Light twin training aircraft Velis Electro, developed by Slovenian company Pipistrel, was the first all-electric aircraft, which received the type certificate from the European aviation safety Agency EASA, reports the New Atlas. The certificate confirms
that the aircraft meets the airworthiness requirements defined by the air law of the European Union, and is suitable
to fly in its category. Certification paves the way for serial production and commercial
the operation of this model airplane.
According to the air law aircraft intended for serial production and commercial operation should pass the test and get the certificate, which confirms that model aircraft meet the safety standards and airworthiness established by the authorities. The first all-electric aircraft
which could go through all the procedures to obtain a type certificate from the European Agency
aviation safety EASA was the airplane of Slovenian manufacturer of light
Training double Velis Electro is built on the basis of a piston aircraft Pipistrel Virus SW 121.
It has a wingspan of 11 meters and a takeoff weight of 600 kilograms. The aircraft is equipped with
EASA certified electric propulsion E-811 with a capacity of 58 kilowatts, designed
the company together with its partners EMRAX and EMSISO, and a three-blade composite propeller
with a fixed pitch. The motor is powered by two lithium batteries with a total capacity of 25 kilowatt-hour liquid-cooling system, total capacity of which is 25 kilowatt-hour. Full charge time depends on the ambient temperature and the deterioration of the battery and can take up to two hours. Developers
note that they really take care of fire safety and in the process of certification testing of battery packs showed good resistance to heat dispersal and mechanical loads.
To increase fault tolerance battery units are spatially separated: one located in the nose of the plane, and the second is located behind the cab. In case of malfunction of one of the batteries, it automatically disconnects from the system, with the power remaining is sufficient to continue safe flight and landing. Also on safety and durability of electric aircraft in General due to the absence of a large number of moving parts in the power plant in comparison
with traditional piston engines.
The aircraft has a cruising speed of up to 180 kilometers per hour and has a practical
ceiling 3700 meters. The average flight time Velis Electro is about 50 minutes with a small margin that, as explained by the developers, should be enough for regular training flights for which this aircraft was intended. The flight was laid in the design as a compromise between the characteristics of the battery, flight characteristics of the aircraft and the possible environmental conditions (heat or cold during flight and charging the battery). Thus, in contrast to the lengthy procedure of starting the engine of conventional aircraft, the launch of Velis Electro by several switches, without the need to spend time warming up the engine before takeoff.
In the words of Ivo Boscarol (Ivo Boscarol), the founder and Director of the company Pipistrel Aircraft, type certificate, which got Velis Electro, was the first step towards commercial use of pure electric aircraft.
For 2020 it is planned to deliver 31 aircraft customers
from 7 countries, saying on the website of the aircraft manufacturer. The first twelve copies of Velis Electro will go to multiple airfields
in Switzerland, each of which will also be equipped with solar panels with an area of 150 square meters, for charging aircraft batteries.
It is assumed that the solar plant will generate energy
sufficient for 12 thousand flight hours per year, allowing to exploit Velis Electro entirely on “green” energy.
The Slovenian company Pipistrel,
founded in 1989, specializiruetsya on the design and manufacture of light aircraft and
gliders. Since 2007 she is actively developing electric
aircraft, including unmanned. So in 2019, the company
announced about designing cargo drones on the basis of the project air taxi 801, the operation of which
plan to start in 2022.