The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has certified an electric airplane, the Pipistrel Velis Electro, the first type certification world-wide of a fully electric aircraft and an important milestone in the quest for environmentally sustainable aviation.
The Velis Electro is a two-seater aircraft intended primarily for pilot training, manufactured by Slovenia-based Pipistrel. The certification, completed in less than three years, was only possible in that time-frame due to close cooperation between Pipistrel and EASA, with the common goal of ensuring the aircraft met the high standard of safety needed for certification. The project also brought important learnings that will support future certifications of electrically powered engines and aircraft. The aircraft is powered by the first certified electrical engine, the E-811-268MVLC.
Dominique Roland, Head of the General Aviation Department at EASA said: “For EASA, the type certification of this aircraft marks a significant dual milestone: on May 18, 2020 we type certified its engine as the first electric engine – now we have followed up with the first type certification of a plane flying that engine. This was a truly ground-breaking project which has yielded many learnings for the future certification of electric engines and aircraft, undoubtedly a growth area in coming years in line with the aims of environmental protection.”
“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,” said Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft. “It provides optimism, also to other electric aircraft designers, that the type certification of electric engines and aeroplanes is possible.”