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.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
Light Sport Aircraft,
Experimental Aircraft Association,
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
The FAA on Feb. 23 issued a special airworthiness information bulletin recommending preflight inspection of Robinson R44 and R44 II main rotors.
New legislation in both houses of Congress would allow thousands of pilots to fly without a third class medical and offer new protections for GA pilots.
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