World Record Attempt With Electric Airplane

The last true adventures do not lie in a round-the-world trip in an electric car, or a flight to the International Space Station, but in crossing Germany in an electric plane.

A group of electric aircraft pioneers led by futurologist Morell Westermann is planning a 700-kilometer flight on 30 August with the Velis Electro of the Slovenian company Pipistrel Aircraft, the world’s first EASA-certified electric aircraft.

All the advantages of electric cars also come into play in aviation. The extremely quiet and powerful drive enables high climbing performance and is easy on the ears of local residents: an electric plane is almost inaudible from a distance of about 150 meters.

But there are several challenges for the pioneers. Due to the (low) energy density of the batteries, the current realistic range of the electric aircraft is 100 kilometers with one charge. For the 700-kilometer crossing of Germany, the plane will have to land and charge several times. The team was faced with the challenge of finding suitable airports that even have the necessary three-phase connection with at best 32 amperes (22 kW). During the flight, the remaining team members will drive ahead on the ground with electric cars provided by Tesla and prepare for charging with the appropriate chargers at the targeted airports.

Several world records are also to be broken:

  • Lowest energy consumption (kWh/100 km) over 700 km
  • Highest average speed over 700 km (km/h)
  • Highest altitude ever reached by an electric aircraft (meter above main sea level)
  • Fastest climbing performance from 0 – 1000 m / 1000 – 2000 m / 2000 – 3000 m (m/s)
  • Fastest average speed over 100 km (km/h)
  • Lowest number of intermediate stops on 700 km distance (number of stops)
  • Longest electrically flown distance in 24 / 48 / 56 hours (km)

The team behind the world record attempt is made up of an illustrious group led by futurologist Morell Westermann. The Swiss pilot Marco Buholzer runs the only electric flying school in the world, while the creative thinker Tobi Pape creates as a beer brewer on Norderney. With Tom Albrecht as video and music producer and Malik Aziz as a member of the largest German-language electromobility podcast CleanElectric, experienced media and communications professionals are on board. All five are already driving electrically on the ground and have founded the association “Friends of Electric Mobility”.

The team behind the world record attempt

The world record flight will take off from Schänis Airport in Switzerland on August 30th, and the route will lead via Zurich, Mainz and Münster and is scheduled to end two days later on September 1st when the plane arrives at Norderney Airport.

Route of the world record attempt with the first electric aircraft

This article was also published in German.

5 Comments

  1. It is not correct to say that the advantages of electric cars all apply to aircraft. Some do. Some definitely don’t. The weight of the batteries is nothing but a curse to the aircraft — to the car it improves handling. The batteries weigh just as much when empty, a normal plane lands much lighter than on take-off. There comes a point where you can’t really increase range much by adding batteries.

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