The Austrian men, one a glider builder and the other a designer of model aircraft have been successful in pioneering the first manned flight in a winged aircraft using electric power.
MV Motor glider on runway taxiing. Zoom out to GV Brditschk and Militsky preparing to fly electric version of same aircraft
CU Brditschk, son and Militsky connecting leads to battery Checking engines
CU Batteries tilt up to electric motor and propellor
SV Aircraft side panel being replaced and cockpit closed (3 shots)
GV Plan taxiing and taking off
Air to air shots of aircraft in flight (3 shots)
GV Pan aircraft landing
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Background: The Austrian men, one a glider builder and the other a designer of model aircraft have been successful in pioneering the first manned flight in a winged aircraft using electric power.
The two have co-operated to produce a plane that has flown under power for up to thirteen minutes at heights of nearing 400 metres (1200 ft). Even then, the batteries powering the tiny aircraft's electric motor have not been completely exhausted.
What began as an interest for model designer Fred Militsky 18 years ago when he pioneered electric propulsion of his model aircraft has been turned into a near-via???le power source for powers motor gliders. The ability to use an on-off power selection with low noise permits flying in previously restricted areas. The aircraft converted for electric propulsion had previously been fitted with small petrol engines. A combustion motor was removed from a Raab "Crow" glider produced by Heinz Brditschka, and refitted with an electric motor and standard airline nickel-cadmium sinter-batteries.
Militsky and Brditschka are not stopping with the successful flights of their MB-E1. While noise from the engine has been eliminated, the standard propellor used by the petrol-driven version of the glider has produced too much noise in the electric version. A new propeller is being designed and better batteries with a long usable power life are also being investigated.
With the electric motor and batteries now being use making the glider heavier and less powerful than the petrol version, both men say it will be some time before their invention is completely practical. The main fault lies with present batteries. But, they say, with improving power sources over the next few years, electric motors may even be scaled-up for use in full-size aircraft.