Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Maiden flight of Elektra Trainer electric ultralight aircraft

The German UAS developer Elektra Solar has announced the successful maiden flight of its two-seater electric ultralight aircraft, Elektra Trainer. The aircraft was in the air over Memmingen International Airport for about 20 minutes before landing.

Elektra Trainer is mainly based on the proven technology of Elektra One, the single-seat electric aircraft from Elektra Solar, which was certified last year in the German ultralight (UL) class. Designed as an ideal aircraft for flight schools and flight clubs, Elektra Trainer is a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) drone with a flight endurance of three hours and a payload capacity of up to 2 kg (4.4 lb).

The electric aircraft features a dual redundant electric drive system, a portable 12 kW charging station (in the luggage compartment), variable pitch propellers, good gliding properties, and an electric retractable landing gear. It offers a flight time of 2.5 hours, a range of 300 km (186 miles), and can reach a top speed of 180 km/h (111 mph).

During the first flight, Elektra Trainer required less than 100 meters to take off between business jets and commercial aircraft, and it did it silently and emission-free. The aircraft demonstrated extraordinary characteristics, rising like a jet with more than 8 meters per second (29 km/h), flying in low cruising flight with only about 10 kW of power, without vibrations in the cockpit, and perfect stability promises the aircraft a great market future.

The system state data of the flight are uploaded to a cloud and automatically analyzed with the help of AI algorithms. The errors and deviations from the normal condition are reported to the owner and/or a maintenance company. Thanks to this technology, the safety of operation will be increased, and the maintenance effort will be further reduced.

After this maiden flight, Elektra Solar will begin the certification flight tests and is very confident of completing the German UL certification by the end of this year. The company has been preparing the series production and will open the European market in the next few years.