July 31, 2013
By Thomas A. Horne
GreenWing International, a company formed by Chinese electric aviation firm Yuneec, showed off its new eSpyder E280 for the first time at EAA AirVenture. A much spiffed-up variant of the eSpyder prototype flown by AOPA Pilot (see “Electro Flight,” June 2012 Pilot), the airplane sports a 32-hp Yuneec electric motor and a new two-blade carbon fiber propeller. Also aboard is a BRS ballistic parachute, main gear brakes, a windshield and fairing, and a two-battery power system. The extra battery gives the eSpyder E280 a nominal two-hour endurance; charge time is two hours as well.
“The eSpyder is meant for recreational flying, and is available for purchase in the United States as an experimental, amateur-built kitplane,” said Tian Yu, president of Yuneec. “And it costs about $2 an hour to fly.”
Price is set at $39,990. The 45-knot airplane has already been certified in Europe under German ultralight regulations, which roughly resemble the U.S. rules for certifying light sport aircraft. Under those rules, max takeoff weights cannot exceed 1,042 pounds, and stall speeds must be no higher than 35 knots. In Europe, the eSpyder is sold as a manufactured airplane. For more information, visit the website or see the video on AOPA Live.
Experimental Aircraft Association,
Collaboration between the German government, academia, and airplane manufacturers may make future aircraft cabins more protective of pilots and passengers. The Safety Box team plans to apply auto racing technology to general aviation.
A half-ton Dodge truck lines up on the centerline. As the pickup accelerates, the floatplane trailered behind it adds power, lifts off, banks left, and departs: just another floatplane launch by Joe Sprague of Cadillac Aircraft Services in Cadillac, Mich.
The vanishing of five U.S. Navy aircraft in 1945 remains one of the legendary mysteries of aviation, one that may soon be solved.
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