The world’s longest-ever flight by an electrically-powered aircraft, capable of taking off and landing from a fixed position, took place on 23 February. The futuristic-looking aircraft flew 250.3 kilometres without landing.
AutoFlight’s fourth-generation aircraft design, called “Prosperity I”, was developed under the leadership of renowned car designer Frank Stephenson. The graceful air taxi, specially optimised for short-haul passenger transport, was flown on a predetermined route at the company’s test airfield near Augsburg, completing the circuit 20 times.
Between take-off and landing, the Prosperity I, equipped with a remote-controlled control system with a high degree of autonomy, covered a total distance of 250.3 kilometres during the record flight, setting a new world record: the previous record of 248 kilometres was set by Joby Aviation in July 2021 from the Electric Flight Base in Big Sur, California.
The air taxi, equipped with lithium-ion batteries, is expected to be the first to receive approval from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which means that the futuristic mini aircraft could be ready for passenger flights in 2025. Of course, this will still require consultation with the authorities and municipalities of the planned service areas.
AutoFlight’s Prosperity I: An Electric Plane with Impressive Speed and Range
AutoFlight has designed an electric plane that has caught the attention of aviation enthusiasts. The Prosperity I uses a combination of elevator propellers and wing and pusher propellers to take off and land, then fly forward. This innovative design allows the plane to reach a maximum speed of 200 km/h and fly up to 250 km on a single charge, an achievement that the company claims to have successfully accomplished.
However, it is worth noting that the record-breaking flight was conducted without any passengers on board, resulting in a much lower take-off mass. The plane’s performance with a full passenger load could be impacted, and further tests are necessary to assess its safety and suitability for commercial use.
Electric planes are becoming increasingly popular due to their environmental benefits, including lower emissions and noise pollution. As the aviation industry strives to reduce its carbon footprint, companies like AutoFlight are working to develop viable electric alternatives.
Despite their potential benefits, electric planes are not without challenges. Limited battery range, higher costs, and the need for improved infrastructure are just some of the obstacles that must be overcome. Nevertheless, with technological advancements and increased investment, electric aviation could become a reality sooner than we think.
In conclusion, the Prosperity I is an exciting development in the world of electric aviation, but it is important to keep in mind the limitations of its record-breaking flight. As the industry continues to innovate, we can look forward to a future with cleaner, more efficient air travel.