Now in the skies over Eggemoen Technology Park in Norway is Equator Aircraft’s P2 Xcursion prototype aircraft. The hybrid, electric, and automated craft is said to contribute to the sustainable future of the air.
Previously, the airplane flew in June 2018 at low-altitudes, but on March 30, the craft went on its first full flight after passing an audit by the Norwegian CAA.
The flight lasted 10 minutes and used only electric power to test its controllability, and static and dynamic stability. The company said P2 Xcursion met expectations and returned with data in which they can improve upon the airplane’s design.
According to Equator Aircraft they “imagine hybrid bio based technologies as a bridging technology, which can provide green flight whilst still delivering suitable long range capability. After all, the P2 is made to be an SUV of the sky, as well as an exploration vehicle.”
P2 flew using its 97 kW ENGIRO M97, which is powered by lithium-ion batteries that weigh 220 lb. In total, the craft’s flight endurance stands at about 35 minutes, however, the company says future versions will be able to stay in the air for 105 minutes.
The P2 Xcursion was designed with a cockpit that has room to spare. Additionally, instead of floats, it uses a fuselage that is self-buoyant. In total, the craft weighs over 1,600 lb., but can carry a payload of 529 lb. Its top speed is 150 mph (241 km/h) and it has a maximum range of 972 miles (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, according to New Atlas. “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.”