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Record-Setting Electric Airplane Breaks 200-MPH Barrier for First Time

lectric vehicle pioneer Chip Yates is now the first person to ever fly an electric aircraft faster than 200 miles per hour. Yates made the flight today in his Long-ESA, a modified Long-EZ he is using as a development platform for his new electric aircraft systems he plans to fly across the Atlantic.

Yates already holds the world record for the fastest electric motorcycle after topping 196 mph on the Bonneville Salt Flats last year. He recently turned his attention to the skies and his first electric flight took place yesterday.

Today’s record-setting flight hit 202.6 mph in level flight, according to Yates, breaking the previous record of 175 mph held by the tiny electric Cri-Cri. Today’s record-breaking flight wasn’t without drama, after Yates was forced to make a dead-stick landing when “a dead cell killed propulsion following the record run.”

After the flight Yates said there is more speed available with the current setup and the team is replacing the batteries, hinting at another top-speed run soon.

Yesterday’s flight of the electric Long-ESA lasted 16 minutes and was Yates’ first time flying an electric airplane. The Long-EZ that his aircraft is based on is a well-established design from Burt Rutan that already holds many speed and endurance records thanks to its efficient design. The airplane commonly cruises over 200 mph using normal gasoline-powered aircraft engines


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