Waiex electric aircraft unveiled
Sports aviation is an extremely niche market, and you have to have a healthy bank account balance if you’re thinking of diving into this hobby. With oil prices going nowhere but up, this situation could see sports aviation end up as an even more exclusive endeavor, especially for the average enthusiast. Innovators are trying to tackle this problem by making sports aviation more affordable for the next generation. Sonex and Aeroconversions have taken up the task, and their collaboration has resulted in the Waiex electric aircraft – the culmination of the E-Flight initiative.
The AeroVee powerplant has been given an ethanol conversion, resulting in unprecedented efficiency enhancements. I guess this is the dawn of a new beginning, where oil will no longer be needed to fuel an aircraft, but just plain electricity instead. I know there already are prototypes of drones running on solar power, but those mainly belong to the domain of the military. We’re talking about commercial applications here people, and should the Waiex be further improved, this hobby could seriously take off (no pun intended) in a big way. The E-Flight initiative will focus on three major areas – 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.
When it comes to power, the E-Flight initiative sees electric power, ethanol fuel, and efficiency enhancements as the path to the future. Electric power includes developing an electric motor powerplant, controller, battery pack, and charging system, whereas ethanol fuel will try to include ethanol-blend auto fuel with pure ethanol for enhanced efficiency and an increase in performance. Last but not least, efficiency enhancements will see physical modifications and tinkering being done to provide even greater fuel economy. Good to see green initiatives being taken even at a rich man’s playground.