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Chip Yates’ Electric Plane Aims For 250 MPH Flight

Chip Yates, an electric vehicle pioneer, intends to try to attain a speed of 250 mph in his record-setting electric plane.

In the past, he exceeded 200 mph in that plane, which was the fastest for an electric plane at the time (this was July 2012). Unfortunately, the battery was overloaded and destroyed, so the long-EZ plane was not yet capable of traveling that fast.

Image Credit: Brent Baer

Image Credit: Brent Baer

According to Wired, Yates replaced the battery bank with one that has twice the capacity. The new bank is an EnerDel, which can operate at 450 volts and has 80 Ah (ampere-hours) of energy storage capacity. This translates to 36 kWh of energy storage which can provide a current of up to 600 amps, which translates to 258 HP. It weighs 525 pounds (238 kg) and occupies the space that would have been the back seat.

It is possible for this plane to cruise at 100 mph when drawing only 40 amps of current. However, he had to push it to 175 mph during his first flight. He didn’t push it any further because he was being conservative. He said he operated it at 50% throttle. The throttle setting during the flight was 52%.

“Our new EnerDel pack can go up to 450 Volts,” Yates says. “But we started it at 416.8 Volts to be conservative for these early flights.”

While drawing only 211 of the 600 amps the battery could provide, the propeller spun at 2,500 RPM, and he expects it to achieve his 250 mph goal at about 3,100 RPM, if his calculations are correct and he can keep all the parts of the plane operating in unison.

He hopes to achieve his goal next month, and eventually fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

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writes on CleanTechnica, Gas2, Kleef&Co, and Green Building Elements. He has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:


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