Eighty five years ago, Charles Lindbergh became the first pilot to successfully fly from New York to Paris non-stop, claiming a substantial cash prize and securing a place in history in the process. Now another world record holder, Chip Yates, has announced plans to take on the same aviation challenge … but this time the aircraft making the 3,600 mile non-stop flight will be all-electric. The ambitious project is still in its early stages but the Flight of the Century team has already developed a patent-pending battery deployment solution to replenish depleted batteries while the aircraft is in flight.
In 1919, French-born New York City hotel owner Raymond Orteig offered a reward of US$25,000 to the first aviator(s) to successfully complete a non-stop flight from New York to Paris or vice-versa. At the time, airplane technology had not advanced enough for anyone to take up the challenge but by the mid-1920s, the first attempts were made. Several lives were lost and other pilots were injured during a number of attempts but the prize remained unclaimed. Then in May 1927, the Spirit of St Louis was flown into Roosevelt Field by a young airmail pilot named Charles Lindbergh. The rest, as they say, is history.
Electric aircraft design is currently at that exciting, edgy early development stage and long-haul flight is viewed as something for a time way off in the future. Current FIM record holder for the world’s fastest electric motorcycle, William “Chip” Yatesbelieves that such a future is within our reach right now and has set his sights on proving it.