Aircraft

Production e-Go aircraft lands with first buyer

Production e-Go aircraft lands...
e-Go is designed to make flying more accessible
e-Go is designed to make flying more accessible
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The e-Go aircraft is made of pre-preg carbon fiber, with foam in the wings
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The e-Go aircraft is made of pre-preg carbon fiber, with foam in the wings
e-Go is a single seat deregulated aircraft 
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e-Go is a single seat deregulated aircraft 
Maximum altitude is 10,000 ft
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Maximum altitude is 10,000 ft
e-Go is designed to make flying more accessible
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e-Go is designed to make flying more accessible
e-Go is based out of the UK, and is based around UK microlight rules 
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e-Go is based out of the UK, and is based around UK microlight rules 
e-Go taking flight
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e-Go taking flight
You'll need 300 meters of well maintained grass runway to take off
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You'll need 300 meters of well maintained grass runway to take off
e-Go is compact and light 
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e-Go is compact and light 
Power comes from a 30 hp Wankel rotary engine
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Power comes from a 30 hp Wankel rotary engine
Fuel use is pegged at about 60 mpg
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Fuel use is pegged at about 60 mpg
The wings can be demounted for easier storage
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The wings can be demounted for easier storage
e-Go is the result of a 2007 design contest
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e-Go is the result of a 2007 design contest
A rendering of e-Go taking flight
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A rendering of e-Go taking flight
e-Go has now entered series production
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e-Go has now entered series production
e-Go handed over its first plane in front of 70 people 
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e-Go handed over its first plane in front of 70 people 
Pricing starts at £50,000 for the e-Go
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Pricing starts at £50,000 for the e-Go

When you think of aircraft, the words compact and accessible don't necessarily spring to mind. The team at e-Go aeroplanes is trying to change that with their new microlight, the first of which recently rolled off the production line into the hands of the first customer. Made of lightweight carbon fiber, the e-Go is powered by a compact Wankel rotary engine and sports a removable canard and wings so it can be parked in your garage.

Born out of a competition run by the Light Aircraft Association in 2007, e-Go is built with low-cost flying in mind. Power comes from a 30-hp (22-kW) Wankel rotary engine, which is an adaptation of a Rotron engine designed for work in UAVs. In total, the power plant, which runs on on garage forecourt fuel, weighs 23 kg (51 lb) and boasts a fuel efficiency of 65 mpg (3.6 L/100 km) at a speed of 90 knots (104 mph/167 km/h).

The aircraft's maximum take off weight is 595 lb (270 kg), which is 10 percent less than the UK's limit for single seat deregulated aircraft, with the light weight figure coming thanks to a carbon pre-preg construction. The carbon fiber wings benefit from a foam core, while the aircraft also makes use of machined aluminum and steel for parts like the canopy hinges and undercarriage axles.

e-Go is compact and light 
e-Go is compact and light 

Having found a well maintained 300 m (1083 ft) grass runway, you'll be able to take off and enjoy a 531 km (330 mi) cruising range at 90 knots. The microlight's service ceiling is 10,000 ft, and it'll pull four positive and two negative g if you're trying to impersonate your favourite Red Bull Air Race competitor.

Alongside the cost of fueling an aircraft, you also need to consider the cost of storing and transporting it. In an attempt to keep these costs low, e-Go's wings and canard can be demounted, allowing it to be more easily towed and reduce storage space to cut down on expensive hangar rentals.

Inside, the fixed seat is integral to the plane's structure, but the interchangeable seat cushions and moving pedals are in place to accommodate pilots up to 6.3 ft (193 cm) tall. While it will accomodate long-legged flyers, maximum pilot weight is pegged at 110 kg (243 lb), so it probably pays to go easy on the choccy if you're on the tall and generously proportioned side of things. The aircraft will also carry up to 33 lb (15 kg) of luggage.

Power comes from a 30 hp Wankel rotary engine
Power comes from a 30 hp Wankel rotary engine

Pilots draw on information from a large screen displaying flight instruments, engine monitoring, checklists and navigation. If using all this information while you're actually in the air sounds a bit stressful, you can hook the e-Go up to a computer and use its cabin controls as a flight simulator.

There was no simulating when 70 guests got together in Conington, England to celebrate the handover of G-OEGO, the first production e-Go. Instead, they were treated to a display of the plane's maneuverability from test pilot Keith Dennison.

Serial production of the plane has now begun, with prices starting at £50,000 (US$70,700).

Source: e-Go

29 comments
Snerdguy
No doubt about it. It's a very impressive little aircraft. BUT, what is needed to open up a larger market is an impressive little aircraft with enough self piloting ability to keep reckless amateurs from crashing it. The more affordable an aircraft is, the more likely it will end up in the hands of less skilled pilots and if it falls in the microlight classification, they need even less experience to get a license to fly it. If radio controlled drones exist that can fly themselves and even find their way back to the operator if they lose signal, someone ought be able to make a system that compensates for stupid moves by the pilot and keeps the plane out of dangerous situations.
KendahlShane
Neat airplane. It reminds me of the BD-5 from from the early 1970s. I hope it's more successful. What's the price for an example ready to take off?
HalWright
unless i can land it in my yard and it costs less thann my car....i have no use for it
JamesShooze
Put a BRS in it and I'm sold.
AmbedPrasad
I gotta loose weight, my 385 plus my gals 210 makes it to 595 which is the total take off weight so we don't have room for luggage ):
MIC_Rulz
What sort of cost could be expected? "Low cost" is vague. Is this intended to get new people inducted into the flying club? With a lot of carbon fiber I expect it would actually be expensive. What would the expected use for such a aircraft be? A single seat craft for 300 miles might make for a capable commuter vehicle if you have sufficient back-yard space. I like the design of the craft. Canards are often very helpful in making it safer. The pusher prop would help with visibility and possibly noise. I think the name of the craft is misleading. The "e" often implies electrical. Sometimes maybe efficient. A Wankel is not known for efficiency but may help with vibration though.
JosephHarrison
I just do not understand how this thing is $70K U.S..... Until they get the cost of these down to the $20-$30K range, it will never be that popular. It also needs to have some car features that let you drive the damn thing home. Further, it is a one seat aircraft. I can go buy used 4 seat aircraft for far cheaper.
JerryHatfield
Might be fun for buzzing around locally for something equivalent to the "$100 burger," but for traveling any distance it doesn't have the specs. Might be better in a smaller country like the U.K. or the Netherlands.
James Harp
Shades of Bert Rutan and Jim Bede. This is not a new design, but it appears to be a pretty slick build. For any kind of an airplane, the price seems to be reasonable also.
JimHill
This is a hack of an American designed aircraft of almost 40years. It costs are way to high and its break down to haul to complicated. On the plus side I think it will make the American standard for ultralight rules on weight,but not speed and stall.I guess that would fit under the newer sport pilot rules.