PC Aero SolarWorld e-One

PC Aero SolarWorld e-One

The German company PC-Aero, which was working on the implementation of the production electric aircraft Elektra One for several years, raised the range bar for an all-electric single-seat ultralight aircraft to 600 km (373 miles).

SolarWorld e-One topped that bar by an incredible margin.  One thousand kilometers is now the maximum range in sunny weather for SolarWorld e-One prototype.  The aircraft is equipped with a set of photovoltaic cells from German company SolarWorld.

PC Aero Elektra One Solar

PC Aero Elektra One Solar

How is it that electric aircraft can stay airborne for 1000 km and as long 8 hours at a speed of roughly 75 mph? According to the manufacturer, it's possible because the SolarWorld e-One requires only 2.5 kW of power while in flight.  When the sun is shining, over half of this required juice (up to 1.5 kW) comes directly from the wings' photovoltaic arrays.

The traction motor develops maximum output of 16 kW (used mainly during take-off) and weighs only 10.4 pounds.  Total aircraft weight is 463 pounds.

PC Aero Elektra One Solar with solar power source on the ground

PC Aero Elektra One Solar with solar power source on the ground

While SolarWorld E-One is just a prototype, PC-Aero is developing the production version of its Elektra One Solar - slightly smaller (wing span of 11 instead of 13 m), the photovoltaic cells provide up to 1 kW. Minimum required power for horizontal flight is about 3 kW, but the plane still can fly nearly 373 miles or stay in the air for up to 6 hours.

We don't know the specific price of the Elektra One Solar, but we do know a whole-package price:

"A total system (Electric Aircraft + Solar Hangar + power) for less than 100,000 €"

Production and sales potentially could start next year and, in the future, PC-Aero wants to introduce a two-seater version: Elektra Two.