Okay, the title is click-baity. I’m not trying electric flight — well, any kind of flight presently (though I’d love to) but on the heels of the post I’d made a short while ago about electric flight, here’s another piece that The Flying Reporter did on the Pipistrel Velis Electro.
Honestly, it doesn’t seem that Pipistrel is currently marketing the Velis Electro in the USA (but they do marked two of their other Electric aircraft as either LSA or Experimental here).
I’m still rather unclear as to the TCO for a private owner.
Although, again, ideal for training flights or flying the circuits several times round airfields in reasonable VFR conditions or as a commuter making short jaunts between airfields perhaps 50 or 75 NM apart.
Don’t think about how it won’t meet everyone’s needs (heh, just think of the uphill challenges faced by EVs in society). Instead, think about how, given what it can do very well, how it can fill some needs.
Yes, this may be an aircraft that has an optimistic future.
First, there’s Joe Scott’s take on a brief history and the current state of electrically-powered aviation along with some of the challenges that we all, socially and culturally, will need to overcome:
Are they doomed? That depends entirely upon what you consider to be “required” for an electric aircraft.
Next, there’s Pipistrel (Wiki), a Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer who has entirely-E-powered Velis Electro intended for training purposes. In fact, they have received, shockingly, the very first-ever Type Certificate from EASA — the European Aviation Safety Agency.
It’s only a matter of time until an eager aviator (or two or three) purchase and import a Velis registered as an Experimental Aircraft. Note that the Pipistrel Alpha is certificated as an Experimental or LSA already in the USA (ca. US$175,000, more or less as an LSA).