202.6mph! World’s Fastest Electric Airplane w/Video

Jul 19, 2012 12 Comments by

On July 18th, Chip Yates flew the all-electric Flight of the Century for the first time. The 16-minute flight allowed the pilot to get comfortable with the Long-EZ controls as well as the electric system. The Flight of the Century team took a Burt Rutan Long-EZ (N158TG) and converted it to an all-electric flying test bed aircraft to continue development of their patent-pending Infinite Range Electric Flight (IREF) technology.  They write,  ”As a second mission, the aircraft is also being equipped to attempt fastest top speed for a manned electric aircraft, and highest altitude for a manned electric aircraft world records in the summer of 2012.  Our plane is referred to as a Long-ESA, for ‘Electric Speed & Altitude’ in reference to the world record attempts it will make this year, while honoring the incredible genius of Burt Rutan’s many designs, including the iconic ‘Long-EZ.’ “  UPDATE: on July 19, the Long-ESA achieved a speed of 202.6mph during its second test flight, breaking the 200mph barrier for electric aircraft.


Here’s a video of the Long-ESA breaking the electric speed record!

Read more about the aircraft battery system and the team’s efforts by clicking here.

Debra Cleghorn, Featured News

About the author

Model Airplane News Executive editor. About me: I’m a publishing professional who has a passion for aviation and RC, and I love creating issues, books and a website that help RC pilots to enjoy this sport even more. I admire scale aircraft and enjoy the convenience of flying smaller electrics.

12 Responses to “202.6mph! World’s Fastest Electric Airplane w/Video”

  1. Test Pilto says:

    What can I say, it’s a Burt Rutan’s design!

    Congratulations to all for such a nice project. Keep up the good work. Electrics are developing so fast.

    Thanks Deb for bringing us great news clips.


  2. Gerry says:


  3. Peter Wyatt says:

    I am a great believer in light electric aircraft. i will follow this with interest.

  4. Gordon Niessen says:

    There seemed to be a lot of vibration at speed.

    And was he out of power on the landing? There was no approach on final, just a slide into position a spit send before touch down. And then he said “Holy Cr_p”. That not a raving success in my book.

    I am glad they are doing it. And do look forward to when it is finally here. But that was scary.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Gordon – I think you could have ended your critic with “out of power on landing”, everything you said after that is rather redundant, don’t you think? What type of approach did you want to see without power??

  6. Anonymous says:

    I love the thought of electric vehicles. I personally believe if it weren’t for big oil, this stuff would be much further along, but it’s awesome to see some people doing it anyhow. I can only imagine what the future holds. Fortunately this guy had enough altitude and glide. He barely made the runway and his adrenaline rush was obvious.

  7. Clarence Corriveau says:

    Better get a higher power ESC and better batteries. And prop it right. Lucky he got back!!

  8. Gene says:


  9. James Manley says:

    Experimental means just that. I am sure that was not the teams intention to lose power. Maybe a redundant or back up battery next time? Great job! Remember this is the beginning.

  10. Perry says:

    Great Achievement.
    A fine demonstration of aerodynamic & electric efficency.

  11. albert says:

    Esta competición para conseguir volar más rápido con aviones eléctricos me parece llena de sentido, ojalá un día yo también pueda participar. Great job!

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