The American goldfinch is no stranger to U.S. skies: The little yellow creature is the state bird of Iowa, New Jersey, and Washington. But this month in Virginia, a different, much larger species of Goldfinch flew for the first time.
Aircraft manufacturer Electra.aero’s EL-2 Goldfinch demonstrator pays homage to its namesake’s golden hue. Unlike a bird, however, the hybrid-electric ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft took off from the runway like a conventional plane once on Nov. 11 and again on Sunday, marking its inaugural flights.
The former was an all-electric test. But Electra said the latter was the “world’s first flight” of a hybrid eSTOL design. Both flights were piloted by Cody Allee, chief technology officer of ABSI Aerospace & Defense and a former U.S. Marine Corps pilot, at Manassas Regional Airport (KHEF) in…
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