Pipistrel’s Velis Electro became the first-ever fully electric aircraft to receive its type certification on Wednesday. According to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), which granted the certificate, the certification process for the aircraft was completed in less than three years. The Pipistrel E-811 engine used on the aircraft became the first EASA-certified electric aircraft engine on May 18, 2020.
“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,” said Pipistrel Aircraft founder and CEO Ivo Boscarol. “It confirms and provides optimism, also to other electric aircraft designers, that the Type Certificate of electric engines and aeroplanes is possible.”
Designed primarily as a trainer, the two-seat Velis Electro has a cruise speed of 90 knots, 600-kg (1320-lb.) maximum takeoff weight, 172-kg (378-lb.) payload and endurance of up to 50 minutes plus VFR reserve. It is a fully electric derivative of Pipistrel’s Virus SW 121. Slovenia-based Pipistrel says it has plans to deliver 31 Velis Electros in 2020.