Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/06/26/yuneec_e430/

Electric plane takes to the skies

But is yet to earn its sales wings

By Alun Taylor

Posted in Science, 26th June 2009 13:37 GMT

Leccy Tech Chinese model aircraft maker Yuneec has unveiled what may soon become the world’s first commercially available electric aircraft.

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The E430 has a 13.8m wingspan and is powered by a 40kw (54bhp) electric motor. Its maker stated that the plane has a flight time of roughly two hours when using a six-pack lithium polymer battery and three hours when using a 10-pack battery.

Yuneec said that during a recent series of tests flights in China, the E430 was able to reach a top speed of around 93mph (150 km/h) and climb to a hight of 300m (975ft).

The plane’s next outing will be at the annual Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture Convention in Wisconsin, North America. After which the E430 will be shipped to California where it’ll undergo Federal Aviation Administration tests to clear it for commercial sales in North America.

E430_01

Yuneec's E430 has a 13.8m wingspan

It’s not yet known when the E430 will be available to buy, but the craft’s expected to cost around $89,000 (£54,000/€63,000) whenever it does land in the shops. ®