Aero 2019 - a step towards co2 free aviation.
Germany’s largest ultralight aircraft manufacturer, Comco Ikarus in Mengen, was able to announce the first flight of its successful two- seater C42 / CS as an electric version just before the start of AERO, the annual aircraft exposition in Friedrichshafen, Germany.
We are happy to see finally some progress towards addressing the pollution problems that are caused by aviation and that some new green technology solutions are appearing in the light plane market. It's a long way to go before fossil fuelled jet airliners are phased out - but these first baby steps show there is a way forward.
CO2 free flying: The flight path of the future - hydrogen generated power for electric aeroplanes to reduce the aviation component of greenhouse gas emmissions. From a recent Germany green power expo.
The first electric flight was completed by Comco Ikarus’ managing director Horst Lieb on April 15, 2018. Comco notes,
“The complete electrical unit with batteries is only marginally more expensive than the combustion version.”
The aircraft, with a span of 8.71 meters (28.6 feet) and an empty weight of 280.5 kilograms (617.1 pounds), is small and lighter than most Light Sport Aircraft (LSAs), and can carry a 192 kilogram (422.4 pound) payload in its Rotax powered version. The manufacturer explains the airframe had to be modified for electrification but does not list specifications for the battery-powered prototype. Battery weight with four packs will be 132 pounds, 30 pounds more than the 17-gallons (102 pounds) of fuel carried in the Rotax machines. Performance on the 50 electrical horsepower will doubtless be less sprightly than for even the 80-horsepower gas edition.
There is a video of the Comco Icarus in flight here.
Canadian and American sales are handled by the Canadian distributor in Ontario, and it will probably be a while before the electric ultralight/LSA becomes available. If electric prices stay close to those for the LSA models (below $65,000 US) the airplane might be a popular favorite. After all, over 1,400 have been sold in Europe, making it one of the most popular light aircraft on the continent.