July 16, 2009
By Thomas A. Horne
Flight Design USA reports that it has entered in an agreement with China’s Yuneec (Helang Electronics) to produce an electrically powered ultralight. The airplane, dubbed the “e-Spyder,” will use a 27-hp electric motor powered by lithium polymer batteries. The airframe is based on the FlightStar ultralight, and has a carbon-fiber nose enclosure. As for performance, Flight Design President Tom Peghiny says that the e-Spyder will fully comply with FAR Part 103 ultralight regulations, which limits top speed to 55 knots and mandates a stall speed no greater than 24 knots. The e-Spyder will be on display at this year’s EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and Peghiny says he may fly it at the show as well.
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne has worked at AOPA since the early 1980s. He began flying in 1975 and has an airline transport pilot and flight instructor certificates. He’s flown everything from ultralights to Gulfstreams and ferried numerous piston airplanes across the Atlantic.
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