July 28, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
A new company based in Shanghai called Yuneec (pronounced “unique”) brought its two-place electric airplane to EAA AirVenture. The $90,000 aircraft, with enough battery power to fly 1.5 hours, will begin deliveries in late 2010 if development goes well.
Yuneec’s parent company has expertise in electric motors and has built hundreds of thousands of radio-controlled electric aircraft models. The Yuneec e430 comes currently with two battery packs; one will allow the aircraft to fly for 2.5 hours, but only the pack lasting 1.5 hours will initially be offered to the public.
Sales and marketing are conducted from England by Clive Coote, who was master of ceremonies for a presentation of the aircraft in Oshkosh July 28. Coots said the company is ready to ship $9,000 paragliders powered by an electric motor built by Yuneec.
The e430 is powered by a 40 Kw (54 hp) brushless electric motor system using three specially produced lithium polymer battery packs.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
The FAA will miss a deadline to reform aircraft certification by two years, the agency told the House Aviation Subcommittee during a July 23 hearing.
AOPA is testing whether aircraft ownership can be more affordable than many people believe with the development of “Reimagined Aircraft.”
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