Italian-Designed Electric Airplane Reaches 155 mph

With green in mind, the SkySpark project flew its Pioner Alpi 300 two-place airplane for the first time last week, and two days later flew again-this time reaching 155 mph (approximately 132 knots). The airplane is powered with a 75 kw motor driven by lithium polymer batteries installed in the right passenger seat. More information and a YouTube video of the flight is available at SkySpark is coordinated by engineering company DigiSky. The SkySpark team leader is test pilot and astronaut Maurizio Cheli, who flew on the STS 75 space shuttle mission as flight engineer. The electric flight is defined by Cheli as step one, with the next phase to include flying with a hydrogen fuel cell.