GreenWing International eSpyderEnlarge Photo
If you get from place to place on four wheels, there are plenty of ways to go green.
But what if you prefer wings to wheels?
GreenWing International has announced the release of its first 50 eSpyder electric aircraft. The single-seat plane will be sold as a kit for $39,990.
That's just slightly above the newly-reduced $35,000 price of a 2014 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car.
The eSpyder electric plane is propelled aloft by a 24-kilowatt (32-horsepower) electric motor, which is powered by a 13-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery.
According to GreenWing, that’s enough for a maximum level cruising speed of 68 mph. Or, pilots can choose to save electricity using an economy mode that limits cruising speed to 38 mph.
GreenWing says the eSpyder can fly for 60 to 90 minutes on a fully charged battery; recharging takes 2 to 3 hours.
The eSpyder’s charger also monitors the battery’s health to optimize performance, the company says.
Listing the amount of flying time per charge makes the eSpyder sound like a remote control model plane--and it’s not all that much bigger than one.
It’s just 19.4 feet long from nose to tail, stands 7.9 feet tall, has a wingspan of 33.1 feet, and weighs a scant 410 pounds without the pilot.
GreenWing will ship 25 eSpyder kits to the United States for the aforementioned $39,990 a copy. Another 25 will be sold in Europe for 34,990 euros each.
The company hopes to begin deliveries before the end of the year.
For those looking for a more substantial electric airplane, the company also offers the GreenWing e430, a two-seater with a 48-kW (64-hp) motor and a higher maximum cruising speed of 100 mph.