Last week, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) announced the certification for pilot training in day VFR operations for the first time ever on an electric airplane: the Pipistrel Velis Electro.
This is the first type certification worldwide of a fully electric aircraft and is an important milestone in the journey towards a more environmentally sustainable aviation industry. EASA Executive Director, Patrick Ky, said this was "an exciting breakthrough" as of course it is the first time EASA has certified a fully electric plane.
The Pipistrel Velis Electro
Intended primarily for pilot training, the Pipistrel is a two-seater revolutionary aircraft and according to its official website:
is the first to support a SAE AE-7D charging plug
demonstrates levels of safety equivalent or higher than conventionally powered airplanes, with type certified engine, fault-tolerant, and crashworthy battery systems
is built on 12 years of experience with electric flight using proven in-house technologies
The aircraft is significantly quieter compared to those often seen in today's skies as it features noise levels of just 60 dBa. The developer says the Velis Electro can operate in cold, hot, and rainy weather conditions.
The aircraft has two battery packs - one in the nose of the airplane and the second behind the cabin. With two batteries, in the event of a failure of the first battery, the second would be able to kick in and takeover as the plane's primary power source.
This is an important achievement that has been reached thanks to the efforts that the aviation world has made, now in cooperation with the regulatory bodies.