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Fun For $40,000? Electric Plane Beats Electric Car Every Time...

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$40,000 will get you plenty of electric cars these days, including the recently-unveiled 2014 BMW i3.

They can be fun on the right road, and it's great knowing you aren't using any gas... but there have to be bigger electric thrills elsewhere, right?

The GreenWing eSpyder could be what you need to deliver those thrills. It's an aircraft, very much electric, and will set you back just $39,990--but you'll have a whole extra physical dimension to play with.

It's somewhere between a light aircraft and microlight in style, with the cockpit hanging below a single backbone housing the tailplane, main wings and the 24 kW (32 horsepower) Yuneec electric motor itself.

Flying time is around 1 to 1.5 hours and top speed is a modest 68 mph, so it's at the lower end of the performance scale. That may not matter though, as it's all about good, simple fun. More electric go-kart than Tesla Roadster, if you will.

The catch with the eSpyder is that you'll need to build it yourself. If you're good with a wrench, you'll have yourself a real electric flying machine which happened to be the first electric aircraft to gain a national certification, in its domestic Germany.

It's suitable for the U.S. too, where Wired reports it's coming in kit form to get around the FAA's lack of provisions for light electric aircraft. Once those regulations are in place, expect to see the eSpyder offered in fully-assembled form too.

In the absence of either Green Car Reports writer being able to fly, the best flying impressions you'll get for the eSpyder will have to come from the video above. As long as you can put up with the overbearing music spoiling the electric aircraft's silence...

If you want one though, you'll have to be quick. GreenWing's website reports it's only taking 25 U.S. orders, at least for the time being. Deliveries begin in the fourth quarter 2013.

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Comments (4)
  1. Well I'm an ancient mariner of the air and this looks like fun. I have been following Yuneec for some time and look forward to electric airplanes. A 2 place for training should be coming and help make eFlying practical. Hummm I drive a VOLT now ... so drive to the airport and get into my 4 place 160 ehp Voltec powered 180mph Voltair Cruiser, fly for an hour and the 100hp sustainer silently kicks in for 3 more hours. Four hours on 8 gallons of MoGas. Dream on .......
     
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  2. A glider with motor?
     
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  3. Even planes are going electric....OPEC is going doooooowwwwwnnnnnn!!!!!
     
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  4. Guess I'll be waiting a while for the $199 month lease.
     
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