Pipistrel has received an order for its EASA certified electric aircraft Velis Electro through Green Aerolease. The company specialising in aeroplanes as a service (AAS) will lease the e-planes to pilot schools in cooperation with the FFA.
Deployment of the two-seater zero-emission aircraft will start in France in only a few months. Other countries in Europe will follow within the next three years, then sharing a fleet of a total of 200 Pipistrel electric aircraft, according to Green Aerolease.
The partnership with the French Aviation Federation and Pipistrel is a first for the subsidiary of the W3 group, which says they organise the provision of de-carbonized light aircraft by proposing a “ready for use” rental service for smaller operators and pilot training facilities.
According to Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft, the Green Aerolease concept “will allow the use of zero-emission aircraft to the clubs and schools who are not in the position to invest in procuring an aircraft fleet, but they can afford reasonable monthly rental fees.” The companies left the price undisclosed.
The Pipistrel Velis Electro is the first EASA type-certified electric aircraft. Certification happened in a record time of under three years, thanks to the close cooperation between the Slovenian manufacturer and the authorities.
According to Jean-Luc Charron, president of the French Federation of Aeronautics (FFA): “With Pipistrel, we created a FabLab two years ago at Toussus-Le-Noble to test this brand-new electric aircraft. Thus, more than 200 flight hours were done with great performances, very important noise reduction and also a tremendous reduction of carbon emissions.”
The FFA claims 84% of clubs think that electric aviation is a solution to environmental constraints. Around 70% among them are willing to equip themselves with this new aircraft. More than 100 small GA airports have severe flight restrictions mostly due to noise, the Federation says. “Velis Electro with only 60 dB of noise can bring back the flight to all of them.”
The two-seater, mainly intended for pilot training (PPL), measures 6.5 metres and has an empty weight of 428 kilos including battery. The electric motor on board delivers up to 57.6 kW for a short time during take-off and a maximum of 49.2 kW during the flight at a maximum altitude of 12,000 feet.
The FFA/Green Aerolease order over 50 electric planes precedes another 200, deployed across Europe as mentioned above through AAS (Aircraft as A Service). Charles Cabillic, the founder of W3 and Green Aerolease, considers these future aircraft “an answer to the growing stakes of regional mobility to ensure the economic regional continuity and the serving of middle-sized cities.”
Finesse Max, Pipistrel distributor in France, will work in partnership with Green Aerolease to manage the support, after-sales service and maintenance for the Velis fleet.
Pipistrel claims to be the only company currently selling four different electric aircraft models; the Taurus Electro, Alpha Electro and Alpha Electro LC are now being complemented by the EASA type certified Velis Electro.