e-Flight Initiative pushes the sport flying envelope

In 2006 Sonex Aircraft‘s research and development team began work on what is now called the e-Flight Initiative. e-Flight is a push to explore viable alternative energies for powering sport aircraft and improve the efficiency and performance of current products and technologies to keep aviation affordable for the average pilot, and to keep recreational aviation available to future generations of pilots.

The E-Flight Initiative has three major areas of focus, taking a diverse approach to the problems of rising energy costs and an ailing environment to provide near, intermediate and long-term green powerplant solutions:

Electric Power: Development of a proof-of-concept electric motor powerplant, controller, battery pack and charging system with the goal of determining the feasibility of a marketable line of Sonex and AeroConversions products. This project represents the most significant portion of E-Flight, in terms of investment, risks, challenges, and possible gains.

Ethanol Fuel: Investigation of converting the AeroConversions AeroVee 2.0 powerplant for use of ethanol-based fuels in order to accommodate ethanol-blend auto fuel and/or pure ethanol to both increase performance and efficiency and to ensure that Sonex and AeroConversions products are prepared for the possible discontinuation of 100 octane or similar aviation fuels.

Efficiency Enhancement: Development of other enhancements to the existing AeroVee 2.0 and other existing and future AeroConversions products to increase fuel efficiency and performance for the sport pilot. These enhancements will be built upon an already strong foundation, as an AeroCarb equipped AeroVee powered Sonex aircraft already boasts a fuel economy of over 42 miles per gallon when cruising at 150 mph TAS.

Source:  e-Flight Initiative

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