Remy Oktay, a Lafayette College student, is organising the first electric plane flyover at a sporting event on November 19, 2022, at the Lafayette-Lehigh football game. The electric plane is based in Hartford, Connecticut, and must fly to Easton, Pennsylvania. The problem is that the EV plane will need to be recharged three times, and there is no charging infrastructure, so Ford F-150 Lightning owners are pitching into power the flight.
The electric plane ( Pipistrel Alpha Electro), according to Remy Oktay, has a 21 kWh battery pack. According to Federal Aviation Regulations, it must land with a 30-minute reserve, giving it approximately an hour of useable flying time.
Knowing that the airports he would be arriving at lacked the requisite charging infrastructure, Remy quickly recognised he could harness the power of the Ford F-150 Lightning outfitted with Pro Power Onboard to convert the electric trucks into a portable generator.
The F-150 Lightning has up to 9.6 kW of power, which has been shown to run a movie set, provide emergency response, and other tasks, but powering an electric plane flying is a first.
Remy generally charges the battery to 80 percent capacity with his Nissan Leaf but says he will charge it entirely as a safety measure with the Ford Lightning’s total 7.2 kW output in the bed.
Since the overall travel distance is roughly 250 miles, the Ford F-150 Lightning Extended Range variant would only need to be recharged once, if at all. So instead, the group gathered two electric vehicles, one from a local Ford Lightning owner and the other from Monaco Ford.
Remy subsequently claimed in a post, “We have successfully charged the electric aeroplane on two separate Lightnings.”
“We are confident in the reliability of this charging process,” the firm claims, after “testing the charging process several times on two separate vehicles.”
Remy is already assembling a crew of private Lightning EV owners to assist with the first electric plane flyover at the Lafayette-Lehigh football game on November 19 while also capturing the event.
“We will need two Lightnings for recharging the plane, each stopping at two of the four airports because the plane will fly faster than a truck can drive. The hope is for each recharging truck to have a support/filming truck that will carry the film crew and allow people to go get meals while the charging truck is recharging the plane. In total, we are looking for 4 Lightning owners to help,” Remy added.