April 15, 2011
By Thomas A. Horne
Shanghai-based Yuneec International has carved a wide swath through general aviation’s aviation electric motor market, and the company’s e430 two-seater has won wide acclaim among followers of the electric-power movement. In an interview, Yuneec Chairman Tian Yu said that his company is now working on its e1000—a four-seat design powered by a pair of 45-kilowatt (for a total of about 120 hp) electrical motors mounted in tandem.
“The goal is a 110-mph airplane that can fly 300 [statute] miles and have an endurance of three hours,” he said.
Tian, who recently earned his private pilot certificate in California, began in the electric-motor business by making remote-controlled aircraft. “That’s what pays the bills,” he said. “And made it possible for me to go into aviation.” If successful, the e1000 will no doubt further revolutionize the GA electric movement.
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.
Thomas A. Horne flies the ultimate personal turboprop. Video by Mike Fizer.
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