Walter Extra is congratulated by Frank Anton after the record-breaking flight.

Walter Extra smashes time-to-climb record reaching 3000m altitude in 4min 22sec in an EA330LE powered by Siemens electric drive.

In late November, at Dinslaken Schwarze Heide airfield in Germany, pilot and renowned aircraft designer Walter Extra beat the previous world record for electric aircraft by more than a minute.

The new powerplant from Siemens weighs in at just 50kgs and delivers around 260 kilowatts of energy (that’s about 350hp) meaning that it was a world record holder for power to weight ratio as soon as it made its first flight back in June.

The Extra 330LE, weighing around 1,000 kilograms, is the trial unit for the new drive, and as an aerobatic plane it’s perfectly suited to taking the components to their limits, and testing and refining them.

Following an agreement in April 2016, Siemens and Airbus are cooperating to apply the technology to electric-powered flight, with the intent to develop hybrid electric regional aircraft based on the record-breaking motor. “By 2030, we expect to see the first electric-powered planes carrying up to 100 passengers with a range of around 1,000 kilometers,” says Frank Anton, head of eAircraft in Siemens’ venturing unit next47.

The Extra world record aircraft joins other projects such as the Electroflight P1e and Magnus eFusion in the race to secure electric propulsion’s place in the aviation history books.