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What is E-Flight?
 
In 2006 Sonex Aircraft, LLC’s research and development team began work on what is now called the “E-Flight Initiative.” E-Flight is a push to explore viable alternative energies for powering sport aircraft and improve the efficiency and performance of current products and technologies to keep aviation affordable for the average pilot, and to keep recreational aviation available to future generations of pilots.

Although E-Flight has been shrouded in strict secrecy to ensure intellectual property protection of its more cutting-edge components, public unveiling of E-Flight at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2007 has been a vital key to the Initiative since it’s inception. E-Flight is not only intended as a “push” for the Sonex R&D team, but also to help push the rest of the recreational aviation industry toward similar goals in the interest of preserving the future of our sport.

The E-Flight Initiative has three major areas of focus, taking a diverse approach to the problems of rising energy costs and an ailing environment to provide near, intermediate and long-term green powerplant solutions:
 

 Electric Power
 

Development of a proof-of-concept electric motor powerplant, controller, battery pack and charging system with the goal of determining the feasibility of a marketable line of Sonex and AeroConversions products. This project represents the most significant portion of E-Flight, in terms of investment, risks, challenges, and possible gains.

Our endeavor is to not just addemble "off the shelf" components, as others have done before us, to prove that electric flight is possible. Our mission is to develop a truly integrated eco-friendly alternate power system that combines efficiency and safety for our line of existing aircraft, and the future of sport aviation.
 

 Ethanol Fuel
 

Investigation of converting the AeroConversions AeroVee engine for use of ethanol-based and future "Eco" fuels in order to evaluate their peformance, efficiency and reliability.

Although ethanol-based fuels are the subject of much controversy, as long as there is a government mandate for integration of ethanol content into the nation's fuel supply, and increasing demand from foreign consumers, we are obligated to continue the research of ethanol fuel as an alternative aviation fuel supply. Our commitment to ongoing testing and development is to provide AeroConversions products that are prepared for the possible discontinuation of 100LL, similar aviation fuels, or non-blended auto fuels.
 

 Efficiency Enhancement
  Development of other enhancements to the existing AeroVee and other existing and future AeroConversions products to increase fuel efficiency and performance for the sport pilot. These enhancements will be built upon an already strong foundation, as an AeroCarb equipped AeroVee powered Sonex aircraft already boasts a fuel economy of over 42 miles per gallon when cruising at 150 mph TAS at typical cross-country cruising altitudes.

 


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