Tesla of the Sky? A certain light aircraft company, that you have maybe never heard of, has recently just been given some an esteemed special certificate from the particular Europeana Union Aviation Safety Authority otherwise known as EASA for one of its own electric winged vehicles.
Just sometime earlier this month, the Slovenian small plane maker known as Pipistrel has finally received the world's very first "Type Certificate" for its new two-seater electric plane, the Velis Electro, according to Wing magazine.
The EASA Type Certificates, in simplified terms, are awarded after a particular aircraft has successfully satisfied the industry engineering and safety criteria for a very specific type of aircraft, which no plane has by far been able to achieve.
In the words of Ivo Bascarol, the Pipistrel founder, the particular type certification that the company's Velis Electro got is the very first step towards the commercial availability of the electric aircraft, which is necessary in order to produce emission-free aviation vehicles to make it feasible.
All the way back in May, Pipistrel actually received certification for the brand new water-cooled 57.6 kW electric engine and its powertrain, the latest certification does apply to the aircraft as a complete unit. This means that the aircraft can finally look towards going into service.
The specific safety criteria do include things just like making sure that the plane had enough power redundancy in order to ensure safety landings if the battery packs within should fail.
The small Velis Electron plane
The plane is known to be a two-seat, with its whole takeoff weight of a massive 600 kg. It is already quite capable of flying for just about 50 minutes, at about 90 knots, which means about 100 mph (which in reality will vary with the wind speed).
In addition to this, the Velis' engines are also available to the OEM manufacturers, so that other upstart electric plane makers can pretty much use them in order to let their ideas take off. It's now potentially easier to use an existing already certified engine rather than going through the entire certification process again.
It should also be noted that the existing Velis Electron is currently only going to be used for the initial training pilots. Its whole interior design is made to be identical to the more conventional planes in order to help pilots get familiar with the controls.
These new electric planes present a one of a kind challenge. The batteries are quite heavy and as they slowly lose charge, they soon turn into nothing but dead weight. But a few, just like in Norway, are already committing to the tech in a huge way.
Just about earlier this year, a certain Norwegian airline operator has stated its personal intent to be able to cover all domestic short-haul flights towards electric power by the year 2040.