The Alpha Electro was already introduced at 15 Dutch airports. The interest is obviously growing fast.
This week, the Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLC) announced the opening of its new aerospace innovation center in Marknesse and the Centre’s first move was to purchase Pipistrel’s new Alpha Electro aircraft.
NLC made this purchase through a donation by PwC Netherlands company, which provides consulting, audit, and tax services. PwC’s ambition is to be a CO2-neutral business by 2030. PwC CFO and COO Michael de Riddler commented: “With this donation, PwC wants to make a contribution to accelerating the transition to electric flight. As a user, an international organization with clients worldwide, we want to take our responsibility by pursuing CO2 reduction, offsetting and innovation.”
The Netherlands Aerospace Centre will house its new “Living Lab for Electric Flight” within the facility. There, it plans to work with the newly attained Pipistrel Alpha Electro Aircraft to develop electric aviation technologies further. Goals include extending range through aerodynamics and battery advancements. The Dutch Minister of Infrastructure, Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, also attended the event and praised the electrification of air traffic.
Investment from both a large company like PwC and a country like the Netherlands in electric aviation is huge news for the flying car industry. While the existence of short-distance electric jets in Europe might compete with flying cars, no flying cars can come at all without significant advances in aerodynamic and battery technology. All the development at Pipistrel is a part of the push to move towards sustainability and electrification of commercial air transport, which can be first expected in the field of the regional air transport/aircraft. The innovation created by the Netherlands Aerospace Center will further the electric aviation industry, and will encourage additional investment in the flying car eVTOL industry.
This weekend a small bit of aviation history was set in Belgium: Alpha Electro was the first electric aircraft to ever land at the Antwerp airport. This is a small but significant first step towards a quieter and above all cleaner air traffic.
Apart from that the Alpha Electro was introduced at 2 more Belgian airports: Brasschaat Motor Fly-In (2 days) and Zoersel. Together with the Dutch promotion, this makes 18 airports and counting!
The iFly Benelux, Pipistrel BeNeLux representatives, were invited to fly into Antwerpen by the head of the Royal Antwerp Aviation Cub to attend a double “Tech Talk” about the Stampe Vertonghen SV-4 and thus comparing old to new aviation. By CAA regulation no ultra-light is allowed at CTR airports but for the Alpha Electro the head of the RAAC with the support of the management team of Antwerp Airport requested and was granted an exemption from the Belgian CAA to allow an electric ultra-light aircraft a permission to land, as Antwerp Airport is keen to show their ‘green credentials’. A Press Release was organized and it generated a lot of interest among professional media and general public alike. There were more than 60 club members and press in attendance at the “”Tech Talk” held next to the aircraft. After the introduction of the Alpha Electro on ground, there was only one thing left to do… fly! It was already just past sunset at Antwerpen, but enough time for short 15-minute demo flight during which the aircraft impressed everybody present with its short take-off distance, great flying characteristics and its quietness.
The Belgium tour will continue for the next 2 weeks, culminating with the “Pipistrel Experience Days” at Zoersel on 29-30 September. If you wish to see the Alpha Electro, you are most welcome. As a cherry on the top of the cake, there will also be a Virus SW 121 for all the flying enthusiasts.
For further information and to register for flying, please see: www.ifly.eu .