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 and the National Business Aviation Association have jointly filed an amicus, or friend of the court, brief in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals as part of the ongoing legal battle over the future of Santa Monica Municipal Airport.
Fourteen aviation organizations have banded together to urge the FAA to take immediate steps to lower barriers to ADS-B equipage.
AOPA worked with the flight training industry and FAA to quickly resolve a problem that suddenly put many rating applications on hold.
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