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Elektra Trainer Receives German Ultralight Certification

Ohm My!

Elektra Solar GmbH—the German designer and manufacturer of solar-electric powered aircraft and winner of both the Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft and the Swiss eTrophy—announced on 31 January 2023 that its two-place, all-electric, training and towing aircraft, the Elektra-Trainer, had received ultralight certification from the German Ultralight Flight Association (DULV)—a representative agency of Germany’s Federal Ministry for Digital Affairs and Transport (BMDV).

Based on 2011’s Elektra One single-seat, ultralight, solar-assisted-electric-propulsion aircraft and designed with an eye toward flight-schools and flying clubs, the Elektra Trainer’s hourly operating cost of about sixty-euros is fully half that of a legacy ultralight aircraft. Elektra posits the skyrocketing price of conventional aviation fuels—driven by controversial European Union Green policies—will further increase the Elektra Trainer’s cost advantage over its internal-combustion-powered competitors.

In addition to a 2.5-hour flight duration; a dual-redundant electric powertrain; variable-pitch propeller; retractable landing gear; a 25:1 glide-ratio; and a whisper-quiet, 48-decibel take-off noise signature, the Elektra Trainer features perpetual uplink to Elektra Solar GmbH’s cloud infrastructure—a digital architecture by which aircraft flight data is uploaded and automatically analyzed with the help of AI-algorithms. Errors and deviations from baseline normal condition are reported to the aircraft’s owner and/or a maintenance provider, thereby increasing safety of flight and streamlining repairs and scheduled maintenance.

In 2022, the Elektra Trainer won the prestigious eTrophy at the Electrifly-In competition in Bern, Switzerland. Subject prize is awarded to the electric aircraft that travels the longest, un-recharged distance to the competition. Elektra’s test pilot, engineer, and sales manager Uwe Nortmann departed the Baden-Württemberg airfield, a grass airstrip in the southern German town of Pfullendorf, on 10 September and proceeded along a southwesterly course to Bern, covering 174-kilometers (108-miles) in a contest-winning two hours and ten minutes. Analysis of the flight data showed the Elektra Trainer consumed only ten-kilowatt-hours per one-hundred kilometers flown—about half the energy consumption of an electric car.

Elektra-Solar GmbH was born of the merger of its predecessor companies, PC-Aero and Elektra UAS—the former having been a spin-off start-up of the DLR Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics. The company is based in Landsberg am Lech in Southern Germany, some thirty-nautical-miles southwest of Munch, and retains the entirety of core competencies requisite the development and manufacture of modern, electrically-powered, manned and unmanned aircraft.

FMI: www.elektra-solar.com

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