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Tue, Aug 02, 2016

AeroSports Update: Electric Flight For Fun

It Appears That Electric Flight Has A Lot Of Potential, And One Of These Is For Fun

As the technology of electric flight in aviation continues to advance, there are successes that range from applying electric flight technology to encourage the use of renewable energy, to electric flight replacing fossil fuel powered trainer planes. The technology is exciting and there is one thing for sure; Adventure Aircraft is proving it can be used for recreational flying.

At EAA AirVenture 2016 we saw an electric powered motor glider called the EMG 6 (Electric Motor Glider) that has been under development by Brian and Carol Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation. Rainbow Aviation, located in Corning, CA, is well-established in recreational aviation and is highly experienced in the field of ultralight and light sport flying. As they progressed into developing this electric powered aircraft that is specifically designed for recreational flyers, they created Adventure Aircraft as a subdivision of Rainbow Aviation.

The EMG 6 has been under development for more than three years as a recreational glider and it is now a fully tested and available as an electric powered motor glider. They refer to it as a motor glider because the purpose of the electric power is to act as an efficient self-launching system for glider flying, and it is also easily used as a flight extender.

And, if you want to add choices to this delightful little aircraft, it can be built with either electric power, a small gasoline engine, or as a straight glider that has been tested for aero-tows and ground-tow launching. They even offer a single place or two place option.

The aircraft on display at AirVenture not only turns on the “this-is-cool” light, it also highlights advanced technology being used for recreational aircraft. As the Carpenters have developed this aircraft, they have also developed 3-D printing technology to produce some of its parts. While the planform of this airplane appears to be from the past (It also looks like a mini Solar Impulse2), don’t let appearances full you. The technology is not only current, it looks to the future.

Just as the use of electric motors have revolutionized radio controlled model aircraft activities, this aircraft has the potential to revolutionize “full scale” flying for fun. Think about this; your electric model aircraft has to be registered with the FAA, but this aircraft, when built as an ultralight, requires no registration or a certificated pilot to operate it. Go Figure!

(Image photograph taken at AirVenture 2016)



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