Electric airplane completes first test flight

After four years of development in engineering, building and testing, the Sonex LLC N270DC has taken to the skies, successfully completing its first .

This short  flight took place on December 3, 2010 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, with Sonex Founder and E-Flight team leader John Monnett at the helm.

While not much more than a “hop,” according to a recent release, the flight served its intended purpose as a conservative non-pattern flight to break ground-effect and analyze in-flight system performance, leading into the next round of testing.

The N270DC is a standard Waiex kit aircraft modified with an E-Flight 54kw brushless DC electric motor, E-Flight electronic motor controller, a 14.5kw-hr lithium polymer battery system, the E-Flight battery management system, and E-Flight cockpit instrumentation and controls.

Electric Airplane Test FlightData from the flight will be analyzed by the E-Flight design team and compared to high power ground run data to determine any necessary firmware adjustments before proceeding to full traffic pattern and extended-duration test flights – which, if successful, will presumably lead to the mass-production of an all-electric, assemble-it-yourself sport plane.

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