It's possible that this plane just flew 200 feet over your house and you didn't hear it. Yes...it's extremely unlikely (since there aren't very many of them) but it's possible.
It's one of the world's first electric airplanes, and it may very well be the most carbon efficient plane (not glider) in the world. Randall Fishman, a retired Jeweler, created the ElectraFlyer-C because he wanted a silent plane that would be "as smooth as a magic carpet." We guess that the environmental benefit was secondary to him. PopMech reported that it "might be the world's first fully electric-powered airplane" but we've seen a couple of them here at EcoGeek.
Fishman is selling kits on his website, so (if you happen to be an environmental conscious pilot) you can make one for yourself. And by 2010, he hopes to be selling completed two-seaters for purchase.
The plane is a modified glider that was retrofitted to allow for the extra weight of two lithium-ion battery packs. The plane had to be jacked up to allow for a larger propeller. But now the li-ion packs can push the plane to 70 mph for 90 minutes (which should get yout to and from work every morning, if you're interested.) The plane charges overnight, and it takes about 70 cents of electricity to do so.
The coolest thing might be that Fishman can flip a switch in his cockpit that turns the propeller into a wind powered generator. So, upon landing, he can use the propeller to both decelerate the plane and charge the batteries for the next flight! Man that's cool!
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