PIPISTREL OBTAINS FIRST EVER TYPE CERTIFICATE FOR AN ELECTRIC AEROPLANE FROM EASA

Pipistrel Velis Electro

The Pipistrel Velis Electro is the world’s first fully electric aeroplane ever to receive type certification. The two-seater, intended primarily for pilot training, is a game-changing aircraft in terms of technological innovations and cost-efficiency. Its EASA certification paves the way for the future of environmentally sustainable, emission-free aviation.

AJDOVŠČINA, SLOVENIA – June 10, 2020: After years of intensive research and several successful award-winning electric aircraft models developed since 2007, Pipistrel has today achieved a breakthrough feat in aviation history, having type certified the battery powered Velis Electro. Working in tight collaboration with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, whose engagement was essential to reaching this unprecedented milestone, Pipistrel demonstrated that its new Velis Electro achieves the highest levels of safety.

The beginning of a new era

Conceived as a fundamental part of the ‘Velis Training System’, the Velis Electro was designed to be simple to operate and maintain, without compromising safety. Employing Pipistrel’s type certified electric engine, the Velis Electro delivers power instantly and without hesitation – using a simplified user interface in a cockpit that maintains the same look-and-feel of its conventionally powered siblings. The reduced number of moving parts dramatically decreases maintenance costs and the risk of malfunctions is further minimized thanks to its built-in continuous health-monitoring system.

This enhanced reliability allows the Velis Electro to have more than double the lifespan of powertrain elements in comparison to the previous generation of electric aeroplanes.

The revolutionary powertrain is entirely liquid-cooled, including the batteries, and demonstrated the ability to withstand faults, battery thermal runaway events, and crash loads as part of the certification process.

The overall result of all these breakthrough innovations is a drastic reduction in the operating costs, significantly contributing to the affordability of pilot training.

“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,” said Mr Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft. “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. 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,” he added.

Mr Dominique Roland, Head of the General Aviation Department at EASA, expressed: “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 3 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.”

Mr Paolo Romagnolli, Head of Engineering at Pipistrel, highlighted the technical excellence: “The Velis Electro project has been one of those engineering challenges we like at Pipistrel. EASA Type Certificate is an uncompromised affirmation of the safety of the design. Having achieved this with a relatively small team is proof that young, talented, and motivated professionals can bring innovation into reality. Completing the work nobody else has ever done before makes us all very proud of being members of this engineering team.”

Ready to fly

Pipistrel will deliver the first 31 Velis Electro to customers in 7 different countries already in 2020. Mr Marc B. Corpataux, the launch customer for the Velis Electro, commented: “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.”

For any inquiries regarding the acquisition of the Velis Electro or any other Pipistrel product, please contact: sales@pipistrel-aircraft.com.

About Pipistrel

Pipistrel is a world-leading small aircraft designer and manufacturer, specialized in energy-efficient and affordable high-performance aircraft. With more than 30 years of experience, Pipistrel has produced more than 2200 aircraft to-date, gaining significant international reputation by delivering unique, innovative products to passionate customers on all continents. First-to-fly an electric two-seater in 2007 and the winner of the NASA Green Flight Challenge in 2011 with the World’s first electric four-seat aeroplane, Pipistrel has designed nine different experimental and serially produced electric aircraft. It has also developed propulsion systems, including batteries, power controllers and electric motors, for small and general aviation class of aircraft for NASA and Siemens, among others. With involvement in standardisation committees, i.e. ASTM F44.40, F39.05, SAE AE7-D, Pipistrel is helping to enable the future market of hybrid-electric aviation.

Pipistrel is the only company in the world currently selling four different electric aircraft models; the Taurus Electro, Alpha Electro and Alpha electro LC are now being complemented by the EASA type certified Velis Electro.

Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, the company’s R&D division, holds an EASA Design Organisation Approval and has the capability of bringing a new aircraft design concept from a basic idea into a certified design, ready for production. The division is also developing electric and hybrid-electric eVTOL air taxi and unmanned cargo delivery UAVs, as well as a hydrogen fuel-cell powered 19-seat miniliner/microfeeder, aimed at revolutionising the intra-European transport market.

Source: Pipistrel

Airbus – looking beyond E-Fan X

sustainable aviation

Our decarbonisation journey continues: looking beyond E-Fan X

A word from Grazia Vittadini, Airbus Chief Technology Officer

Aviation connects and unites people. As people discovered the magic of flight, serving this fundamental need drove a steep growth in air travel. This increase led us to explore innovative technologies to ensure that future generations can enjoy flying as much as we do.

When I first started my career at Airbus, the notion of electric flight was considered a far-off pipedream. Today, it’s a reality. Airbus’ overriding goal remains unchanged: we’re fully committed to decarbonising aviation. We’re steadfast in our belief that there’s no world in which the future of air travel is not a sustainable one.

As we start to navigate the realities of a post-COVID-19 world, I’m more certain than ever that we need to continue full-speed ahead with our sustainability ambitions. In fact, given the unprecedented challenge of climate change, we at Airbus have been asking ourselves if we could take an even bolder approach to reduce CO2 emissions. Today, our answer is a resounding yes!

But decarbonising the aviation industry is no small feat. To achieve this, we need to re-focus all of our efforts on technology bricks that will take us there. It’s for this reason that Airbus and Rolls Royce have jointly decided to bring the E-Fan X demonstrator to an end. As with all ground-breaking R&T projects, it’s our duty to constantly evaluate and reprioritise them to ensure alignment with our ambitions. These decisions are not always easy. But they’re undoubtedly necessary to stay the course.

When we launched the E-Fan X project in 2017, we set out with the ambition to push the limits by testing disruptive technologies in a game-changing approach to future aircraft. And we did just that: E-Fan X has shattered pre-conceived notions of what is possible in future flight. This helped us to pave the way for an industry-wide decarbonisation movement of which we’re proud to take the lead.

To say we’ve learned a lot from this demonstrator project would be an understatement. Over the past three years, each successful E-Fan X milestone has offered us rich insights for the future, including:

  • Serial hybrid-electric propulsion: Hybrid architectures, high-voltage systems and batteries are indispensable technology bricks for several other demonstrator projects across our wider R&T portfolio to diversify power sources. We will continue to develop and mature them at our E-Aircraft System Test House.
  • New pathways for disruptive CO2 reduction: Exploring the possibilities—and limitations of—serial hybrid-electric propulsion also opened up inquiry into new technology pathways. Hydrogen being one of them, which is equal parts a huge opportunity as it is a new challenge.
  • Future certification and regulatory acceptance: From the start, we have been consistently delighted by our customers’—and indeed, the entire aviation ecosystem’s—overwhelming enthusiasm for E-Fan X. With our research partnerships on hybrid-electric and hydrogen airport infrastructure and operations, we will have laid a foundation for the future industry-wide adoption and regulatory acceptance of alternative-propulsion commercial aircraft.

Thanks to these key learnings, Airbus has developed a more focused roadmap on how to progress on our ambitious decarbonisation commitments. A lofty achievement for a first-of-its-kind demonstrator like
E-Fan X.

As we head into the future, I would like to sincerely thank all partners, engineers and designers—at Airbus and beyond—who have tirelessly brought their expertise, passion and engagement into driving this pioneering project. I’m extremely grateful and proud of the team: you’re an amazing group of bold, talented and dedicated professionals! Also, I’d like to thank Paul Stein, Rolls-Royce CTO, and his team for an extraordinary partnership on E-Fan X. I invite you to read Paul’s moving statement here. It’s through cross-industry partnerships like these that the aviation industry will bring competitive zero-emission solutions to the future of flight.

Although E-Fan X will not take to the skies, I strongly believe that its spirit will live on as we continue on our journey towards climate-neutral flight.

It’s a journey that we’re all on together. And only together, we will succeed.

Grazia Vittadini

Airbus Chief Technology Officer

Source: Airbus

Swedavia launches electric aviation strategy – Åre Östersund ready for first electric aircraft in autumn 2020

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

2020-02-14, kl. 09:29

Swedavia has adopted a strategy for electric aviation. The goal is to enable all ten Swedavia airports to handle electric aircraft and to be able to place the first commercial electrified route in service by around 2025. At Åre Östersund Airport, a testing venue for electric aircraft is planned to be put into operation during the autumn.

The investment in electric aviation is another step in Swedavia’s work to promote the changeover to fossil-free domestic air transport in Sweden by 2030 and fossil-free air transport for all flights originating in the country by 2045. For many years, Swedavia has been carrying out work to increase the use of sustainable bio jet fuel.

“Bio jet fuel is critical in a short-term perspective for driving the aviation industry’s transformation in the face of climate change. But in the long term, electrification can also play a key role. Swedavia wants to take an active part at an early stage of this development and get an understanding of the conditions needed for electric aviation from an infrastructure perspective,” says Jonas Abrahamsson, Swedavia’s president and CEO.

A testing venue for electric aircraft is planned to be put into operation at Åre Östersund Airport during the autumn, at which time it will be possible to receive the first electric aircraft. Planning is currently under way for aircraft parking stands, infrastructure for charging aircraft and the power supply needed at the airport and to ensure the necessary permits.

Test flights of electric aircraft and drones will be carried out in the airspace between Åre Östersund and Røros Airport in Norway in collaboration with a number of partners both in Sweden and Norway under the framework for the EU project Green Flyway.

“We believe there is good potential for the first commercial electrified route in Sweden within five years. In the longer term, the electrification of routes can be an important addition to today’s scheduled traffic, primarily domestic flights. But electric air transport can also lead to brand-new routes between regional centres, which would benefit access and regional growth as well as create a whole new business model for air transport,” says Jonas Abrahamsson.

In the long term, all ten Swedavia airports will provide infrastructure for handling electric aircraft. In addition to Åre Östersund, Umeå Airport and Visby Airport are in the initial stages of developing electric aviation. Among other measures, Umeå Airport is taking part in a project to consider the possibilities of electrified flights between Sweden and Finland.

“Given the possibilities, Swedavia welcomes the Swedish government’s new initiative to study suitable measures to accelerate the introduction of electric aviation and the changeover to fossil-free air transport, which can contribute to Sweden’s access and to regional development throughout the country,” says Jonas Abrahamsson.

For many years, Swedavia has carried out ambitious sustainability work. All ten of its airports will have zero emissions of fossil carbon dioxide from their own operations by the end of 2020. Swedavia also works actively to promote the industry’s transition to bio fuel and has the goal that five per cent of all fuel used to refuel aircraft at Swedish airports shall be fossil-free by 2025.Since 2016, Swedavia purchases bio jet fuel equivalent to the amount used for the company’s flights for business purposes, about 450 tonnes of fuel a year.

For further information, please contact Swedavia’s press office at tel. +46 8 10-109 01 00 or press@swedavia.se.

Source: Swedavia

1 2 3 4