Old Buckenham Airfield becomes home to Zenith CH 750 Skyjeep charging point
A south Norfolk airfield has become home to the UK’s first and only electric aircraft charging point.
As part of a project to promote zero emission aviation, Old Buckenham Airfield has installed a charging point for the Zenith CH 750 Skyjeep – powered entirely by an electric motor – and is applying for planning permission for half-a-dozen more.
The charging point, housed in a cutting edge solar-panel-roofed hangar, will also become the first in Europe to be powered entirely from sunlight – and will provide the starting point for the Skyjeep’s maiden flights.
The project has been launched in partnership with Thetford-based sustainable transport company Nuncats, which is developing solar-powered aircraft systems for developing countries.
Matt Wilkins, a manager at Old Buckenham Airfield, said he was proud to provide a runway for the CH 750, which will take to the skies for the first time later this year.
He said: “We’re delighted that, thanks to being the home of Nuncats, Old Buckenham will enter its 80th year by being firmly at the front of aviation’s adoption of carbon neutral technologies. Now we’re looking forward to the next important milestone; the aircraft’s first flight.”
Nuncats founder Tim Bridge added: “Thanks to the support of Old Buckenham’s owners and management, we’re now testing our first electric aircraft with power from its own solar microgrid.
“Over the coming months, we look forward to demonstrating what impact off-grid electric light aircraft can have for rural communities.”
The project has recently been the subject of an official visit by Aviation Minister Robert Courts, who watched the Skyjeep charge up during the Old Buckenham Airshow earlier this summer.