Electric aircraft company GreenWing International has announced the release of its first 50 eSpyder single-seat electric planes, which will be sold as build-it-yourself kits for for under US$40,000.

The eSpyder is a compact little flyer, measuring 5.9 m (19.4 ft) nose to tail, standing 2.4 m (7.9 ft) high with a wingspan of 10.1 m (33.1 ft). Empty, the eSpyder weighs 186 kg (410 lb).

It's propelled by a 24 kW (32 hp) motor powered by a 13-kWh onboard lithium battery. GreenWing says that the eSpyder's custom charging system monitors the health of the battery in order to achieve the best performance possible.

According to GreenWing's figures, the eSpyder can cruise at speeds of up to 68 mph (109 km/h), though to optimize efficiency it can cruise in economy mode at 38 mph (61 km/h). Standard flight times fall between 60 and 90 minutes. Recharging the battery takes 2 to 3 hours.

The company will ship 25 eSpyders in the United States at a cost of US$39,990. Another 25 will be sold in Europe for €34,990 each. In Germany, the eSpyder has been DULV certified, making it the first electric aircraft to be certified at a national level.

The company says that it has limited the initial run in order to ensure "outstanding service" for customers. The company is aiming to deliver the kits before the end of the year.

GreenWing International is a spin-off of Yuneec to focus on the electric aircraft developed by that company, including the eSpyder and e430.

Source: GreenWing International via Wired