The Swiss electric aircraft startup H55 by solar pioneer André Borschberg has completed its maiden flight. Manufactured by BRM Aero and powered by the H55 propulsion system, the Bristell Energic is an all-electric aircraft with two seats for pilot training that can stay in the air for 90 minutes.
For H55 this is a stepping-stone for the development of electric propulsion systems designed for VTOLs and flying taxis. More so, the company develops certified electric propulsion solutions, starting from the energy source and its management, through thrust and power, to pilot interface and control systems. Certification is at this moment seen as a vital source of innovation and H55 claims to have “close and long-standing” relations with regulatory authorities.
This latest model Bristell Energic is conceived as an electric flight trainer aeroplane and has received interest from flight schools, airport resident associations and aviation authorities. The electric aircraft has an endurance of 1.5 hours, providing 45-60 minutes of mission flight with enough reserves, a typical training program for flight schools.
Commenting on this milestone, André Borschberg, former CEO and Pilot of Solar Impulse, and now H55’s Co-Founder and Executive Chairman, is convinced that “electric propulsion has enabled the world of drones, it will do the same for aviation”.
In view of this positioning, H55 partner BRM Aero sees the trainer market growing. The company’s Founder and CEO, Milan Bristell identifies the China and India as fields where “the emergence of civil aviation requires pilot training with a real flight trainer with a maximum takeoff weight equal to or above 750 KG”. More so, the electric plane Bristell Energic offers such as solution and is cheaper to operate.
Founded by André Borschberg, Sébastien Demont and Gregory Blatt, all part of the former Solar Impulse senior management team, H55 is financed through Nanodimension, a Swiss-Silicon Valley-based venture capital fund.