October 19, 2020 / Ampaire’s hybrid electric aircraft EEL, a modified version of the Cessna 337 Skymaster, set a new record for electric commercial aviation on October 8, as it flew for two-and-a-half-hour in what was “the longest flight to date for any commercial relevant aircraft employing electric propulsion” California-based Ampaire said in a note.
The Electric EEL took-off from Camarillo airport (CMA) at 12.20 PDT, flew for a distance of 341miles (549km) reaching a maximum altitude of 8,500ft (2,600m) and landed at Hayward Executive airport (HWD) at 2.52 PDT. In cruise, the airplane averaged a speed of around 135mph (217kmh).
A Continental IO-550 is positioned in the aft fuselage of the Electric EEL, while a 174hp (130kw) electric motor is in the nose.
In the next weeks, the airplane will be disassembled and shipped to Hawaii where it will perform a series of demonstration flights in cooperation with Mokulele Airlines (MW). “Hawaiian challenging geography makes surface transport arduous and inefficient. Our electric technology yelds significant cuts in operating costs, allowing fastest and more frequent travel among the islands” said Ampaire’s General Manager Doug Shane, adding that “trial flights with Mokulele will not only demonstrate the capabilities of the EEL, but will help to define the infrastructure required for wide-scale adoption of electric aviation by airlines and airports”. (Photo Ampaire)