Ampaire, the Hayward, California,-based hybrid-electric flight developer, showed off the capabilities of one of its EEL demonstrator airplanes by completing a flight from Camarillo, California, to Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional airport this week. The trip included a 1,135-mile leg between Mojave, California, and Hays, Kansas, a record for nonstop hybrid-electric aircraft.
According to the company, test pilot Elliot Seguin left California on Thursday morning, July 21, overnighting in Kansas, before flying into Oshkosh on Friday, July 22. Overall, the trip covered 1,880 statute miles, a flight that progressed, by our quick math, at about 100 knots. Electric battery drain is extremely closely tied to power output, even more so than with fossil fuels. The airplane will be on display at Boeing Plaza for the duration of the show.
A converted Cessna Skymaster with an electric motor replacing the 337’s front engine while retaining the conventional piston engine in the rear, the EEL demonstrates fuel savings of up to 40% over the standard airplane. Ampaire is moving forward to the first flight of its nine-seat Eco Caravan Cessna 208 conversion to fly later this year. That airplane should give fuel savings of up to 70%, claims the company.