Ford F-150 Lightning powers the first-ever EV recharged electric plane flight

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Remy Oktay, a student at Lafayette College, is planning the first electric plane flyover at a sporting event at the Lafayette-Lehigh football game on November 19, 2022. The electric plane is based in Hartford, Connecticut, and needs to get to Easton, Pennsylvania. However, the issue is the EV plane will need to be recharged three times, and there is no charging infrastructure, so Ford F-150 Lightning owners are stepping up to help power the flight.

According to Remy Oktay, the electric plane (a Pipistrel Alpha Electro) comes with a 21 kWh battery pack. As per Federal Aviation Regulations, it must land with a 30-minute reserve, which gives about an hour of usable flight time.

Knowing the airports he would be landing at do not have the necessary charging infrastructure, Remy thought fast and realized he could use the power of the Ford F-150 Lightning equipped with Pro Power Onboard and turn the electric trucks into a portable generator.

Ford’s F-150 Lightning comes with up to 9.6 kW power, which has been proven to power a movie set, provide emergency response, and more, but powering an electric plane flight – that’s another first.

Remy typically uses his Nissan Leaf to power the battery to 80% but says he will use the Ford Lightning to charge it fully as a “safety precaution,” using the total 7.2 kW output in the bed.

The total trip mileage is around 250 miles or so, so the Ford F-150 Lightning Extended Range model would only need to recharge once, if that. Instead, the crew gathered two electric trucks, one from a local Ford Lightning owner, and another from Monaco Ford stepped up to help.

Ford F-150 Lightning re-charging electric plane Source: Remy Oktay

Ford F-150 Lightning used in first EV recharged electric plane trip

In a later update, Remy stated:

We have successfully charged the electric airplane on two separate Lightnings.

Adding after “testing the charging process numerous times on two separate vehicles, we are confident in the reliability of this charging process.”

Remy is now putting together a team with private Lightning EV owners to help with the first electric plane flyover at the Lafayette-Lehigh football game on November 19 while documenting the event. His post states:

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.

The trip to CT is planned to take place on Saturday, November 12, while the trip home is scheduled for Tuesday, November 22. Stay tuned for updates!

Electrek’s Take

The power of electric vehicles is on display in its finest form. An electric Ford F-150 Lighting recharging an electric plane and extending its flight? It doesn’t get any better.

Well, of course, until you add sports into the mix. Keep a lookout for coverage on the first electric plane flyover at a sporting event on November 19, and good luck to Remy.

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