All-electric SportsStar EPOS makes maiden flight
April 15, 2013
Czech light aircraft specialist Evektor-Aerotechnik has announced the maiden flight of its all-electric SportStar EPOS two-seater airplane. On March 28, the EPOS made two back-to-back flights with a combined flight time of 30 minutes. The EPOS, the name of which derives from "electric-powered small aircraft," is powered by a single 50-kW Rotex Electric motor and features what its makers describe as a "new trapezoidal wing of extended span," which is 10.46 m (34.3 ft) tip to tip.
Judging by the lengthy chain of alphanumerics listed next to the battery on Evektor's specs sheet, the aircraft seems to be equipped with a 40-Ah power-pack from Kokam. Maximum speed is pegged at 260 km/h (or 140 knots indicated airspeed), and cruise speed 150 km/h (81 KIAS).
Without battery containers on board, the EPOS has an empty weight of 275 kg (606 lb), though it's capable of a claimed maximum take-off weight of 600 kg (1,323 lb). Evektor's website has a full rundown of the specs.
In a statement, project manager Martin Drštička draws parallels with electric cars. "In that field, electromobility also struggles for its place on the market, which it deserves, but in doing so it must overcome a number of technical problems," he said. "I am convinced that the range of potential of electric driven sport aircraft is very wide."
The aircraft will make its public debut at the Aero Friedrichshafen aviation show in Germany between April 24 and 27.
The company admits that further technical improvements are required before its vehicle is ready to sell to its intended market of flight schools and private customers. For inspiration, Evektor may look to the Yuneec E430. Though apparently still in development, the electric two-seater boasts a flight time of 2 hours thanks to a battery with twice the charge in an aircraft just over half the weight. It may not fly so fast, but for the target market, speed may not be the first priority.
You can see a video of the EPOS in flight below.
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