SolarWorld solar blog

Oshkosh Part 7: Elektra One Finally Takes Flight

Posted 1 August 2011 12:00 AM by Amy Keiter, Community Relations Manager

I had to leave AirVenture before Elektra One finally got cleared for take-off, so the description of her flight on Saturday afternoon comes from my colleague, Mike Mularski, SolarWorld’s account manager based in Milwaukee, WI, who joined me at Oshkosh for the week.

Elektra One was moved to the airshow’s center stage, the ConocoPhillips Plaza, on Saturday morning for her flight, attracting a huge crowd. Piloted by PC-Aero’s test-pilot Norbert Lorenzen, she took off under crystal clear skies. The official flight announcer emphasized that Elektra One was an actual plane, not a powered glider, and he mentioned the additional 15-percent flight time she’ll get with the use of solar on the wings.

Elektra One finally takes flight at the AirVenture air show
All thumbs-up at pre-flight: Norbert Lorenzen, pilot, Sasha Voitle, mechanic, Calan Gologan, designer, and Mike Mularski, SolarWorld account manager

He called the plane “the wave of the future”, and much to SolarWorld’s delight, even noted that it will be marketed as a very affordable package, complete with our solar hanger. Evidently, the challenge was not in flying the plane; it was tougher to roll the plane back to the Innovation Hangar through a crowd estimated at 100,000 without clipping anyone with the wings!

Take-off of Electra One, the solar powered airplane sponsored by SolarWorld
Take-off of Elektra One

Mike Mularski, who’s been attending the Oshkosh airshow for more than 30 years, part of a long-standing family tradition, was thrilled to be at this show this year in a professional capacity. “I jumped at the chance to promote SolarWorld’s leadership in transforming the aviation industry through electric powered flight,” he said. “This truly is the Wright Brother’s plane of electric flight, and winning the Lindbergh award for innovation was just icing on the cake for the week.”

Elektra One solar electric plane sponsored by SolarWorld
In the air at last