They’ve just made and successfully flown an all-electric one-person plane.
The light aircraft had a good old spin in the air above Little Snoring, Norfolk, in the United Kingdom.
What a fantastic name for a village.
The flight didn’t last all that long, as the battery needed to be recharged after 33 minutes, but as The Telegraph reported, it is still a remarkable achievement in British engineering.
This maiden flight could herald the beginning of a new zero-emissions aerospace manufacturing industry in the UK, where the aircraft was designed and built.
He said that the all-electric microlight aeroplane can potentially last up to 90 minutes on a full charge, but that’s just “on paper”.
Gratton is head of the British-based consortium that built the plane, while the Light Aircraft Company (TLAC), which sells small planes to hobbyists around the world, was involved in the manufacturing.
For now, because of the size and capacity of the batteries, the plane is only capable of short-haul domestic flights, likely enough to primarily cater to hobbyists:
“Everybody who is knowledgeable is sceptical about what we can deliver,” Gratton acknowledged. “They are right to be sceptical. What we’ve got is slower, lower performing, heavier and less capable than an aeroplane with a conventional engine.”
“If you want to hop between Scottish islands, for instance, I think that will happen reasonably quickly, perhaps within 10 years. But with the big jets going a long way, I can’t see this tech working. They simply need a higher energy density.”
The UK government is eager to support projects like these since setting up the Jet Zero Council in 2020, which aims to back up low-carbon aviation developments.
However, it will be a while before Jet Zero technology is feasible on a larger scale.
For now, the Sherwood eKub will have to stick to satisfying the odd leisure aviator.