Fishman Electrifies the LSA World
By R.T. Byrum
Electric Aircraft Corp. has revolutionized the experimental and light-sport flying class. Owner Randall Fishman has created an electric aircraft that has reduced the noise and smell of traditional engines. Fishman joined with engineer Irwin Rodgers to create a trike suspended underneath a Stratus delta wing that would be the correct weight and balance to handle the 18-horsepower, low-RPM, high-torque motor. Lithium-ion polymer batteries, a specially tailored controller, and a 53-inch direct drive propeller are also part of the propulsion package, and have given the 247-pound Part 103 ultralight the ability to fly. Fishman recently displayed the Electraflyer at an airplane show. He says that depending on the size of the battery pack, flight time can last between one and two hours. When flying, the freewheeling propeller can also be utilized to regenerate the batteries and, due to a high glide ratio, loss of power still provides the pilot time to locate a space to set down. The 220-volt charger tops off the pack in just two hours, and the 110-volt charger in four hours. The cost is about 60 cents. If guidelines are observed, an Electraflyer owner can expect between 800 and 1,000 flights.
January 17, 2009