Green Tech is hot in Silicon Valley. Electric power-augmented and flex-fuel cars are selling well. Why not alternative energy Light-Sport Aircraft? Two companies showed electric airplanes at AirVenture 2007. *** Sonex revealed their own green technologies including a full-electric Waiex with a 200-amp motor that is 90 percent efficient and operates on 270 volts of direct current. The motor was manufactured in-house by Sonex and uses 80 lithium polymer battery packs which the company believes will allow one hour flights. The electric Waiex is part of the Sonex eFlight initiative which also includes ethanol-based fuels in their AeroVee combustion engine. *** In the Part 103 ultralight category, Randall Fishman is already flying his 100% electric-powered ElectraFlyer trike. Electric motors as airplane powerplants carry several advantages, notes Randall: “No engine vibration or maintenance; no carbon buildup, no top or major overhauls, no carb adjustments, no handling smelly gasoline and oil.” The batteries alone on the ElectraFlyer trike cost $7,500 for a 1.5 hour duration but the entire trike, wing and all, is about $17,000.
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