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The Alpha Electric (Prototype WATTsUP): An All-Electric Two-Seater Airplane by Pipestrel Slovenia

Geschreven op 24-2-2018 - Erik van Erne. Geplaatst in Vervoer en OV Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Here is the first Fully Electric-Powered Airplane that is in mass production now and available to buy: the Alpha Electro Airplane.

The prototype WATTsUP was developed in partnership with Siemens, who provided the electric main propulsion components, and represents the next generation of Pipistrel’s electric aircraft. Every single element of aircraft was refined to be lighter, more efficient and more reliable.

The first 85 kW electric motor only weighed 14kg and was more powerful than the popular Rotax 912 series, typically used on microlights and LSAs. The 17 kWh battery pack was dual-redundant and designed to be either quickly replaceable within minutes or charged in less than one hour, thanks to the next generation of Pipistrel’s Battery Management technology.

The serially produced Alpha Electro aircraft is an improvement of the WATTsS UP prototype. The airframe uses proven features from hundreds of Pipistrel’s aircraft flying worldwide. The electric powertrain is operated with one simple lever, enabling the crew to focus on learning piloting skills! With the smart charger, using the Alpha Electro is as simple as charging a mobile phone. Even if you only fly for fun and not to train future generations of pilots, the almost silent cockpit, the immediate response of the powertrain and the lack of exhaust emissions will make you feel the pioneering spirit of electric flight.

Performance of the Alpha Electro 2-seat electric trainer is tailored to the needs of flight schools. Short take-off distance, powerful 1000+ fpm climb, and endurance of one hour plus reserve. The Alpha Electro is optimized for traffic-pattern operations, where 13% of energy is recuperated on every approach, increasing endurance and at the same time enabling short-field landings.

Ivo Boscarol, CEO of Pipistrel says: “With the ever growing cost of fuel it is time to rethink pilot training. Our solution is the first practical all-electric trainer! Technologies developed specially for this aircraft cut the cost of ab-initio pilot training by as much as 70%, making flying more affordable than ever before. Being able to conduct training on smaller airfields closer to towns with zero C02 emissions and minimum noise is also a game changer. Alpha Electro meets microlight and ASTM LSA criteria, as well as standards for electric propulsion. Alpha Electro is our 5th electric aircraft project and the second to result as a commercial product.”

The Pipistrel Alpha Electro is manufactured in Slovenia and has undergone several years of prototype development before entering production. The aircraft is an all-composite, high-tech light sport aircraft closely based on the successful Pipistrel Alpha petrol-engined trainer.

On January 2nd 2018 the first serially-built Pipistrel Alpha Electro took flight in Australia. The aircraft, which received a Special Certificate of Airworthiness from Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) took off from Perth’s Jandakot Airport and conducted two circuits around Jandakot (the 5th busiest airport in the southern hemisphere with more than 375,000 movements last year). It then went on to complete another seven hours of flying over the following two days before being handed over to Electro.Aero, the aircraft’s operator.

The Alpha Electro can be registered in Australia as either a recreational aircraft or with CASA. In both cases it can be used for training, even to obtain PPL. The Pipistrel Alpha Electro is the first electric aircraft that offers the possibility of PPL training.

See also: Zero-Emission Airplane: The Antares DLR-H2 by DLR –  Vliegen op zonne-energie: Solar Impulse Testvlucht – The Full Electric Battery Powered Plane by EasyJet and Wright Electric – Groene Vliegtuigpioniers: Vliegen Wordt Elektrisch by VPRO Tegenlicht – Dutch PAL-V Liberty Flying Car: The World’s First Flying Car Production Model by Pal-V – The Centenary E-Race 2019 – The Great Air Race: Electric Planes to Race from London to Darwin

Één Reactie

  1. Erik van Erne zegt:

    8 mei 2018 om 13:02 | Permalink

    Pipistrel Receives Award of Partnership Appreciation from EASA

    On the occasion of EASA’s Certification Director visiting the Pipistrel booth at AERO 2018, Mr Trevor Woods handed over an award of appreciation for Pipistrel’s contribution to a trustful partnership with EASA. The award was accepted by Pipistrel Vertical Solution’s Paolo Romagnolli and Tine Tomazic, who are deeply involved in certification of electric airplanes, as well as matters related to operations and licensing linked of electric flight.

    Pipistrel Vertical Solutions is committed to continue nurturing this outstanding cooperation and partnership with EASA through various innovative projects, including the Virus SW 128, MAHEPA (www.mahepa.eu) and beyond by working hand in hand to bring out future undisclosed electric and hybrid-electric aircraft and associated technologies.

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