South Australian company Eyre to There claimed a new record for electric flight on Saturday.
Flying a Pipistel Alpha Electro, Eyre to There embarked on a flight of 728 nm from Parafield last weekend, and after several stops on a route around South Australia, broke the existing record of 405 nm on a leg between Shoalwater Point Station and Whyalla.
During the flight, Eyre to There also captured new records for an electric aircraft for the longest over-water flight (16 nm), longest distance flown in any 24-hour period (178 nm) and the fastest speed between two waypoints (95 kt GS).
Eyre to There Managing Director Barrie Rogers said the team has battled strong winds and rain as well as below zero morning temperatures to achieve the record.
“It’s been a mammoth effort by everyone involved to achieve this incredible feat," he said.
"The weather hasn’t exactly been on our side – we had ice on the wings one morning and were grounded in Port Lincoln due to an intense low pressure system.
“On the plus side, the aircraft and the recharging systems have held up incredibly well. It has gone a long way to proving the endurance and reliability of the Pipistrel Alpha Electro plane.
“Because we can only fly about 125km before having to recharge, we’ve been landing in some pretty remote locations, including dirt airstrips at Corunna and Nonning sheep stations on the Eyre Peninsula."
Rogers shared the flight with pilots Catherine Conway and David Bradshaw, with a support crew made up of one non-electric aircraft and two vehicles following with the charging equipment.
Eyre to There Aviation has obtained manufacturing rights to the Alpha Electro and plans to build up to 40 aircraft per year, with training organisations the prime market.
The long journey was schedule to come to an end at Adelaide Airport at 1300 today.