Pipistrel last week earned an EASA type certificate on the Velis Electro, a first such authorization for an electric airplane according to a company news release. The two-seater, similar to the LSA Alpha Electro familiar to pilots here in the US, is intended primarily for pilot training. The Velis Electro was certified in Europe as a primary category aircraft.
Employing Pipistrel’s type-certificated electric engine, the Velis Electro delivers power instantly 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. The Velis comes standard with a built-in continuous powerplant health-monitoring system. The 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.
Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft said, “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.” The company said it plans to deliver 31 Electros in Europe this year with a dozen headed for airports in Switzerland. There is no clear word from Pipistrel about if or when a normal category electric airplane may be available in the US.