Pipistrel obtains first-ever type certificate for an electric airplane from EASA
Pipistrel announced that it has type certified the battery-powered Velis Electro. Working with the EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency), the company says that its new Velis Electro has achieved the highest levels of safety.
Conceived as a part of the "Velis Training System," the aircraft was designed to be simple to operate and maintain, without compromising safety. The aircraft uses the company’s type certified electric engine, using a simplified user interface in a cockpit that maintains the same look and feel of its conventionally powered siblings. According to the company, 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.
The aircraft reportedly has more than double the lifespan of powertrain elements in comparison to the previous generation of electric airplanes. The powertrain is entirely liquid-cooled, including the batteries, and has demonstrated the ability to withstand faults, battery thermal runaway events, and crash loads as part of the certification process.
According to the company, 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 toward the commercial use of electric aircraft, which is needed to make emission-free aviation feasible,” said Ivo Boscarol, Founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft. “It is considerably quieter than other airplanes and produces no combustion gases at all. It confirms and provides optimism, also to other electric aircraft designers, that the Type Certificate of electric engines and airplanes 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.”
The certification, completed in less than three years, was possible in that timeframe due to close cooperation between Pipistrel and EASA, with the common goal of ensuring the aircraft met the standard of safety needed for certification. According to the company, the project also brought important learnings that will support future certifications of electrically powered engines and aircraft.
The aircraft is powered by the first certified electrical engine, the E-811-268MVLC, certified by EASA for Pipistrel on May 18, 2020.
The company expects to deliver the first 31 Velis Electro to customers in seven different countries this year.
For more information, visit www.pipistrel-aircraft.com.