- Title: Slovenian company produces first EU-certified fully-electric plane
- Date: 2nd July 2020
- Summary: GORIZIA, ITALY (JULY 1, 2020) (REUTERS) ALL-ELECTRIC 'VELIS ELECTRO' PLANE, MADE BY SLOVENIAN COMPANY PIPISTREL, TAKING OFF AND FLYING PLANES IN PIPISTREL'S FACTORY PLANE'S CHARGING PORT SEATS AND CONTROLS INSIDE PLANE WORKER REMOVING ONE OF THE BATTERIES IN PLANE AJDOVSCINA, SLOVENIA (JULY 1, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) PIPISTREL DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, TINE TOMAZIC, SAYING: "Velis Electro, which is the first type-certified electric aeroplane worldwide, started its life in 2015 as a prototype by the name of 'WATTsUP' which also received some governmental grants. The whole development and certification campaign however, took two and a half years, which is basically record time for an innovative product like this." GORIZIA, ITALY (JULY 1, 2020) (REUTERS) PLANE FLYING AJDOVSCINA, SLOVENIA (JULY 1, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) PIPISTREL DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, TINE TOMAZIC, SAYING: "Resting upon years of experience in electric flight we started flying electrically in 2007 and built more than eight aeroplanes prior to Velis Electro. We identified what is needed technologically as well as from the user's standpoint to have a type-certified aeroplane. Type-certified means the aeroplane can be used without restrictions commercially and this is truly a step for aviation as a whole which will enable electrification also of much larger aircraft to come." GORIZIA, ITALY (JULY 1, 2020) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF WORKERS REPLACING BATTERY AJDOVSCINA, SLOVENIA (JULY 1, 2020) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) PIPISTREL DIRECTOR OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT, TINE TOMAZIC, SAYING: "So Pipistrel started investing time and efforts into establishing standards to enable electric flight way back in 2014. So we first had to establish standards, we had to pass the standards with the regulators, and then to do work. So this was not nearly just a certification exercise, but was basically an exercise in establishing an ecosystem to permit this. So although the whole exercise might have seemed only a two and a half years affair, this whole work started way prior, almost a decade ago." GORIZIA, ITALY (JULY 1, 2020) (REUTERS) PLANE LANDING ON GRASS WORKER MANOEUVRING PLANE IN HANGAR
- Embargoed: 16th July 2020 14:42
- Keywords: airplane electric aircraft electric aviation innovation
- Location: GORIZIA, ITALY / AJDOVSCINA, SLOVENIA
- City: GORIZIA, ITALY / AJDOVSCINA, SLOVENIA
- Country: Slovenia
- Topics: Science
- Reuters ID: LVA001CL49QUX
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: A Slovenian aviation company has produced the world's first fully electric plane to be type-certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) which means it meets safety standards and can be used commercially.
The battery-powered plane, the Pipistrel Velis Electro, is a small two-seater, intended for training pilots. It can fly for 50 minutes, plus reserve, which is typical for flying school use.
Pipistrel's research and development director, Tine Tomazic, said the company had started producing electric airplane models in 2007, building up more expertise in the field with every new version.
Tomazic said the certification by EASA meant the plane could be used commercially without any restrictions and was a step towards larger electric aircrafts in the future.
Pipistrel is due to deliver the first 31 Velis Electro to customers in seven different countries this year.
(Production: Borut Zivulovic, Branko Filipovic, Lewis Macdonald)
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