Pipistrel obtains first ever Type Certificate for an electric aeroplane from EASA

The Pipistrel Velis Electro is the world’s first fully electric aeroplane ever to receive type certification. The two-seater, intended primarily for pilot training, is a game-changing aircraft in terms of technological innovations and cost-efficiency. Its EASA certification paves the way for the future of environmentally sustainable, emission-free aviation.

AJDOVŠČINA, SLOVENIA – June 10, 2020: After years of intensive research and several successful award-winning electric aircraft models developed since 2007, Pipistrel has today achieved a breakthrough feat in aviation history, having type certified the battery powered Velis Electro. Working in tight collaboration with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, whose engagement was essential to reaching this unprecedented milestone, Pipistrel demonstrated that its new Velis Electro achieves the highest levels of safety.

The beginning of a new era

Conceived as a fundamental part of the ‘Velis Training System’, the Velis Electro was designed to be simple to operate and maintain, without compromising safety. Employing Pipistrel’s type certified electric engine, the Velis Electro delivers power instantly and without hesitation – using a simplified user interface in a cockpit that maintains the same look-and-feel of its conventionally powered siblings. 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.

This enhanced reliability allows the Velis Electro to have more than double the lifespan of powertrain elements in comparison to the previous generation of electric aeroplanes.

The revolutionary powertrain is entirely liquid-cooled, including the batteries, and demonstrated the ability to withstand faults, battery thermal runaway events, and crash loads as part of the certification process.

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 towards the commercial use of electric aircraft, which is needed to make emission-free aviation feasible. It is considerably quieter than other aeroplanes and produces no combustion gases at all,” said Mr Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft. “It confirms and provides optimism, also to other electric aircraft designers, that the Type Certificate of electric engines and aeroplanes 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. Pipistrel is especially thankful to all our customers for their confidence in our products, which allows us to continue developing these innovative aircraft,” he added.

Mr Dominique Roland, Head of the General Aviation Department at EASA, expressed: “For EASA, the type certification of this aircraft marks a significant dual milestone: on 18th of May 2020 we type certified its engine as the first electric engine – now we have followed up with the first type certification of a plane flying that engine. This was a truly ground-breaking project which has yielded many learnings for the future certification of electric engines and aircraft, undoubtedly a growth area in coming years in line with the aims of environmental protection.

“It should also be noted that this innovative product was, despite the many challenging aspects, certified in less than 3 years, showing the excellent work performed by Pipistrel and the EASA teams. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the certification team was composed of EASA staff, but included experts from the Swiss and French authorities, in order to prepare and facilitate the entry into service of the Velis Electro in these two countries.”

Mr Paolo Romagnolli, Head of Engineering at Pipistrel, highlighted the technical excellence: “The Velis Electro project has been one of those engineering challenges we like at Pipistrel. EASA Type Certificate is an uncompromised affirmation of the safety of the design. Having achieved this with a relatively small team is proof that young, talented, and motivated professionals can bring innovation into reality. Completing the work nobody else has ever done before makes us all very proud of being members of this engineering team.”

Ready to fly

Pipistrel will deliver the first 31 Velis Electro to customers in 7 different countries already in 2020. Mr Marc B. Corpataux, the launch customer for the Velis Electro, commented: “AlpinAirPlanes GmbH is very proud to be given the great opportunity by Pipistrel to be part of this game-changing journey. With more than 400 flight hours and 25 pilots introduced to the predecessor Alpha Electro, we are convinced of the suitability of electric flight in the daily flight school environment. Initially, we will distribute 12 aircraft on 10 airfields over Switzerland. Each base will be equipped with 150 m2 of photovoltaic panels, producing electricity for 12,000 flight hours per year on the Velis Electro. We are happy to offer the most environmental friendly training possible.”

For any inquiries regarding the acquisition of the Velis Electro or any other Pipistrel product, please contact: sales@pipistrel-aircraft.com.

About Pipistrel

Pipistrel is a world-leading small aircraft designer and manufacturer, specialized in energy-efficient and affordable high-performance aircraft. With more than 30 years of experience, Pipistrel has produced more than 2200 aircraft to-date, gaining significant international reputation by delivering unique, innovative products to passionate customers on all continents. First-to-fly an electric two-seater in 2007 and the winner of the NASA Green Flight Challenge in 2011 with the World’s first electric four-seat aeroplane, Pipistrel has designed nine different experimental and serially produced electric aircraft. It has also developed propulsion systems, including batteries, power controllers and electric motors, for small and general aviation class of aircraft for NASA and Siemens, among others. With involvement in standardisation committees, i.e. ASTM F44.40, F39.05, SAE AE7-D, Pipistrel is helping to enable the future market of hybrid-electric aviation.

Pipistrel is the only company in the world currently selling four different electric aircraft models; the Taurus Electro, Alpha Electro and Alpha electro LC are now being complemented by the EASA type certified Velis Electro.

Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, the company’s R&D division, holds an EASA Design Organisation Approval and has the capability of bringing a new aircraft design concept from a basic idea into a certified design, ready for production. The division is also developing electric and hybrid-electric eVTOL air taxi and unmanned cargo delivery UAVs, as well as a hydrogen fuel-cell powered 19-seat miniliner/microfeeder, aimed at revolutionising the intra-European transport market.

To familiarise yourself with the product, click HERE.

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Link to EASA’s press release HERE.

Pipistrel je pridobil prvi tipski certifikat evropske letalske agencije EASA za električno letalo na svetu

Pipistrel Velis Electro je prvo popolnoma električno letalo na svetu, ki je kadarkoli pridobilo tipski certifikat. Dvosed, namenjen predvsem šolanju pilotov, je letalo, ki spreminja letalske standarde na področju tehnoloških inovacij in cenovne učinkovitosti. Certifikat agencije EASA utira pot okolju-prijaznemu letalstvu brez emisij v prihodnosti.

AJDOVŠČINA – 10. junij 2020: Po letih intenzivnih raziskav in več uspešnih modelih električnih letal, ki so jih razvili od leta 2007 in ki so tudi že prejela kar nekaj nagrad, je Pipistrel danes dosegel nov preboj v zgodovini letalstva in prejel tipski certifikat za letalo Velis Electro na baterijski pogon. Pipistrel je v tesnem sodelovanju z evropsko agencijo za letalsko varnost EASA, katere pomoč je bila ključnega pomena za dosego tega edinstvenega mejnika, dokazal, da njegov novi Velis Electro dosega najvišje standarde varnosti in celo presega tiste, ki so zahtevani za letala s konvencionalnim pogonom.

Začetek nove dobe

Načrtovan kot temeljni člen sistema za šolanje ‘Velis Training System’ je bilo letalo Velis Electro zasnovano tako, da ga je enostavno upravljati in vzdrževati, ne da bi bila pri tem ogrožena varnost. Z uporabo Pipistrelovega certificiranega električnega letalskega motorja, Velis Electro ponudi vso svojo moč na razpolago takoj in brez ogrevanja. Uporablja poenostavljen uporabniški vmesnik v pilotski kabini, ki ohranja enak videz kot njegovi vrstniki z navadnimi bencinskimi motorji. Zmanjšano število gibljivih delov močno zmanjša stroške vzdrževanja, tveganje za okvaro pa je še dodatno zmanjšano zahvaljujoč vgrajenemu sistemu stalnega nadzora.

Ta izboljšana zanesljivost omogoča, da imajo elementi pogonskih sklopov Velisa Electro več kot dvakrat daljšo življenjsko dobo v primerjavi s prejšnjo generacijo električnih letal.

Revolucionarni pogonski sklop je v celoti tekočinsko hlajen, vključno z baterijami in je kot del certifikacijskega procesa dokazal, da lahko obratuje napakam navkljub ter vzdrži tudi slučaje termičnega pobega baterijskih celic in udarce, ki nastopijo v primeru nesreče.

Skupni rezultat vseh teh edinstvenih inovacij je drastično zmanjšanje stroškov obratovanja, kar bistveno prispeva k cenovni dostopnosti šolanja za pilote.

„Pipistrel Velis Electro je s svojim tipskim certifikatom prvi korak h komercialni uporabi električnih letal, ki je nujna, če želimo, da postane letalstvo brez emisij nekoč možno. Je precej tišji od drugih letal in ne proizvaja nikakršnih plinov zaradi izgorevanja,” je dejal g. Ivo Boscarol, ustanovitelj in direktor podjetja Pipistrel. “To potrjuje in opogumlja tudi druge razvijalce električnih letal, da je mogoče pridobiti tipski certifikat za električna letala in letalske motorje. Motor, ki ga Pipistrel certificira ločeno, je na voljo tudi drugim proizvajalcem originalnih letal. Za Pipistrel ta dosežek pomeni dodatno motivacijo za prihodnje projekte eVTOL* in večsedežne sisteme na vodik. Pipistrel se še posebej zahvaljuje vsem svojim strankam za njihovo zaupanje v naše izdelke, ki nam omogoča, da še naprej razvijamo ta inovativna letala,” je dodal.
(*electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing – letalo z navpičnim vzletanjem in pristajanjem)

Dominique Roland, vodja Oddelka za splošni letalski promet pri agenciji EASA, je povedal: „Za EASA-o je pridobitev tipskega certifikata tega letala pomemben dvojni mejnik: 18. maja 2020 smo kot prvega na svetu certificirali najprej električni motor – zdaj pa je temu sledil še prvi tipski certifikat celotnega letala, ki leti s tem motorjem. To je bil resnično prelomni projekt, ki je prinesel veliko spoznanj za prihodnje certifikacije električnih motorjev in letal, kar bo v naslednjih letih nedvomno postalo področje rasti v skladu s cilji varovanja okolja. Prav tako velja opozoriti, da je bil ta inovativni izdelek kljub številnim zahtevnim vidikom certificiran v manj kot treh letih, kar kaže na odlično sodelovanje Pipistrela in EASA-inih ekip. Na koncu je treba omeniti, da je bila certifikacijska skupina sestavljena iz osebja EASA-e, sodelovali pa so tudi strokovnjaki švicarskih in francoskih oblasti z namenom pripraviti in olajšati začetek javne uporabe letala Velis Electro v teh dveh državah.”

Paolo Romagnolli, direktor inženiringa v Pipistrelu, je izpostavil tehnološko odličnost: „Projekt Velis Electro je bil eden tistih inženirskih izzivov, ki so nam v Pipistrelu všeč. Tipski certifikat EASA je brezkompromisna potrditev varnosti designa. Če to dosežemo z našo, razmeroma majhno ekipo, je to dokaz, da lahko mladi, nadarjeni in motivirani strokovnjaki inovacije prenesemo v resnično življenje. Opravili smo delo, ki ga do sedaj ni uspel še nihče, zato smo vsi zelo ponosni, da smo člani te inženirske ekipe.”

Pripravljen na letenje

Pipistrel bo kupcem v 7 različnih državah že tekom letošnjega leta priskrbel prvih 31 letal Velis Electro. Gospod Marc B. Corpataux, prvi kupec Velis Electro, je pojasnil: “Kolektiv našega podjetja, šole letenja AlpinAirPlanes GmbH, je zelo ponosen, da nam Pipistrel daje veliko priložnost, da smo postali del tega zgodovinskega koraka. Na Velisovem predhodniku Alpha Electro smo z več kot 400 urami letenja izšolali 25 pilotov, zato smo prepričani o primernosti električnega letenja v vsakodnevnem okolju šole letenja. Sprva bomo dvanajst letal, ki jih naročamo, porazdelili na 10 letališč preko cele Švice. Vsaka baza bo opremljena s fotovoltaičnimi paneli s površino 150 m2, ki bodo proizvajali elektriko za 12.000 ur letenja na leto na letalih Velis Electro. Veseli smo, da bomo lahko ponudili najbolj okolju prijazno šolanje za pilote.”

O Pipistrelu

Pipistrel je vodilni svetovni načrtovalec in proizvajalec lahkih letal, specializiran za energetsko učinkovita in visoko zmogljiva ter cenovno dostopna mala letala. Z več kot 30-letnimi izkušnjami je Pipistrel doslej izdelalo več kot 2200 letal, ki so pridobila pomemben mednarodni ugled z zagotavljanjem edinstvenih, inovativnih izdelkov svojim navdušenim strankam na vseh celinah. Pipistrel je skupaj s prvim dvosedežnim električnim letalom na svetu leta 2007 in prvim električnim štirisedom, ki je leta 2011 zmagalo na natečaju agencije NASA Green Flight Challenge, do sedaj zasnoval že devet različnih električnih letal, tako eksperimentalnih kot tudi takšnih v serijski proizvodnji in prodaji. Razvija tudi pogonske sisteme, vključno z baterijami, krmilniki moči in elektromotorji, tako za mala letala kot tudi za letalstvo splošnega razreda in za naročnike kot sta NASA in Siemens. S sodelovanjem v odborih za standardizacijo, tj. ASTM F44.40, F39.05, SAE AE7-D, Pipistrel pomaga pri aktivaciji tržišča hibridno-električnega letalstva v prihodnosti.

Pipistrel je edino podjetje na svetu, ki ima trenutno v serijski proizvodnji in prodaji štiri različne modele električnih letal; modele Taurus Electro, Alpha Electro in Alpha Electro LC zdaj dopolnjuje še Velis Electro s tipskim certifikatom agencije EASA.

Podjetje Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, ki je Pipistrelov inštitut za raziskave in razvoj, ima odobritev agencije EASA »Design Organisation Approval« za razvojno organizacijo in ima sposobnost, da nov koncept zrakoplova razvije od osnovne ideje do certificirane zasnove, pripravljene za končno proizvodnjo. Podjetje razvija tudi električni in hibridno-električni zračni taksi z navpičnim vzletanjem in pristajanjem ter brezpilotna tovorna vozila (UAV) in 19-sedežno letalo miniliner s pogonom na vodikove gorivne celice, namenjeno revoluciji na evropskem prometnem trgu.

Za več informacij o letalu Velis, kliknite TUKAJ.

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Povezava do izjave za javnost agencije EASA TUKAJ.

Velis Electro in Flight