This article was originally published on June 4, 2018.
The future of air transportation is going to be taken over by all-electric aircraft. The two-seater aircraft designed and produced by Slovenian-based company Pipistrel is the world’s first certified electric aircraft.
Pipistrel Alpha Electro has received the Australian Light Sports Aircraft certification. It holds a CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) Special Certificate of Airworthiness.
The first flight
Electro Aero is the Australian owner of the aircraft who has accomplished a successful first flight on 2nd January 2018, aircraft flew two circuits in the air traffic pattern at Jandakot airport in Perth. This is the first time a certified electric aircraft has flown in Australia. And on 22nd January, the aircraft successfully completed the world’s first cross-country flight by a certified electric light sports aircraft.
It’s 100% electric!
The Alpha Electro has substantially lower running and maintenance costs compared to petrol-engined aircraft. It is equipped with the latest high tech features such as a semi-glass cockpit and ballistic recovery parachute.
|Engine||Electric engine (solid-state motor)|
|Engine power||60kw (take-off) and 20kw (cruise)|
|Battery||Two lithium-ion batteries|
|Battery charging time||45 minutes|
|Endurance||90 minutes (60 minutes with a 30-minute reserve)|
|Cruise speed||85 knots (97.8 mph)|
|Take-off distance||265 m|
|Landing distance||460 m|
|Empty weight||380 kg|
|Maximum take-off weight||550 kg|
|Electricity cost||$3 per hour (compared to $30/hour for a petrol engine)|
|Safety||Ballistic Recovery Parachute|
The aircraft’s structure is all-composite which makes it light-weight. The design of Alpha electro is closely based on their Pipistrel Alpha petrol-engined aircraft. The aircraft has just one moving part, which is the propeller shaft.
Say goodbye to aircraft noise pollution
Noise pollution is a major issue in areas around airports. Like electric cars, electric aircraft eliminates the need for a conventional engine. This makes Alpha electro amazingly quiet compared to other conventional engined light sports aircraft.
Electric aircraft pilot training
Electro.Aero has launched Australia’s first electric aircraft pilot training program, allowing new students to get trained all the way to Recreational Pilot Certificate in their Pipistrel Alpha Electro. Their training provides all the standard piloting lessons such as stalls, steep turns, circuits, emergency landings, etc.