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.
Yates, a pilot and motorcyclist with an appetite for tackling challenges others deem crazy or impossible, flies a highly-modified Rutan Long-EZ, called the Long-ESA. Fitted with a battery that produces 258 horsepower (193 kW) instead of the 118-hp engine it came with, it can hit 220 mph and fly up to 14,701 feet. It goes from a standstill on the runway to 3,000 meters (9,843 feet) in 5 minutes, 32 seconds.