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Jul 18, 2006
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Contacts: Akira Kadota, International PR Tel: +81-3-3578-1237 Fax: +81-3-3436-6766 Panasonic News Bureau Tel: +81-3-3542-6205 Fax: +81-3-3542-9018
Panasonic Oxyride Batteries Power the World's First Manned Flight
Osaka, Japan - Panasonic, the brand for which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, announced today that its Oxyride dry cell batteries successfully flew a manned airplane to mark a milestone in the aeronautic history in the world.
The company, together with the Tokyo Institute of Technology (TIT), has been working on the Oxyride Dry Cell Manned Flight Project since January this year. On July 16, the airplane powered by 160 AA-size Oxyride dry cell batteries flew a distance of 391.4 meters at an altitude of 6.11 meters at Okegawa Airport in Saitama Prefecture on the northern outskirts of Tokyo. The one-seat airplane, weighing 54 kg with a wingspan of 31 meters and piloted by a TIT student weighing 53 kg, was in the air for 59 seconds
The flight took place in front of officials of the Japan Aeronautic Association (JAA) to make it an official record, following the rules set by the JAA. They will further seek official recognition from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) as the world's first manned flight on dry cell batteries.*
Panasonic embarked on the project, hoping it can create an opportunity for young people to get interested in science and technology. Panasonic praises the students - the Wright Brothers of the 21st Century - who took up the challenge and succeeded in the flight that has never been attempted before. The Oxyride flight covered a distance longer than 259 meters recorded by the Wright Brothers for the first manned, sustained flight powered by a gasoline engine back in 1903 in the United States. The Oxyride flight time, 59 seconds, happens to be the same with the Wright Brothers' record.
After successfully completing the official attempt, the students tried another flight powered by only 96 batteries just for their own record. The airplane flew a distance of 269.3 meters in 39 seconds at an altitude of 1.42 meters.
Panasonic Oxyride battery is a product of breakthroughs in materials and manufacturing technology. The battery uses oxyhydroxide which releases a higher initial voltage than traditional alkaline batteries, while Panasonic's proprietary vacuum-pouring technology allows a higher quantity of electrolytes to be inserted into the battery. As a result, the Oxyride battery provides more power and longer-lasting energy. Oxyride batteries are recommended for high-drain devices that require a lot of current to run such as digital cameras. Tests have proven that Oxyride takes twice more photos than regular alkaline batteries.**
The world's first battery-powered airplane will be on display at JR Tokyo Station from July 31 to August 6 and at the National Science Museum in Tokyo from September 15 to 24.
* As an airplane powered by commercial dry cell battery (as of July 18, 2006)
** Panasonic Alkaline Plus
Best known by its Panasonic brand name, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of US$76.02 billion for the year ended March 31, 2006. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya, New York (NYSE:MC), Euronext Amsterdam and Frankfurt stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net.