Germany’s PC-Aero landed the AeroExpo i-Novo Eco Award for 2017 with its Elektra One Solar ULM aircraft. The single-seater plane has high-aspect-ratio wings covered by six square meters of solar cells producing over 1 kW, about half the required power. High-energy-density Li-ion batteries provide the rest of the 2.5 kW needed for level flight. The electric motor produces a maximum of 16 kW without noise or emissions. The aircraft’s entire structure is of carbon composites, reducing empty weight to 100 kg. Adding another hundred kilograms in batteries and the same in payload results in a maximum takeoff weight of 300 kg. The company indicates the Elektra One can cruise at 140 km/hour, has a range of 1000 km and offers over eight hours of time aloft. The PC-Aero website suggests use of a solar trailer for remote charging and a hangar with a solar panel roof. An earlier version of the airplane crossed the alps at an altitude of over 3000 meters.
i-NOVO Awards rewards products that improve industry standards through INNOVATION. It is organized once a year and is broken down into three main categories: i-NOVO Design, i-NOVO Tech and i-NOVO Eco.