Battery-Powered Electric Plane Takes Off First Flight in Australia

Electro.Aero

The world seems all set to transcend into the future of all-electric vehicles (EVs), and it would only seem plausible that EVs would be featured in aeroplanes. In this context, startup Electro.Aero and Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel have recently started a battery-powered electric plane test flight in Perth, Australia. The test flight recently marked the first electric light-sport aircraft and was also certified in the country.

Electro.Aero is reportedly working on building an electric plane that could fly short distances and also act as air-taxis. The plane is featured with supercharging technology, which allows swift charging and is also super-quiet that is attributed to the absence of internal combustion engine.

The company is said to be a pioneer in electric aviation technology and has also obtained certification for the Alpha Electro by the Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority in 2017. And, Pipistrel is popular with crafting innovate planes including some powered by hydrogen fuel. The two companies comprehend the advantages of electric planes over their conventional counterparts, according to founder Electro.Aero, Joshua Portlock. He adds that electric propulsion is simpler than a petrol engine.

The test flight, which included a two-seater, single-propeller light aircraft, was powered by two lithium-ion batteries. A single charge is said to keep the plane flying for around an hour like those in Tesla’s EVs, and a 30-minute of extra power in reserve. The batteries could give around 1,000 flying hours to the plane over their lifetimes. The electric plane is also cheaper to fly in comparison to the aircrafts using jet fuel. The engine of the EV costs around AUD 3 an hour, which is one-tenth, the cost of a fuel engine. Apart from which, flying electric is also cleaner than using fossil fuels, which would make a significant consideration towards climate change. Meanwhile, the registered pilots would fulfil the familiarisation flight prior to independently flying the plane whereas the local pilots would have to train towards flying the electric plane.

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