The certification, completed in less than three years, was only possible in that time-frame due to close cooperation between Pipistrel and EASA. 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 May 18, 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.
The two-seat Velis Electro is intended as a training aircraft, part of what Pipistrel call the ‘Velis Training System.’ It features an all-liquid cooling system for the motor and batteries, as well as a continuous health monitoring system. Critical information is given to the pilot in a simplified display that is similar to those already in use in hydrocarbon-powered aircraft.
The aircraft is powered by the first certified electrical engine, the E-811-268MVLC, certified by EASA for Pipistrel on May 18, 2020. In the Velis Electro, Pipistrel say the motor and propeller combination produces noise levels as low as 60dBa.
“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 Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft.
Pipistrel will deliver the first 31 Velis Electro to customers in 7 different countries. The launch customer is AlpinAirPlanes GmbH, a Pipistrel distributor.
“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,” said Marc B. Corpataux of AlpinAirPlanes GmbH. He explained that the aircraft would be supported by renewable energy sources. “Initially, we will distribute 12 aircraft on 10 airfields over Switzerland,” he said. “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.”
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.