Video: Potters Bar company flying high with electric plane
A COMPANY based in Potters Bar has designed and constructed the world s first commercially viable purpose built two-seater electric aircraft. The plane, which has been christened the E430, has been built by Yuneec International, an electric aviation compa
A COMPANY based in Potters Bar has designed and constructed the world's first commercially viable purpose built two-seater electric aircraft.
The plane, which has been christened the E430, has been built by Yuneec International, an electric aviation company based on the High Street.
The firm was founded in 2007 by Clive Coote, from Hadley Wood, and Tian Yu, an engineer from China.
Speaking exclusively to the Potters Bar Edition, Clive said: "This is the world's first fully commercial purpose built airplane. "You are not buying a glider with an electric attachment, you are buying an airplane that has been designed for electric flight."
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To date, the plane, which is powered by up to 10 rechargeable battery packs, has been flight tested once in China - an exercise Clive described as "very successful".
It will next be tested by a professional pilot over five days in Los Angeles later this month.
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And, if all goes well, the plane should be available to buy in late 2010.
Clive, 55, said the E430 has a number of advantages when compared to traditional aircraft.
"It is quiet, it is incredibly environmentally friendly and it is easy to operate," he said.
When the plane hits the market next year, it will be able to fly for up to two-and-a-half hours before the batteries need to be recharged.
However, as time passes, Clive anticipates improved battery technology will permit flights of up to six hours.
The plane is set to go on sale for around �45,000.
"The majority of that cost is in batteries," Clive said.
But he added: "Progressively as time goes on and battery prices come down, the cost of electric aviation will come down."
As well as the E430, the company has also designed an electric paramotor called the E-PAC.
But Yuneec doesn't plan to stop at electric aviation.
Clive said: "We are looking at all forms of electric personal transport.
"These are very exciting times."
For more information about the company, visit www.yuneec.com