When Chip Yates started working on his electric airplane in 2012, he wasn't trying to make conventional, gas-powered aircraft look slow. That hasn't changed, he says. "That was not the design goal."
But he's happy to point out his plane is as fast or faster than its competitors that run on single piston gas engines. The five world records Yates set last year for electric planes were finally officially verified by the Fédération Aéronautique International (FAI) last week, and now he can officially claim bragging rights.
To ensure the safety of America's 730 million annual air travelers, all new jet engines must undergo arduous FAA safety testing—including a grueling series of static ground tests subjecting them to everything from gale force winds to simulated bird strikes. But how does one reproduce the identical test conditions needed for accurate performance measurements? You use a 32-foot wide wind baffle, of course.