Chip Yates to Attempt to Set 5 World Records In Long-ESA Electric Plane

SEP 2 2013 BY MARK KANE 4

EnerDel battery modules for Long-ESA

EnerDel battery modules for Long-ESA

After failing (CAN bus network failure) in attempting five official FAI World Records for electric planes on August 13, Chip Yates is aiming to try again later this week.

The Long-ESA with a new CAN controller, new EnerDel battery pack and new UQM Technologies motor, will take of again September 6-9 at Inyokern Airport with the aim of each day setting new records in different categories:

1)      Altitude

2)      Time to Climb (3,000 meters)

3)      Speed over 3 km course (4 passes)

4)      Speed over 15 km course (2 passes)

5)      Sustained altitude in horizontal flight

After test flights, Yates stated:

“Everything was perfect! The max throttle I used was 66%, and I could climb at 2000 feet per minute easily. The plane is flying great and is an absolute rocketship!”

“The plan is to attempt one record per day, to allow enough time for recharging, data acquisition, and re-runs of any faulty attempts. These  categories are new for electric airplanes and so there are currently no standing records in any of them – we need to be certain to finish each event cleanly and properly and will be able to claim the first records in history for these new FAI / NAA categories!”

Below you can find video from a previous attempt, which has this dramatic description:

“Chip Yates was in the middle of attempting five official FAI World Records in his electric airplane at 200 MPH and just 200 feet over the ground when a freak CAN bus network failure (not related to speed or power) occured, which killed his fly-by-wire system and forced an emergency landing. Chip immediately pulled back and gained altitude to help him glide and was lined up with a paved road but his safety chase pilot and Discovery Channel co-host, Zach Reeder saw from his vantage point that Chip could probably turn around and glide back to runway 10 at inyokern Airport.”

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4 Comments on "Chip Yates to Attempt to Set 5 World Records In Long-ESA Electric Plane"

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GeorgeS
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GeorgeS

If his fly by wire system failed, how could he still control the plane?
Good video BTW.

Tony Williams
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Why would it not have a mechanical backup?

Aaron
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Aaron

It likely does. The article says, “Chip immediately pulled back and gained altitude to help him glide…”, which implies he has control of the aircraft.

Mark H
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Mark H

I enjoyed this story and others on electric planes. I especially like the comment referring to the plane’s performance. “The plane is flying great and is an absolute rocketship! ” Most people do not consider electric flight as practical. Well they felt the same way about cars just five years ago. The times they are a changin.