Electric Flight in Australia


Richard Solomon - enthusiast & columnist

Peter Pine
1/40 Kellehers Road
Pottsville Beach NSW 2489
Phone (02) 6676 1437
Mobile (0407) 732 440
E-mail: ppine@northnet.com.au 


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At the International Electric Rally held at UMAC field, Sydney West, in 1985, Richard Solomon turned up with a Ricochet converted to electric flight. He excitedly assembled this somewhat large electric project, and attempted to make electric flight history in Australia. His enthusiasm was infectious!

I caught some of Richard’s enthusiasm at that electric flight rally. As I said before, the whole situation was inspiring; Jan David’s demonstrations, Peter Blomaart’s encouragement, and the excitement of local electric fliers like Richard. And Richard has continued to spread his enthusiasm for electric flight. This is no more evident than by the numerous electric flying events he has organised at Picton, encouraging aspiring F5B fliers. This lead to his involvement in the 1996 World Champs as team manager. Then, in 1998 he flew as a member of the Australian team in the World Championships held in Neuhardenberg, Germany. Other fliers were Mani Riederich and Bill Hamilton.

Whether it was attempting a large electric project, using carbon spars in a lightweight electric glider, or building his own electric motor, Richard has always been innovative and enthusiastic. The picture shows Richard with his home built motor in 1994 – it is a small motor but was built to work with 27 cells in an open F5B model. It gave 12,700 rpm at 68A on an Aeronaut 12x7” carbon prop, and was used with an STW 90A speed controller. How ingenious is that!

And taking a step back, Richard carried the electric flight column in Airborne when Jack Black had to give up. He wrote the column from early 1983 until June 1984, when he handed over the column to Phil Stevenson. The introduction to the column in Airborne no.63 says, “Our Electrics column continues this issue with a new columnist, as Richard Solomon is unable to continue due to business and family commitments.” Thank you for your enthusiasm Richard, and thank you for promoting electric flight in so many ways.