Electric fight pioneer Randall Fishman pilots his
ElectraFlyer ULS motorglider.
Wasn't it Han Solo of Star Wars who barked "Never tell
me the odds"?
Enter Randall Fishman, the lone-wolf pioneer who's led
the charge to volts-only Volksplane-like airplanes for
years now. He's that guy who came out of nowhere to
zap everybody's socks off at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
2007 with his ElectraFlyer trike—a Millennium Falconworthy outlier if ever there was one—powered solely
by a battery-powered electric motor.
No proof-of-concept, one-flight wonder was this trike,
and it remains an affordable production electric aircraft. Still, Fishman never styled himself as an entrepreneur looking to create the next Quicksilver market
Photography by James Lawrence
buster. (Some 15,000 Quicks have been sold since the
1980s.) His talents lie in crafting technologically proven
components into usable, affordable electric aircraft.
Fishman just wants to get people flying…now…on
electricity, not gas.
In 2008, the wily tinkerer dropped our jaws again with
his ElectraFlyer-C, a single-seat, modified Monnett
Moni, all-metal kit motorglider with a 29-pound, 18-hp
electric motor and 78 pounds of lithium polymer (LiPo)
battery packs. The C cruised at 70 mph for an hour per
charge, with a half-hour reserve. That singular accomplishment won him the prestigious Dr. August Raspet
Memorial Award and admission to a select group of
aviation innovators that includes Burt Rutan.