Solar Airplane Called Elektra One Debuts

SolarWorld, an Oregon-based manufacturer of photovoltaic solar panels, along with German business partner PC Aero, has unveiled its new solar airplane called the Elektra One for U.S. consumers.

We first reported on the Elektra One project earlier this year after the craft completed its first flight in Germany. The single-seat airplane has a stated cruising speed of over 100 miles per hour and can stay in the air for more than three hours, giving it a range of more than 250 miles.

Elektra One, Solar Airplanes, SolarWorld, PC Aero, Germany, Oregon

image via SolarWorld

The solar powered craft weighs 440 pounds, and can only carry 220 pounds, which includes the weight of the pilot. Although the performance specifications may not seem all that impressive, the Elektra One is one of the most promising solar airplanes we’ve seen in the very limited market, most of which, like the Solar Impulse, have huge wingspans.

When we first covered the Elektra One, we noted that the craft was projected to cost $1450,000, which would include the plane’s hanger. With the debut of the airplane in America, it seems the companies are standing by that original number, and hoping to start taking orders for the high-end green inovation sometime in 2012.

Aaron Colter is a freelance writer and marketing consultant in Portland, Oregon. A graduate of Purdue University, he has worked for the NCAA, Dark Horse Comics, Willamette Week, AOL, The Huffington Post, Top Shelf Productions, DigitalTrends, theMIX agency, SuicideGirls, EarthTechling, d'Errico Studios and others. He is also the co-founder of BananaStandMedia.com, a free record label, recording studio, and distribution service for independent musicians.