For most people, the first time they fly a new airplane is an occasion for caution. For Chip Yates, it was a chance to set a new world record, which he did, setting the all time high speed for an electric plane, at 202.6 mph. Yates, who also holds the record for fastest run on an electric motorcycle (also just over 200 mph), spent 16 minutes over the Mojave Desert in the Long-ESA, an electric version of Burt Rutan’s Long-EZ.
Rutan is a famous aerospace engineer who has designed a host of aircraft and won an X-Prize in 2004 for the SpaceShipOne, the resuable, suborbital spaceship. So it’s not shocking that the Long-ESA he inspired enabled Yates to set a new record on his first flight in an electric plane. The former record was 175 mph, set in July 2011 by Hugues Duval in the almost comically small Cri Cri airplane.
Considering that this was Yates’ first electric flight, it goes without saying that he doesn’t plan on letting the record stay at 202.6 mph. After the flight, he explained that the Long-ESA can go even faster, and he plans on pushing it soon, reported Autopia.