Electric powered cars? That’s normal these days, and some Dutch guy actually managed to discover an unorthodox manner of juicing up his spent Nissan LEAF by towing it – not advisable if you want to keep the sensitive electronics and on-board computer intact, but at least it has been proven to work in the short term. How about electric aircraft? Now that is a little bit scarier – no, make that a whole lot since when the aircraft you’re in runs out of juice while it is in the sky, you’re going to free fall, so make sure there is a parachute handy nearby! The eGenius electric aircraft was demonstrated in a 20 minute flight from Mindelheim, Germany, where it will be participating in the NASA funded CAFE 2011 Green Flight Challenge.
Designed by a team from the University of Stuttgart’s Institute of Aircraft Design, Airbus provides the funds for this puppy, where the team will analyze data collected during the maiden flight.
The eGenius does resemble a touring motor glider somewhat with a wingspan of 16.9 meters (55.4 ft) and hull length of 8.1 meters (26.6 ft). The cockpit can be a bit cramped at a width of 1.1 meters (3.6 ft), but it is good enough to seat a couple of people in a side-by-side configuration within.
The eGenius boasts of a minimum takeoff weight of 850 kg (1,874 lb) with two passengers on board (as long as they are no heavier than 180 kg combined), traveling at up to 235 km/h (146 mph) with a 400 km (248.5 miles) range. Now to work on a jumbo sized jet version…
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