Flightstar’s LYNNE WAINFAN, EAA 504081
builds an electro-lite
Aviation history buffs will tell you that one of the first powered aircraft to successfully complete a round-trip flight was the electric La France
airship in 1884; 125 years later, we’ve come around
again to the notion that electric flight might be a good
idea, after all. In addition to their noise advantage over
internal combustion engines, electric motors pollute less,
maintain their power at different altitudes, produce less
cooling drag, require less maintenance, have fewer failure
modes, and produce no carbon monoxide.
Of course, that first electric airship carried 959 pounds
of batteries for its 23-minute flight.
Historians will also tell you that Tom Peghiny is one of
the pioneers of ultralight flying. Peghiny created one of the
first hang-glider manufacturing companies in the world,
Sky Sports Inc., while in high school, and more recently,
he participated in the Aviation Rulemaking Advisory
Committee that helped draft policy that was the basis for
the sport pilot and light-sport aircraft (LSA) regulations.
These days, he’s president of Flight Design USA, a board
member of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association,
and Flightstar Sportplanes, winner of the John Moody
award, and an EAA Ultralight Hall-of-Fame inductee, but