Would You Believe There Are Two Electric Cri-Cri’s?

EADS, the Airbus people, gained a high degree of publicity with their four-motor Cri-Cri, as reported here previously, but a new contender has outraced it.

Didier Esteyne flew the EADS plane for the press and showed it to good advantage.  His mount was powered by four 15-horsepower electric motors, paired in pods on either side of the plane’s nose. The contra-rotating propellers gave a good performance judging from the in-flight video.

EADS’ 60 total horsepower gave it a top speed of 141 miles per hour, but that was eclipsed by another electric Cri Cri, this one with a single 25-horsepower Electravia brushed motor on each stalk.  Bigger motors swinging bigger propellers gave it a speed advantage and a world record of 262 kilometers per hour (162.44 miles per hour) , easily topping the Italian ENFICA-FC’s 135km/hr (83.7 mph) set earlier this year. 

A euphoric Hugues Duval celebrates going 262 km/hr in E-Cristaline. Inset shows Anne Lavrand, head of APAME.

Propellers were made by E-Helice, a part of Electravia, headed by Anne Lavrand, who also founded APAME, the French Association For the Promotion of Electric Aircraft.  She has been responsible for inspiring several first flights in electric aircraft and is constantly pushing the limits of performance. 

Electravia explains that optimization of motors and propellers made it possible to establish the speed record  with only 25 horsepower per motor, less than 75 percent of each motor’s maximum capacity.   They tout a 46 percent reduction in drag over the internal combustion-powered craft.

Michel Colomban, the plane’s designer, set the VNe at 250 km/hr (155 mph).  With Ultra High Power batteries that they sell, Electravia claims that pushing the GMPE 104 motors to 100 percent of their power (around 70 horsepower) would ”make it possible to exceed 360 km/h (223 mph) on the level,” although losing the wings might make that a pyhrric victory.

Hugues Duval flew the record at an air meet in Pontoise, France.  The video shows this record flight, but as with so many things from France is all in French.  Pardon.

{ 3 comments… add one }

  • Noel Campanhac 11/18/2010, 6:19 pm

    What is the Isatis 01 doing there with Philippe Baffray? It is not an electric airplane…
    Congratulations to Michel Colomban!

    (Editor’s note: we include a great many “green” flight developments, and that almost always includes efficient or clean designs. The Isatis certainly meets at least some of those goals.)

  • Noel Campanhac 11/18/2010, 6:33 pm

    Amazing, it seems the picture at top right that I commented about (blog rotating images) had nothing to do with the article, and was a picture I had downloaded a couple of days ago showing the Isatis with Philippe Baffray as pilot and Daniel Montagnon in the other seat.
    Sorry,
    Still congratulations to Michel Colomban for all his achievements, and especially this small electric cricri . Cricri in French is a kid name for a cricket.
    I also heard that Michel Colomban contributed to improvements on the Isatis 01.
    Noel Campanhac, Satsuma, FL

    (Editor’s note: The rotating images have nothing to do in any programmed way with any of the stories and are chosen from earlier entries or related images that were not used in entries. They are part of the design of the page, giving a pictorial, if not editorial balance to things.)

  • Dean Sigler 11/26/2010, 7:11 am

    Editor’s Note: Anne Lavrand of APAME and Electravia graciously corrects some errors in the original entry and adds some useful information.

    - APAME is a small association, and the members are not working on our projects and realizations. It’s only to share information and documentations.

    - ELECTRAVIA is my company => http://www.electravia.fr/, created in sept 2008, dedicated to electric motors and propellers for aircraft.

    - Trade marks : E-MOTOR for electric propulsion systems, E-PROPS (and not E-HELICES !?) for our propellers (for electric and other motors). See dedicated websites : http://www.e-motor.fr/ENGLISH/Zindex.html and http://www.e-props.fr/ENG.php

    - We are selling a complete electric ultralight : the ElectroTrike. Already 8 sold all around the world. => http://www.e-trike.electravia.fr/ENGLISH/ETZindex.html

    - First 100% electric aircraft in the world was mine: the Electra. It has flown in December, 2007. 48 mn of flight => http://www.electra.electravia.fr/Engindex.html
    (Editor’s Note: I’m sure this will encourage a discussion of the definitions of “electric” and “first”.)

    - Our new prototype, which will fly next spring: the ElectroLight => http://www.e-light.electravia.fr/ENGLISH/ZindexEL.html

    - ELECTRAVIA is selling our electric motors and batteries to public and professionals. Since 2008 they are certified by French Aviation Administration (called DGAC) for ultralights and homebuild aircraft.

    (See her web site for pricing.)

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