Transport Theory

Electric airplane breaks 200 mph barrier, sets record

Electric airplane breaks 200 mph barrier, sets record

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Chip Yates' Long-ESA plane became the first electric aircraft to exceed 200 miles per hour.

Chip Yates likes to push boundaries. The world record holder for the fastest electric motorcycle now has another claim to fame: first person to break 200 miles per hour in an electric aircraft.

Yates secured his electric motorcycle record of 196 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats last year. This week, he flew his Long-ESA plane 202.6 miles per hour in level flight at California's Inyokern Airport in the Mojave Desert. The previous record holder was the electric Cri-Cri, at 175 miles per hour.

The Long-ESA plane was a modified version of the Long-EZ, a well-known design by Burt Ratan known for its speed and endurance, which in gasoline-powered engines frequently hits 200 miles per hour.

Though the record-setting flight lasted only 16 minutes, Yates hopes that such speed accomplishments will help spur the development of technology for longer endurance flights as well as more practical electric planes.

Next up for the record breaker? He's planning a non-stop trans-Atlantic electric flight.

Photo: Flightofthecentury.com

via [Autopia]

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Channtal Fleischfresser

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Channtal Fleischfresser has worked for The Economist, WNET/Channel 13, Al Jazeera English, Wall Street Journal and Associated Press. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. She is based in New York. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure