The Sonex Aircraft, LLC proof-of-concept electric-powered Waiex flew for the first time on December 3, 2010, at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Piloted by Sonex Founder and E-Flight team leader John Monnett, N270DC made a short hop on Runway 27, intended to be a conservative nonpattern flight to break ground effect and analyze inflight system performance as the next step in testing. This short flight punctuates four years of development by the E-Flight design team.
“We are very proud of this achievement,” said Jeremy Monnett, CEO and general manager of Sonex Aircraft. “We have a flight envelope expansion plan and will be working on this in the coming weeks and months.” Data from today’s flight will be carefully analyzed by the design team and compared to high-power ground run data to determine if any necessary firmware adjustments are needed before proceeding to full traffic pattern and extended-duration test flights.
N270DC is a standard Waiex kit aircraft modified with the installation of proprietary E-Flight electric power components: The E-Flight 54kw brushless DC electric motor, E-Flight electronic motor controller, a 14.5kw-hr lithium polymer battery system, the E-Flight battery management system, and E-Flight cockpit instrumentation and controls.