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Yuneec E430 - electric plane
by IKE 24-Jan-2010 16:23

This small two seater may look like a conventional motorglider but it could be revolutionary for general aviation. It is called E430 and it is made by Yuneec Aircraft Company of Shangai China. Instead of an internal combustion engine it uses an electric motor and a pack of Li-ion batteries.---

The E430 has a 13.8m wingspan and can accommodate 2 persons. It will be available with two battery options, the standard with six 13kg cells and the extended with 10. It can flight for 1h and 30' to 2h with the standard or between 2 and 2 and a half hours with the extended. With a 240V power supply it can be recharged in about 3 hours. For the full specifications click here.

The e430 has a conventional structure, with a V-tail. Its significance is that by early next year when it will be available it will provide a viable option for general aviation for the first time with electric propulsion. It will cost 89.000$ and although it is a bit pricey for its performance the very low maintenance cost will justify its price.

It won't be the only electric aircraft or motorglider. Many companies will step in this market because batteries are becoming cheaper and the final aircraft is much simpler. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla motors and Space-X had said in an interview that is seriously considering electric aircrafts. The general aviation will change shape in the next years not unlike the R/C planes market after the introduction of cheap and powerfull Lithium batteries and brushless motors.

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