The current design of the Lindbergh aircraft shows a wingspan greater than 100 feet
Eighty five years ago, Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to successfully fly from New York to Paris non-stop, claiming a substantial cash prize and securing a place in history in the process. Now another world record holder, Chip Yates, has announced plans to take on the same aviation challenge … but this time the aircraft making the 3,600 mile non-stop flight will be all-electric. The ambitious project is still in its early stages but the Flight of the Century team has already developed a patent-pending battery deployment solution to replenish depleted batteries while the aircraft is in flight.
In 1919, French-born New York City hotel owner Raymond Orteig offered a reward of US$25,000 to the first aviator(s) to successfully complete a non-stop flight from New York to Paris or vice-versa. At the time, airplane technology had not advanced enough for anyone to take up the challenge but by the mid-1920s, the first attempts were made. Several lives were lost and other pilots were injured during a number of attempts but the prize remained unclaimed. Then in May 1927, the Spirit of St Louis was flown into Roosevelt Field by a young airmail pilot named Charles Lindbergh. The rest, as they say, is history.
Carrying some 451 gallons of fuel, a few sandwiches and a little water, Lindbergh took off from Long Island on May 20 and headed for France. The “Lone Eagle” landed at Le Bourget Field 33.5 hours later, where a crowd of 100,000 enthusiastic French followers rushed the plane. The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale ratified the world record flight ten days later and Lindbergh took his prize on June 16, 1927. Public interest in aviation mushroomed and Lindbergh became a national hero.
Electric aircraft design is currently at that exciting, edgy early development stage and long-haul flight is viewed as something for a time way off in the future. Current FIM record holder for the world’s fastest electric motorcycle, William “Chip” Yates believes that such a future is within our reach right now and has set his sights on proving it.
His newly-formed company Flight of the Century (FOTC) has filed a notice of intent and concept paper with the U.S. Department of Energy detailing plans to design, build and fly an electric aircraft non-stop for 24 hours utilizing the company’s Infinite Range Electric Flight technology. This involves creating a mothership capable of docking with unmanned flying battery pods to keep the juice flowing, while also ejecting depleted battery packs for guided descent and recovery for recharge and reuse.
via Gizmag – Paul Ridden
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