A college student is going to push the limits of both EV infrastructure and electric planes.
We've seen the Ford F-150 Lightning and other EVs power some exciting things. A Lightning will charge a Tesla just fine, and one surgeon even used a Rivian to power a vasectomy operation after a power outage.
Remy Oktay is a student at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, and he won't be doing either of those things.
Instead, his plan, per his post on the Lightning Owners forum, is to charge another EV with it. A plane. He'll fly that plane from Hartford, Connecticut, to his college in Easton, crossing four states in the process. Once there, it will be "the first electric plane flyover of a sporting event at the Lafayette-Lehigh football game."
Oktay says he's got to charge the Pipistrel Alpha Electro airplane three times to make the flight. The idea began when he realized that, much like electric cars, a lack of infrastructure would be an issue. So, Oktay says he recognized the Lighting could be used as a chase truck, charging the plane as it goes.
A team of 25 Lafayette College alumni, parents, students and volunteers will leave Hartford-Brainard Airport on November 19. Four Lighting trucks, three Teslas, and two chase aircraft will accompany the student.
However, the run only works if the Lighting trucks have the optional 9.6 kW Pro Power package. But there are more hoops than that to jump through. Most of them have to do with the FAA.
Oktay knows planes better than we do and explains the challenges well in his post on Lighting Owners. "Per FAA regulations, we have to land with a 30-minute reserve, leaving us 60 minutes usable flying time going at 85kn."
Oktay's post continues, saying, "we need to leave enough buffer space, so should we need to divert to another nearby airport, we can do so. We are estimating each recharge to be about 10kWh draw from the Lightning."
Remy says he needs two more Lightning owners to help the team get the plane to the following four airports: Hartford-Brainard Airport, Waterbury-Oxford, Danbury Municipal, Greenwood Lake Airport, and Weiss Farm Airport. Weather permitting, the run will finish at the Braden Airpark on November 12. The return run is set to take place on November 22 and will follow the same route in reverse.
We've spoken with Oktay and will provide coverage of his run on November 12 if all goes to plan.