Aircraft

Amphibious electric aircraft prototype achieves flight out of ground effect

Amphibious electric aircraft p...
The P2 Xcursion is designed to be an affordable electric small aircraft
The P2 Xcursion is designed to be an affordable electric small aircraft
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The P2 Xcursion has an unusually large canopy
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The P2 Xcursion has an unusually large canopy
The P2 Xcursion can carry two people
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The P2 Xcursion can carry two people
The P2 Xcursion has retractable undercarriage
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The P2 Xcursion has retractable undercarriage
The P2 Xcursion in its hangar
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The P2 Xcursion in its hangar
The P2 Xcursion with its tail-mounted electric motor
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The P2 Xcursion with its tail-mounted electric motor
The P2 Xcursion also has a Wankel diesel engine
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The P2 Xcursion also has a Wankel diesel engine
The P2 Xcursion bow detail
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The P2 Xcursion bow detail
The P2 Xcursion undercarriage
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The P2 Xcursion undercarriage
The P2 Xcursion showing its bottom anti-fouling paint scheme
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The P2 Xcursion showing its bottom anti-fouling paint scheme
The P2 Xcursion wingtip
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The P2 Xcursion wingtip
The P2 Xcursion navigation light
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The P2 Xcursion navigation light
The P2 Xcursion airfoil detail
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The P2 Xcursion airfoil detail
The P2 Xcursion wing detail
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The P2 Xcursion wing detail
The P2 Xcursion can fly for up to six hours in hybrid mode
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The P2 Xcursion can fly for up to six hours in hybrid mode
The P2 Xcursion electric motor close up
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The P2 Xcursion electric motor close up
The P2 Xcursion is powered by lithium-ion batteries
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The P2 Xcursion is powered by lithium-ion batteries
The P2 Xcursion first flight was a low-altitude ground-effect test
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The P2 Xcursion first flight was a low-altitude ground-effect test
The P2 Xcursion cockpit
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The P2 Xcursion cockpit
The P2 Xcursion with canopy closed
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The P2 Xcursion with canopy closed
The P2 Xcursion team
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The P2 Xcursion team
The P2 Xcursion on the tarmac
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The P2 Xcursion on the tarmac
The P2 Xcursion has a cruise speed of 130 knots
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The P2 Xcursion has a cruise speed of 130 knots
The P2 Xcursion is designed to be an affordable electric small aircraft
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The P2 Xcursion is designed to be an affordable electric small aircraft
The P2 Xcursion showing off the fuselage shape
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The P2 Xcursion showing off the fuselage shape
The P2 Xcursion is built in Norway
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The P2 Xcursion is built in Norway

Equator Aircraft's P2 Xcursion prototype electric amphibious aircraft has taken fully to the air for the first time in the skies over Eggemoen Technology Park in Norway. The two-seater, composite-hulled airplane operated by test pilot Eskil Amdal had previously flown at a low-altitude, ground-effect flight in June 2018 and went into full flight on March 30 of this year after passing an audit by the Norwegian CAA.

The 10-minute flight was conducted under electric power only as the aircraft was put through maneuvers to test controllability, as well as static and dynamic stability. According to the company, the P2 Xcursion performed as expected and returned data that can be used to improve the design.

The prototype flew only using its 97 kW ENGIRO M97 powered by lithium-ion batteries weighing 100 kg (220 lb), giving it a total flight endurance of about 35 minutes. However, Equator Aircraft says that later versions will be able to stay aloft for 105 minutes and when it kicks in its Energio generator and Wankel diesel engine to provide electricity, it will be able to cruise for up to six hours.

The P2 Xcursion with canopy closed
The P2 Xcursion with canopy closed

The P2 Xcursion is designed to be not only affordable, but also to have an unusually roomy cockpit that can carry two people plus a generous amount of luggage. Instead of floats, it uses a fuselage that is self-buoyant and float wings that also provide greater stability. The blended fuselage with a retractable undercarriage is streamlined and the canopy and airfoils reduce drag.

In terms of the numbers, the P2 Xcursion with its composite construction weighs only 750 kg (1,653 lb), yet can carry a payload of 240 kg (529 lb). It has a maximum cruising speed of 130 knots (150 mph, 241 km/h), and a maximum range of 845 nm (972 mi, 1,565 km).

"It was a fantastic day for the team, and marks finally the continuation of the test program for the aircraft prototype, says Designer and CEO Tomas Brødreskift. "We are now looking forward to gaining actual flight data, and not to mention look forward to putting the aircraft on the water as soon as possible. We are thrilled to see the aircraft perform as expected, and can't wait to test the aircraft further."

The video below shows the first full flight of the P2 Xcursion.

Source: Equator Aircraft

First flight out of ground effect

11 comments
JamesDemello
Hopefully something will come from the new sodium battery from Brookhaven to increase flight time. Batteries seem to be the Achilles heel when it comes to electric flight.
Nobody
Were the diesel and generator carried as dead weight or will they reduce payload when added?
nick101
I think I'd prefer the ground-effect over water version.
CAVUMark
Great accomplishment and specs. Hope to see it affordable in kit form.
michael_dowling
Oh great! A diesel generator to extend flight time!
Pat Pending
Aside from the fact that I have always liked amphibious aircraft this is the future of "electric" aircraft. 100kg of batteries giving an endurance of 35 minutes may sound laughable but coupled with a Wankel diesel engine powered generator makes for, potentially, some very efficient flight. Also with a puller prop mounted on a high tail possibly some very low cockpit noise levels. The engine only needs to kick in for cruise, charging the batteries to full at the same time, leaving you thirty odd minutes of electric powered flight in the event of engine failure. The P2 Xcursion looks to be a slick design borrowing from some highly successful past amphibians like the Lake Buccaneer. I am normally highly cynical about any form of electric flight for the obvious energy density to weight problems but coupling a Wankel engine to a generator is a genius combination that should make for a compact, highly efficient, quiet power plant. I will be following the development of this aircraft with great interest.
Kpar
What a pretty little airplane! Looks like a blast to fly!
ljaques
Pretty bird! That looks like a handy plane for the Scandinavians, with all their fiords (Drove my Ford to the fiord, but the fiord was dry) up there. The specs seem too good to be true. I wonder how quickly airports will adapt to provide charging stations for e-aircraft. What's the deal with the Wankel diesel and Energio generator? Could that be installed in an electric car for 2k mile range? More info, please. And oh, dear God, I hate it when they use the A word. (affordable) It usually means "I'm going to grab your wallet and run!" Happy Earth Day, y'all!
guzmanchinky
Very cool! But is a low wing a good idea on a water landing airplane? Isn’t it more likely to catch a wave that way? Educate me please.
TomLeeM
I think that is both cool and green. It is - IMO - a beautiful design. It indicates a Wankel engine? I know that Liquid Piston has a similar style engine that they are working on. I believe it can run on a variety of fuels. Intelligent Energy has some compact fuel cells. I wonder if that would work with this design?