British company Vertical Aerospace today unveiled its new eVTOL design VA-1X. It is designed ‘to be a high performing aircraft, able to connect entire regions as well as carrying out shorter missions across single cities.’ It will be taken through certification with EASA in Europe and is on course to start commercial flights in 2024. More information at: https://www.vertical-aerospace.com/va-1x/
Pipistrel is now offering its electric propulsion systems to aircraft designers and manufacturers globally.
The E-811 motor is certified for use in General Aviation by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in May 2020. It is developed for Pipiestral’s Velis electric LSA which was certified by EASA in June 2020 . The E-811 motor combines a liquid-cooled electric motor and a liquid-cooled power controller. Offering 57.6 kW (77 hp) of peak power, and 49.2 kW (66 hp) of maximum continuous power, the E-811 is the ideal powerplant for powered sailplanes, UL, LSA and VLA aircraft, where a Type Certified Engine is required. It may also be installed on Part-23 Level 1 aircraft and other distributed propulsion applications by applying the corresponding special conditions.
For more information about the motor and the order procedure, you can visit https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/aircraft/electric-flight/e-811/
June 10, 2020: After years of intensive research and several successful award-winning electric aircraft models developed since 2007, Pipistrel has today achieved a breakthrough feat in aviation history, having type certified the battery powered Velis Electro. Working in tight collaboration with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, whose engagement was essential to reaching this unprecedented milestone.
“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 Mr Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft. “It confirms and provides optimism, also to other electric aircraft designers, that the Type Certificate of electric engines and aeroplanes is possible. The engine, which Pipistrel type certified separately, is also available to other aircraft OEMs. For Pipistrel, this achievement injects additional motivation for the future eVTOL and multi‑seat hydrogen-powered projects. Pipistrel is especially thankful to all our customers for their confidence in our products, which allows us to continue developing these innovative aircraft,” he added.
Mr Dominique Roland, Head of the General Aviation Department at EASA, expressed: “For EASA, the type certification of this aircraft marks a significant dual milestone: on 18th of May 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.
“It should also be noted that this innovative product was, despite the many challenging aspects, certified in less than 3 years, showing the excellent work performed by Pipistrel and the EASA teams. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the certification team was composed of EASA staff, but included experts from the Swiss and French authorities, in order to prepare and facilitate the entry into service of the Velis Electro in these two countries.”
Pipistrel will deliver the first 31 Velis Electro to customers in 7 different countries already in 2020. Mr Marc B. Corpataux, the launch customer for the Velis Electro, commented: “AlpinAirPlanes GmbH is very proud to be given the great opportunity by Pipistrel to be part of this game-changing journey. With more than 400 flight hours and 25 pilots introduced to the predecessor Alpha Electro, we are convinced of the suitability of electric flight in the daily flight school environment. Initially, we will distribute 12 aircraft on 10 airfields over Switzerland. Each base will be equipped with 150 m2 of photovoltaic panels, producing electricity for 12,000 flight hours per year on the Velis Electro. We are happy to offer the most environmental friendly training possible.”
The Chinese civil aviation regulator CAAC today released the draft of the new Part 23 certification document. Some highlights include:
1. it has a new section (H section on page 51) for electric airplane which is for the first time in CAAC Part 23 certification rulemaking.
2. rename Part 23 to “normal airplane” consolidating “normal”, “aerobatic”, “utility” and “commuter” category into “normal” in existing Part 23
3.define airplane certification requirement by seat number and performance, not by weight.
the draft download link at CAAC (in Chinese language only): http://www.caac.gov.cn/HDJL/YJZJ/202002/P020200225439412180257.doc
In general the CAAC new part 23 is similar to EASA new Part 23 in many aspects, which is expected. What’s especially interesting is that it’s encouraging to see CAAC is making real rulemaking efforts for electric airplane certification even though the H section in the draft appears to be lack of many important details. CAAC is inviting public opinion on this draft until 26 March 2020.
On September 14 Volocopter made its urban flight debut at the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. The flight demo was a part of the event “Vision Smart City — Experience future mobility today” held during the weekend. The flight lasted near 4 minutes at about 30 meters altitude. The video of the complete flight from takeoff to landing is below (you may want to turn up the sound volumn to listen to the sound: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=16&v=mH1zk0KOFho
One noticeable thing was the low noise level of Volocopter which claims 65 decibel at 75 meters. This noise level is comparable with small helicopters’ noise level at 500 meters and is about the same as the background road noise in urban environment.
Flight Global reports that XTI Aircraft has selected GE Aviation’s Catalyst engine as the core of the hybrid-electric propulsion system for its in-development TriFan 600 vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft. For detailed report, go to: https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/xti-selects-catalyst-engine-for-hybrid-electric-trif-459849/