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Pipistrel Gets EASA Okay For Electric Plane

The Velis Electro is the first such approval for EASA. What comes next might be very interesting.

Pipistrel Velis Electra
Pipistrel Velis Electra

European aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel has earned European approval for its Velis Electro single. Pipistrel said that the approval was the result of a years-long collaboration with EASA, showing, it said, that the Velis Electro has achieved the “highest levels of safety.”

The planes are a natural, says the company, for training flights. Their batteries and power train, including a type-certificated electric motor, are liquid cooled, for additional safety. Crashworthiness for both occupants and batteries was another chief design consideration, it said.

In Europe, at least, one major drawing card will be its noise signature, or lack thereof. With a typical noise output of 60 dB, the plane will be the quietest powered aircraft in the sky anywhere in the world it goes. At least for now.

The planes are already in demand in Europe. Pipistrel plans to deliver 30 of them by the end of 2020, including a dozen aircraft to operators in Switzerland, where each of 10 bases for the Velis Electra will be outfitted with solar-generating recharge stations, each one capable of supplying 12,000 hours of Velis Electro flying each year.

The company says that the two-seater has an endurance of “up to” 50 minutes, plus VFR reserves.


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