Battery powered plane takes flight

Panasonic, in conjunction with the Tokyo Institute of Technology, has used 160 AA-size batteries to make the first ever dry cell powered manned aircraft flight.


Panasonic

, in conjunction with the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT), has used 160 AA-size batteries to make the first ever dry cell powered manned aircraft flight.

On 16 July, the aeroplane, powered by Panasonic’s Oxyride dry cell batteries, flew a distance of 391.4 metres at an altitude of 5.2 metres at OkegawaAirport on the northern outskirts of Tokyo. The one-seat aircraft, weighing 54kg with a wingspan of 31 metres and piloted by a TIT student weighing 53kg, was in the air for 59 seconds

The flight took place in front of officials of the Japan Aeronautic Association (JAA) to make it an official record, following the rules set by the JAA. They will further seek official recognition from the Federonautique Internationale (FAI) as the world’s first manned flight on dry cell batteries.

After successfully completing the official attempt, the students tried another flight powered by only 96 batteries. The aeroplane flew a distance of 269 metres at an altitude of 2 metres.

Panasonic’s Oxyride battery uses oxyhydroxide, which releases a higher initial voltage than traditional alkaline batteries. It is produced using a proprietary vacuum-pouring technology, which allows a higher quantity of electrolytes to be inserted into the battery. As a result, Panasonic says the Oxyride battery provides more power and longer-lasting energy.