The 31. July was a day which we will remember with pride – this was the day of the first official flight of an electric aircraft in Finland.
The historic moment happened at the Helsinki Malmi airport. The aircraft took off… and after a few seconds the astonished spectators could not hear it anymore.
The flight was performed by Mr. Jussi Frisk from Helsinki Electric Aviation Association with a Pipistrel Alpha Electro aircraft, which is registered as an ultralight in Finland.
The two factors which make airliner traffic the most expensive are at the moment fuel price and maintenance price. In electric aircraft, both are only about one tenth of the conventional aircraft.
Mr. Janne Vasama, chair of the Helsinki Electric Aviation Association, praised the progress:
“This is the first step towards more nature-friendly future of Finland aviation. Flying by electric vehicles is beneficial to atmosphere – and will in the future increase Finnish air traffic, which will be able to return to urban transport – from Lappeenranta to Turku or Kuopio to Tampere”, Vasama believes.
Jussi Frisk (left) and Janne Vasama
Mr. Matti Vanhanen, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Parliament, spoke on the similar lines: “In a very short time span we can foresee development of an electric aircraft network, which could serve the whole country. There are about 80 airports all around Finland and a network for this type of activity is a serious possibility,” Vanhanen said.
Irmeli Rytkönen, Honorary Consul of Slovenia in Helsinki, pointed out that Slovenia and Finland share the same vision about the future and advantages of electric aviation. She stressed the potential that Finland and Slovenia have in the area of high-tech cooperation.
A large crowd of curious spectators were present at the take-over event, and it was covered by all major media representatives.
The event received a lot of interest in local media: