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Mon, Mar 11, 2024

Kite Magnetics Shows off E-Hawk Trainer Aircraft

Electric Twist on a Wood Favorite

CKD Aero has partnered up with Kite Magnetics to create the Dakota e-Hawk, the “world’s most cost-effective two-seat electric aircraft”.

The e-Hawk is intended to be the first in a lineup of kit aircraft using Kite’s KM-60 electric engine and running gear. The KM-60 is much like an old-school piston engine, offering air-cooled, direct drive propulsion with 60 kW (about 80 horsepower). That makes it a perfect fit for CKD Aero's Dakota, making for a 2-seat, high-wing aircraft with all the fueling costs of a golf cart. Some back-of-the-napkin math says that the average flight should 'burn' about $4 worth of electric charge, a much better deal than good old avgas. That will depend on the cost of actual electricity area by area, but a 75% cost cut in fuel is pretty attractive for the shoestring budgets of many Part 61 schools.

That's leaving aside the "emissions free" aspect of an electric aircraft, which could provide a way to stay afloat in fields under pressure to terminate leaded fuel operations. For training operators, the Dakota Hawk may need to be released in a tricycle geared aircraft before they put it into use. That probably isn't too far off, from the sound of CKD's plans. At the moment their catalog includes almost 2 dozen aircraft models for sale, with plenty of choices to choose from should the KM-60 prove ready for real-world use. With an empty weight of 600 lbs, and a MGTOW of 1,150 lbs, the average gas-powered Dakota sees about 1,200 fpm in climb and 90 to 100 mph at cruise when equipped with an 85 to 100 hp engine.

“With Kite Magnetics' propulsion system's incredible efficiency and CKD Aero's commitment to excellence, this partnership is poised to redefine what it means to fly, making the skies more accessible, more sustainable, and more exhilarating for everyone,” said CKD Aero’s CEO, Arun Modgil.

“Imagine flying without the hassle of engine checks or the smell of leaded avgas,” said Kite Magnetics CEO, Dr Richard Parsons. "With CKD Aero and Kite Magnetics' electric aircraft, you get a silent, smooth ride that's gentler on your wallet and the planet."

FMI: www.ckd.aero

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