Ford F-150 Lightning Owner Helps Power Electric Plane in First Flyover Across Four States

Ford F-150 Lightning Powering Electric Plane 7 photos
Photo: Twitter/@paulbraren
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If you thought electric transportation would stop with automobiles, we’ve got some news for you. Over the weekend, a team of Lafayette College students successfully managed to push the limits of EV infrastructure and electric planes in the most unconventional manner.
It all started when Remy Oktay, a student at Lafayette College, made a post on Lightning Owners Forum over a ‘first electric flyover’ at a football game (Lafayette versus Lehigh) scheduled for November 19th.

The plan was to fly the electric plane, a fully electric Pipistrel Alpha Electro, from his hometown in Hartford, Connecticut, to Easton, Pennsylvania. To complete the trip, the team needed to recharge three times.

His polite request to the forum members was to have a Ford Lightning owner with a 9.6 kWh Pro Power Package help recharge the electric plane.

According to the EV Club of Connecticut, the students needed to make three charging stops from Hartford. The first two stops were scheduled for Waterbury Airport and Danbury Airport at 6:15 AM and 8:30 AM, respectively.

There is currently no charging infrastructure at these airports, but since the plane charger can take 240v 30A AC input, we realized we could use a F150 lightning as a chase truck to recharge it from the outlet in the bed of the truck. The plane is a Pipistrel Alpha Electro,” Oktay wrote.

As puzzling as the request might have sounded, electric car technology has evolved leaps since the first Tesla rolled out. Last month a surgeon used a Rivian R1T to complete a medical procedure after a power outage.

According to Oktay, the Pipistrel Alpha Electro plane battery is 21kWh, and per Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations, they needed to land with a 30-minute reserve. This gives the team about an hour of usable flight.

Fortunately, Oktay had successfully tested the charging process numerous times and was confident about the reliability of the process.

The event won’t take place during the Lafayette – Lehigh football game next weekend as scheduled but was, instead, moved up to Sunday, November 13th.

Paul Braren of TinkerTry was lucky to catch the spectacle at Waterbury-Oxford Airport on Sunday and shared the story on his Twitter handle.

Here at Waterbury-Oxford Airport in Connecticut, not something you see every day. Thank you for the tech tour, student @LafCol and Pilot Remy Oktay, and Patrick, owner of the F-150 Lightning," Braren wrote.

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About the author: Humphrey Bwayo
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Humphrey is a car enthusiast whose love and passion for automobiles extended into collecting, writing, driving, and working on cars. He got his passion for cars from his Dad, who spent thousands of hours working on his old junky 1970 E20 Toyota Corolla. Years later, he would end up doing the same with a series of lemons he’s owned throughout his adult life.
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