PC Aero has shown a prototype of an all-electric, single-seater plane in Germany.
The Elektra One has a wingspan of 8.6 meters and it has an effective payload of 90 kilograms. The composite plane weighs 120 kilograms and is powered by a 16 kW electric motor. The manufacturers claim that it has a operational range of up to 400 kilometres at 160 kilometres per hour.
PC Aero estimates that the all-electric plane could fly up to 300 hours a year on the solar energy provided by just 20 square meters of solar panels and that flying clubs could operate an Elektra One for €30 ($au45) an hour.
The plane is to compete in the NASA and CAFE Green Flight Challenge in California in July, 2011. The Challenge requires aircraft to fly at least 160 kilometres per passenger on less than half a gallon (1.9 litres) of fuel or 17kWh of electric power at a minimum speed of 160 kilometres for a prize of $1,650,000.