Tian Yu, Chairman of Shanghai-based Yuneec International, parlayed his fortune as a manufacturer of electrically-powered, remote-control toy airplanes, helicopters and cars into real airplanes such as the GreenWing International eSpyder and two-seat e430. Now, the eSpyder has been certified in Europe under Germany’s expansive ultralight rules as set out by the Deutscher Ultraleichtflugverband (DULV)–a branch of tthat nation’s Federal Ministry of Transport. U.S. Light Sport Aircraft certification is on track to follow, and more European and other nations are bound to reciprocate as well.
For a complete report on the state of the electric-aircraft movement, be sure to check out AOPA Pilot’s latest report on engine technology entitled “Electric Instead” in the September issue–and already released in digital form.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Are electrically-powered aircraft a passing fashion, or do they hold real promise for what could be a new technology that helps preserve general aviation’s future?