Chip Yates’ 5 Electric Plane Records Become Official


Long-ESA Electric Plane

Long-ESA Electric Plane

Chip Yates in Long-ESA Electric Plane

Chip Yates in Long-ESA Electric Plane

The Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) recently ratified five electric airplane world records set to date by Chip Yates in his Long-ESA electric plane.

“The world sanctioning body’s approval comes on the heels of the announcement by the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) of the five record-setting performances by Electric Vehicle Pioneer Chip Yates, as he continues to advance electric vehicle technology.”

“Yates’ first record came in July 2012 when he became the first person in history to break 200 mph in an electric airplane (after receiving his pilot’s license the week before). In 2013 he raised the top speed to 220.9 while setting a Guiness World Record in front of a crowd of 100,000 at the California Capital Airshow in Sacramento.”

As of today Chip Yates has 18 world records, including 10 for world’s fastest electric motorcycle. The latest five for airplane, which just became official are:

  •  Altitude (14,701 ft.)
  • Speed over a 3 km course (201 mph – 4 pass avg speed)
  • Time to climb to a height of 3,000 m (5 min 32 sec) – selected by the NAA as the “Most Memorable Aviation Record of 2013”
  • Altitude in horizontal flight (14,564 ft)
  • Speed over a 15 km course (140 mph (2 pass avg speed)

Separately, we see an interesting comparison of Long-ESA experimental airplane and conventional Cessna and Cirrus, which in many cases are not so agile.

As it turns out, Long-ESA can climb at 2,000 feet per minute until it runs out of energy, while the gas guzzlers – just like racers in Pikes Peak – need oxygen and struggle more with climbing with every foot of elevation.

Sadly, the amount of energy in battery pack of Long-ESA is enough only for short flights at full power or 1-2 hours with conservative speeds.

The electric Long-ESA can climb faster than most single engine planes. Yates Electrospace Corporation (credits to

The electric Long-ESA can climb faster than most single engine planes. Yates Electrospace Corporation (credits to

The world is now waiting for the long-range transatlantic all-electric plane, which will be recharged mid-air by battery-filled drones! Yates and his team are currently developing such a machine, so stay tuned for another milestone.

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7 Comments on "Chip Yates’ 5 Electric Plane Records Become Official"

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There was a time when I would have said that flying without liquid fuels (such as petrol) would be impossible. That time is past. Not sure if 100% battery power is the way to go. This might be one application where a fuel cell does make sense.


Anyway Yates’ achievement is inspiring! I had no idea there are electric planes out there that already kick same-class petrol planes’ butt like that.

Yes my friend Assaf, this one and many more prototyping-
Here Is Air Bus, Deep Dive E-FANtastic display at ILA 2014.

As a Tech Head and sustainability hawk you will love these video’s From Air Bus Group.

Links Go To Air Bus Grop, ILA 2014-


Thomas J. Thias


Not particularly. Compressed gas bottles are heavy.

“Only” $100k and very low refueling cost. I’d get one of those if I ever get into flying planes just for fun.

I loved the feeling when flying a gliding non-engine plane (just one time as a birthday gift).
The majestic quietness and beauty of the view.

I’ve never liked those small planes with their noisy engines. Never flied one but when skydiving I could hardly wait to get out of the plan and away from that noise (and vibrations).

I fail to see how a single place electric aircraft based on the Long-EZ is in the same class as 4 place a/c like the others mentioned. I’d say comparing it to a Pitts would be closer.

What a coincidence! I was just perusing real estate ads and found John Denver’s Aspen estate is up for sale – which lead me to an investigation of his death in 1997 – flying a Rutan Long-EZ just like the one pictured above, but with standard gas engine! I recognized the airplane the second I saw the photo!

Of interest to us EV-heads: Denver’s plane was heard from observers on the ground emitting a loud “pop” and stuttering. Later was found out his Long-EZ ran out of fuel – and that Denver was trying to turn a gas tank switch that was located behind his left shoulder – not spec from the original Rutan design! During the mid-1970’s gas crunch, John Denver became a media spokesperson in ads teaching Americans how to conserve gas. Simultaneously, Denver was installing two large underground gas tanks at his Aspen Ranch! LOL! When controversy swirled around this revelation, Denver had the tanks removed! – So John Denver died when he failed to top off the tanks in his airplane before he took off in Monterey, CA!!!