The latest records were set at the Capital Air Show in Sacramento last weekend, where Yates was demonstrating his electric airplane in front of the crowd. On Saturday morning he set a new record for electric airplanes, climbing to 500 meters from a stop. After releasing the brakes, Yates says the immediate torque from the electric motor gave him a jet-like push down the runway.
“I basically just floored it,” he said describing the difference between trying to set a record compared to his normal gentle application of power. “Before you know it, you’re doing 100 mph and it’s time to rotate.”
It’s actually late to rotate at that speed, Yates says, but the higher speed allows him to transition to the climb faster. The technique paid off, and 62.58 seconds after releasing the brakes, Yates passed through 500 meters (1,640 feet), setting a new time-to-climb record for an electric airplane. The time also beats many gas powered airplanes, and he says with some more practice, he’ll drop the time even further.