Amphibious electric aircraft prototype achieves flight out of ground effect
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 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