft include a maximum engine speed of 3,000 rpm, a maximum plane speed of 161 miles per hour, a cruise speed of 93 MPH and what looks to a be a maximum flight time of around an hour. No maximum range was mentioned.
Designed towards developing an aircraft which can be used both by private customers, as well as aviation schools as a suitable aircraft for initial pilot training, the EPOS is being supported in part by funding from the the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic under the guidance of Evektor and in collaboration with other Czech companies.
"Through the development of electrically powered aircraft we have proved our developmental potential and enthusiasm of our employees for new technologies and design concepts," said Managing Director Václav Zajíc of Evektor in a statement. "Now we have to go through the period of tests and improvement of technical parameters which will enable us to achieve our goal – a fully operational sport aircraft powered by an electric motor."