Racer Plans to Fly Electric Plane Across Atlantic

Will re-trace Lindbergh's 1927 journey

chip yates electric plane flight drive batteries solar powered solar impulse

    Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Electric racer Chip Yates plans to re-make history, by re-tracing Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 trans-Atlantic flight—in an electric plane of his own design. Yates, who set an unofficial electric motorcycle racing record for speed (190.6 mph) in 2011, is currently constructing the craft, which he predicts will have a nearly 100-foot wingspan.

The plane will be powered by an external battery pack, which will be periodically switched out during flight. Unlike the famed solar plane, the Solar impulse, whose average speed is about 31 mph, Yates hopes his electric plane will achieve speeds of nearly 100 mph. “Flying electrically, really slow, doesn’t provide humanity anything,” Yates told Wired.

Yates is 42 and only acquired his pilots license a year ago. At the plane’s current speed, the flight will take him a little over 36 hours.

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