Of course, you could always go for an electric model airplane, but it would be unlikely to carry your massive [by comparison] personage. Enter the GreenWing eSpyder, the world’s first electric plane available for sale [some assembly required].
Now, we have seen plenty of electric planes, but these have all been prototypes and experimental craft. What about something that Average Joe Pilot can buy? GreenWing International, an electric plane company in California, is finally ready to take orders for the GreenWing eSpyder.
For $39,990, the first 25 buyers in the US will get a kit to build their very own electric plane. In the EU, the first 25 buyers can get a fully-assembled plane for about $46,425 [€34,990]. Deliveries are expected to begin in the fall of 2013.
Why the difference between US and EU availability? In the EU, the GreenWing eSpyder has already gotten approval from the German aviation authority, the equivalent of the US Federal Aviation Administration [FAA], so GreenWing can sell a fully-assembled electric plane anywhere in the EU. The FAA, on the other hand, has no provisions for battery power to be counted as reserve fuel, yet. Until GreenWing and the FAA work out the future of electric planes, the eSpyder will only be available as an experimental kit plane.
On the other hand, the GreenWing eSpyder electric plane isn’t about how fast you can fly or how far, but just the fact that you can get a higher view without the rattle and hum of a conventional aircraft engine. With a top speed of just 68mph and flight time of 1-1.5hrs, you’re not going very far anyways. Also, looking forward, GreenWing International is finalizing designs on the e430, a two-passenger electric plane destined for commercialization.
Image © GreenWing International