It's true! I was wrong! It turns out that there is an electric plane that can fly at 70 mph for some 90 minutes on one battery charge. While quite small (a single seat aircraft) the 18hp electric motor propels the aircraft through the air at 70 mph for over 90 minutes.
What's more is - you can even buy a kit and get one for yourself! The inventor, Randall Fishman, plans to sell a ready to fly two seat model in 2010 - next year! Fishman, a retired jeweler, developed battery packs which hold two 75-volt lithium-ion-polymer batteries to power the 18hp motor and 45 inch propeller. As it turns out the electric motor is 88% efficient compared to the typical 15% efficiency of gas powered engines. What's more, by flipping a switch in the cockpit the propeller becomes a windmill turning a generator which recharges the batteries! I have to admit this is interesting technology, and you can see more about it at the Popular Science web page "A Silent Electric Plane."
And I keep hearing news reports about electric cars and trucks that will go for 250 miles on a single charge. As I discussed this with my lovely wife last night I was speculating on how we are going to get all of the electricity to charge these things when Obama has chosen Nobel laureate Steven Chu as Energy Secretary. There are many who are concerned about Chu's views on coal and nuclear energy. In the past he has stated he believes conservation is the low hanging fruit to be harvested first to reduce energy consumption, and believes in improving battery technology for powering cars. The problem is you have to produce electricity to charge the batteries. But back to my wife. She asked an interesting question - if these new cars can only go 250 miles on a single charge how can you take one from Michigan to California without stopping for a significant period of time to recharge your batteries? My guess is that Obama will say "Public Transportation" is the solution. Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch! JetAviator7
Because I Fly
Because I fly I laugh more than other men I look up an see more than they, I know how the clouds feel, What it's like to have the blue in my lap, to look down on birds, to feel freedom in a thing called the stick...
who but I can slice between God's billowed legs, and feel then laugh and crash with His step Who else has seen the unclimbed peaks? The rainbow's secret? The real reason birds sing? Because I Fly, I envy no man on earth.
— Grover C. Norwood