July 24, 2013
By Jim Moore
Erik Lindberg offered a high-profile thumbs-up for GreenWing International’s all-electric, single-seat eSpyder ultralight in a news release issued July 24, days before the company begins public demonstrations at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
Lindbergh, a longtime and enthusiastic proponent of electric propulsion, praised the eSpyder’s design, noting the integration of battery, motor, and controller, and calling it “a mature product that is on the leading edge of a revolution in general aviation” in a news release. As for his first flight, it was “thrilling and nerve wracking at the same time. I had never flown an ultralight before and had never soloed in an aircraft that I hadn't first had dual instruction from someone sitting next to me."
A YouTube video posted May 13 shows the grandson of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh handled the aircraft just fine.
The eSpyder will be initially sold as an experimental amateur-built (E-AB) kit, and the company plans to offer it as a light sport aircraft once the FAA approves all-electric propulsion for the LSA market. The company is also working on a two-seat version, and told AOPA Online in June that testing for that aircraft will begin soon.
A story detailing the state of electric aircraft propulsion will appear in the September issue of AOPA Pilot.
Light Sport Aircraft,
Experimental Aircraft Association,
The next stop is Putrajaya, Malaysia, on May 17 and 18 for the 2014 Red Bill Air Race World Championship, following an “electrifying” contest in Rovinj, Croatia.
The movement to exempt thousands of general aviation pilots from the third class medical certification process is gaining momentum in Congress and the aviation community.
The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
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