SolarWorld e-One is an Electric Plane with Over 600 Miles of Range

5 years ago by Mark Kane 6

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).

PC Aero SolarWorld e-One

PC Aero SolarWorld e-One

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

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.

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6 responses to "SolarWorld e-One is an Electric Plane with Over 600 Miles of Range"

  1. Warren says:

    Shows you what light weight, and really good aerodynamics can do. Time for car makers to step up!

    1. Suprise Cat says:

      Until the plane had to go through crash tests…

  2. Mark H says:

    Very impressive. Lots of commuter flights on the west coast inside that range. I am assuming this is a single person aircraft?

  3. Anderlan says:

    Interesting tiny diameter nose enabled by the small motor. Less wasted drag!

  4. John Hollenberg says:

    Just don’t fly into a cloud when you are low on charge.

  5. Priusmaniac says:

    You know those planes that puls comercials behind have given me a great idea. Let’s use flexible solar panels to form a pul behind “commercial like banner” but this time pul it in a horizontal position so that it gets a maximum of sunshine. Actually you can pul a quiet long flexible solar panel behind, something like 25 meters in a rectangular shape as large as the wingspan would mean about 250 m² of flexible solar pannels. In such a way, you get a solar plane with unlimited range for real as long as there is sunshine.