An Australian flying school Eyre to There Aviation, supported by AvPlan EFB flight planning software, in partnership with Recreational Aviation Australia RA-Aus, West Coast Bitumen and Aerometrex, made a great achievement:
They have set a world endurance record for an electric aircraft, breaking the previous mark set in Germany last year. Their record flight took 7-days and 18-stops around South Australia.


FLIGHT PATH:

Parafield – Lower Light – Balaklava – Snowtown – Port Pirie – Whyalla – Corunna Station – Nonning Station – Kimba – Cleve – Ungarra (Rosevale) – Port Lincoln – East Dog Fence RD Airstrip – Cleve – Shoalwater Point Station – Whyalla – Port Augusta – Quorn – Carrieton – Ororroo – Jamestown – Clare Valley – Balaklava – Gawler – Adelaide Airport – Parafield

PLANE:
The Alpha Electro which they used is the first RAAus-registered electric plane and the first electric plane to land at Adelaide International airport.

PILOTS:
Barrie Rogers, Catherine Conway OAM, David Bradshaw
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Starting at Parafield Airport on Saturday, June 19, the Eyre to There Aviation Managing Director Barrie Rogers and his team arrived in Port Augusta on Friday June 25, after breaking the previous mark of 750km on the leg between Shoalwater Point Station and Whyalla. They continued to Adelaide, aiming to achieve 1350km by the end of the journey.

Along the way, the team has also broken other world records for electric aircraft including longest over-water flight (30.8km); furthest distance in a 24-hour period (330km); and fastest speed between waypoints (177km/h ground speed).

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Barrie says the team has battled strong winds and rain as well as below zero morning temperatures to achieve the record.
“It’s been a mammoth effort by everyone involved to achieve this incredible feat. The weather hasn’t exactly been on our side – we had ice on the wings one morning and were grounded in Port Lincoln due to an intense low pressure system,” Barrie says. “On the plus side, the aircraft and the recharging systems have held up incredibly well. It has gone a long way to proving the endurance and reliability of the Pipistrel Alpha Electro plane.«

“Because we can only fly about 125km before having to recharge, we’ve been landing in some pretty remote locations, including dirt airstrips at Corunna and Nonning sheep stations on the Eyre Peninsula.”

The flight team and support crew includes three pilots, five on-the-ground support crew, a second support (petrol-powered) plane, and two vehicles carrying recharging equipment for the aircraft.

The Pipistrel Alpha Electro – dubbed the ‘Tesla of flying’ – has a flight time range of about 1 hour and cruising speed of 85 knots (157km/h) so each leg has been carefully planned and build in contingencies for weather.

Barrie says the Pipistrel Alpha Electro is the world’s first and only serially produced electric aircraft currently approved in Australia for flight training by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

“This record attempt will further demonstrate the overall viability of this aircraft, with a view to one day setting up an assembly line in Adelaide producing up to 40 aircraft per year,” he says.

“Electric aircraft are cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, significantly quieter and don’t rely on fossil fuels. They are ideally suited for short range flight training activities.