Fly Electric, At Last

    Electric motors for airplanes are preferable to the standard petroleum-fueled piston engine for many reasons?they are quieter, vibration free, easier to maintain, emissions free, and cheaper to operate. The problem has always been that no electric motor could deliver enough power at a light enough weight to make it practical for small aircraft?but that’s no longer true. Aviation innovator Randall Fishman, of Cliffside Park, New Jersey, proved this summer that the era of electric flight has arrived when he flew his ElectraFlyer-C, a modified single-place Moni motorglider, before a crowd of thousands in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, at the EAA AirVenture air show. After an hour or so of fun flying, it takes about two hours to recharge the batteries, at a cost of less than $1 in electricity. Fishman is working to develop a two-seat version of the airplane. He also designed an electric-powered ultralight aircraft that can be flown by noncertified pilots, which he sells for about $19,000. (561.351.1190, www.electraflyer.com)

    —Mary Grady

    From Around the Web...
    The aviation corporation’s best business jet continues to distance itself from the competition…
    The new interior has high-speed network access and plenty of places to charge your devices…
    This concept plane can land on grass, gravel, or sand airstrips…
    The luxuriant new interior has a flowing layout conceived with comfort and relaxation in mind…
    Photo by Cean One Studios
    Alex Wilcox talks about his company’s costs, conveniences, and customers…
    Your one-stop shop for the business jets, private helicopters, and industry news that captivated...
    The aircraft has a range of up to 7,135 miles and a cruising speed of Mach .85…
    Photo by Katsuhiko Tokunaga
    Our writer is a passenger while her pilot performs barrel rolls, loops, and other aerobatics…
    The Vision Jet is equipped with the company’s famed cutting-edge tech and full-plane parachute…
    Helicopter enthusiasts with a propensity for the posh will be delighted…