Written by Shaweta Saini
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Recently, PC Aero launched Elektra One, an all-electricity powered
airplane that relies on batteries rather than fuel to keep running. Headed by
CEO Calin Gologan, PC Aero is a Germany-based company specializing in aircraft  design and certification, engineering and consulting, and software development. Two years ago, PC Aero invested its time and resources into implementing electricity-powered aircraft with the hopes of reducing the negative effect that aviation had on the environment, as well as reducing the otherwise highly expensive operating costs. 

Elektra One, PC Aero’s first one-seater airplane that runs on  lithium-polymer batteries, ran its first successful test flight during which it  released no carbon dioxide emissions into the air. Weighing a mere 440 pounds,  the aircraft only spins at 1,400 RPM (revolutions per minute) which keeps it extremely quiet in flight. Furthermore, it has a 16-kilowatt motor, which allows it to fly at a speed of more than 100 miles per hour. By developing Elektra One, PC Aero hopes to reduce noise, decrease operating costs, increase security, increase range, and increase environmental protection. Elektra One is highly environmentally conscious, as it can run about 300 hours a year due to solar energy provided by only 215 square feet of solar panels.  Remarkably, the solar-powered hanger will recharge the airplane’s batteries. During the summer, PC Aero plans to enter Elektra One into NASA’s Green Flight Challenge for $1.5 million. With advanced aerodynamic design, light batteries, and an extremely efficient motor, Elektra One has already proven itself as a strong contender for the prize.  

The introduction of Elektra One into the aviation industry is certainly important as it sets a precedent for future aviation technologies: Elektra One has shown that it is possible to be effective, while simultaneously saving money remaining environmentally-friendly. In terms of future plans, PC Aero plans to produce two- and four-seater electric airplanes (Elektra Two, the two-seater, and Elektra Four, the four-seater). The emergence of more electricity-run airplanes would be crucial as it means the number of carbon dioxide emissions would decrease significantly. Furthermore, the problem of having to deal with earsplitting and loud noises from airplanes would disappear. Though it may take time for Elektra One to properly break into the market, the effects it would have on the aviation industry – and people who ride airplanes – would certainly be wide-reaching.


 


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