Pipistrel celebrates one year since type-certification of the Velis Electro
One year after its introduction, the Velis Electro remains the only type-certified electrically powered aeroplane in the world. Beloved by pilots and operators for its simplicity and low operating costs, its small environmental footprint is redefining general aviation and acceptance of aerodromes by the surrounding communities.
On this day one year ago, EASA granted the first type-certificate for a battery-powered aeroplane, the Pipistrel Velis Electro. The interest sparked in the aviation community has been overwhelming, and one year after, the Velis Electro is becoming a favourite among pilots and flight schools. The simplicity of operation and drastically reduced maintenance of the electrical powerplant translates into lower operating costs and therefore cheaper flight hour price.
Big beneficiaries of this ground-breaking technology are the neighbouring communities. The acoustic nuisance of the Velis Electro contrasts significantly with usually older and heavier fuel-powered counterparts, reducing the noise by up to 70%. This has allowed the reintroduction of flight operations during weekends and holidays, an activity that had been previously banned on aerodromes with nearby populations, such as Toussus-le-Noble in France. The available flying time has therefore increased both for flight schools and for student pilots, who would otherwise need to secure slots during busy weekdays.
The ultimate beneficiary of electrical aircraft is our planet, as emissions can be cut practically to zero, especially when electricity is generated from renewable sources. This is the case of the aerodromes of Fribourg-Ecuvillens in Switzerland and Aix-Les Milles in southern France, which implemented solar-energy chargers for electric aircraft and have recently become the home bases of their first Velis Electros.
The first year of the Velis Electro in numbers and achievements:
- 5 aircraft per month is the current production rate of the Velis Electro.
- 6 Velis Electro were ordered by our launch customer, the French Aeronautical Federation (FFA).
- 50 aircraft plus 150 options is the largest order so far, by Green Aerolease.
- 13 aeroplanes form the largest fleet currently in operation by AlpinAirPlanes, accumulating an average of 150 flight hours per month in 10 Swiss FTOs.
- 9 countries already operate the Velis Electro: Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
- 200+ pilots have already received their endorsements to fly the Velis Electro.
- 29 pilot instructors have been approved to train on the Velis Electro.
- 27 Part-66 licenced mechanics from 9 Part-145 maintenance organisations have been trained to maintain and repair the Velis Electro.
- 1,500+ flight hours have been logged so far on the entire fleet, allowing to save 94,000+ kg of CO2 with respect to older fuel-guzzling trainers.
- 2 Velis Electro will be leased by the Danish Defence, becoming the first air force to operate electrically powered aircraft.
During this first year, the Velis Electro planes have also been flown in two record-breaking adventures: the Electric World Record Flight and Elektropostal.
It was also awarded the title “2020 Plane Of The Year” by the prestigious Plane&Pilot magazine.
Source: Pipistrel Press Release
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