+VIDEO It’s a world-changing moment : the first electric aeroplane to receive Type Certification is the Pipistrel Velis Electro.
Slovenian company Pipistrel and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced late this afternoon that the Velis Electro now has a Type Certified propulsion system as well as an airframe. The aircraft can now be used for flight training and other commercial and private uses throughout Europe.
Pipistrel and EASA have worked closely together to not only certify the aircraft but also create the airworthiness standards for electric aircraft.
Ivo Boscarol, the enigmatic genius who is the CEO and founder of Pipistrel Aircraft said, “The type certification of the Pipistrel Velis Electro is the first step towards the commercial use of electric aircraft, which is needed to make emission-free aviation feasible.
“It is considerably quieter than other aeroplanes and produces no combustion gases at all.
“It confirms and provides optimism, also to other electric aircraft designers, that the Type Certificate of electric engines and aeroplanes is possible. The engine, which Pipistrel type certified separately, is also available to other aircraft OEMs,” he added.
“For Pipistrel, this achievement injects additional motivation for the future eVTOL and multi-seat hydrogen-powered projects. Pipistrel is especially thankful to all our customers for their confidence in our products, which allows us to continue developing these innovative aircraft.”
The Velis Electro delivers power without hesitation using a simplified user interface in a cockpit that maintains the same look-and-feel of its conventionally powered aircraft. The reduced number of moving parts in an electric propulsion system decreases maintenance costs and the risk of malfunctions is further minimised thanks to its built-in continuous health-monitoring system.
Dominique Roland, Head of the General Aviation Department at EASA, said, “For EASA, the type certification of this aircraft marks a significant dual milestone. On 18th of May 2020 we type certified its engine as the first electric engine – now we have followed up with the first type certification of a plane flying that engine.
“This was a truly ground-breaking project which has yielded many learnings for the future certification of electric engines and aircraft, undoubtedly a growth area in coming years in line with the aims of environmental protection.
“It should also be noted that this innovative product was, despite the many challenging aspects, certified in less than three years, showing the excellent work performed by Pipistrel and the EASA teams.
“Finally, it is worth mentioning that the certification team was composed of EASA staff, but included experts from the Swiss and French authorities, in order to prepare and facilitate the entry into service of the Velis Electro in these two countries.”
Pipistrel will deliver the first 31 Velis Electro to customers in seven different countries soon in 2020.
Marc B. Corpataux whose company AlpinAirPlanes is the launch customer for the Velis Electro, said, “AlpinAirPlanes GmbH is very proud to be given the great opportunity by Pipistrel to be part of this game-changing journey.
“With more than 400 flight hours and 25 pilots introduced to the predecessor Alpha Electro, we are convinced of the suitability of electric flight in the daily flight school environment.
“Initially, we will distribute 12 aircraft on 10 airfields over Switzerland. Each base will be equipped with 150 m2 of photovoltaic panels, producing electricity for 12,000 flight hours per year on the Velis Electro. We are happy to offer the most environmental friendly training possible.”