The amphibious aircraft Equator P2 Xcursion has successfully completed its first flight

With its electric motor, the P2 Xcursion hydroplane was able to make its first real flight.

It has been several years since the Norwegian manufacturer Equator Aircraft continues to develop its concept of hydroplanes with the P2 Xcursion. Last July, the two-seater prototype took off from the Eggemoen track in Norway, with a shy leap of about ten meters above the track with a speed of 180 km/h. That is a perilous maneuver for an electric plane whose weight remains constant because of the batteries, unlike a prototype with a combustion engine.

After this first takeoff, it is only recently that the plane took its first flight of ten minutes, during which the handling of aircraft was controlled and its stability monitored during the different phases of flight. According to its manufacturer, the prototype has behaved as expected and the data collected will improve its design. With its carbon and Kevlar hull, the prototype is powered by a 97 kW Engiro M97 electric motor, the equivalent of 130 hp for a 510 kg unmanned weight.

A hybrid version is planned

The electric motor is powered by lithium-ion batteries. These weigh 100 kg. With them, the aircraft had during its test an autonomy of 35 minutes. In future developments, it could reach 105 minutes. For a range of up to six hours, the aircraft manufacturer plans to switch to a hybrid engine with a Wankel diesel engine as an electric generator. According to the manufacturer, its payload could reach 240 kg. The P2 Xcursion could then evolve at a cruising speed of around 220 km/h in economy mode. Its stall speed is a little less than 90 km/h.

The P2 Xcursion concept is far from new. The prototype and the name of its builder are based on a hull plane developed in the 1970s by a German designer called Günter Pöschel. The plane called P-300 Equator had a motor placed at the top of the drift in front of the elevator. Designed to carry six to eight people, the aircraft already had the distinction of having a wing and fuselage fiberglass and alloy. It was only at the prototype stage, with only three copies produced.

For the moment, while it is a seaplane, it must be emphasized that this P2 Xcursion has not yet taken off or landed from the water.

Janice Clark

I'm a student at the University of Waterloo and am one of the main editors for 3LM News. I have many years of experience as a freelance writer and editor and, like Fred, have maintained an interest in astronomy from an early age.

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