The brief press release and single photograph from PC-Aero says it all:
“ELEKTRA ONE from PC-Aero performed successfully its First Flight for about 30 minutes. Using only 3 kWh of energy.
“The internal First Flight was performed by the well known testpilot Jon Karkow. He did the first check for the flight performance and characteristics of the electric aircraft and briefed the german testpilot Norbert Lorenzen for the next official First Flight.”
Although static tests were completed late last year, speculation that Germany’s tough certification laws held up test flights ran through some of the aviation press. The angle of the photograph makes it difficult to tell whether the center-line landing gear was retracted or not, but the low energy use indicates the gear might have been tucked up. Energy use certainly reflects designer Calin Gologan’s assertion that “Elektra One needs only about 6.5 kW/h at 100 MPH. This will be equivalent with about 500 passenger MPG.”
Elektra One is entered in the upcoming Green Flight Challenge to be held at Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport in Santa Rosa, California from July 11 through 17. Competitors in the $1.5 million NASA prize/CAFE Foundation administered contest will fly a 200-mile course at an average of 100 mph or better and must achieve or exceed energy use equivalent to 200 passenger miles per gallon or better. Elektra One certainly seems to be on track to be a contender.
PC-Aero’s web site notes that there is a video of the flight and the blog will display that as soon as it is available.