Introducing: The Yuneec
"Don't forget to charge up your plane before you take off!" This might be the warning soccer moms will be issuing to their sons in the future if the Yuneec succeeds in its attempt to revolutionize the modern way in which humans interact with air travel. The first commercial-use electric plane may be upon us with a pricetag of under $25,000 and a priceless set of possibilities.
Yuneec's E430 is a twin seat, single engine, LSA class aircraft with a significant difference to every commercially available plane that has come before it – it's entirely electric. The lightweight composite-construction E430 charges in three hours from a domestic 230 volt powerpoint, runs for two and half hours on a charge.
The plane made its maiden flight in the hands of test pilot Shun Xun on June 12 at the Yuneec factory near Shanghai, China, and is reportedly both very quiet and vibration-free.
The E430 is designed with simplicity as its main user benefit – low maintenance, simple to fly, and with the experience of flight significantly enhanced by the low noise and lack of vibration.
The plane was sent to California where it will undergo FAA certification testing before its international debut at the Oshkosh EAA AirVenture 2009. Save your pennies! According to Wired.com, this aeronautical wonder may be available for sale by the end of '09.