Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel has received UK Civil Aviation Authority (UK CAA) type certification for its fully electric Velis Electro aircraft. 

The certification confirms that the design of the plane and its variants, including the Velis Electro, the Explorer, and the Velis Club, meets applicable airworthiness, noise and various other standards. 

The company announced the news in a statement on June 5, 2022.  

According to the manufacturer, Velis Electro is now considered the world’s only electric aircraft certified for performing flights. 

“Achieving type certification by the UK CAA is a big milestone for Pipistrel in the UK, as well as within the wider aviation industry,” Gabriel Massey, president and managing director, Pipistrel said in the statement. “The Velis Electro is now the only type-certified electric aircraft that can operate in the UK, and this opens up a world of possibility for sustainable flight.” 

Velis Electro already holds a full type certification issued by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in June 2020. 

The aircraft, which features a cantilever high-wing, a two-seat configuration inside the cabin, a fixed tricycle landing gear, and a single electric engine, is designed for pilot training purposes.  

Made from composite materials, it is equipped with a 10.71 meter-long (35.1 ft) span wing, a liquid-cooled Pipistrel E-811 electric motor, and two 70 kilograms (150 lbs) weight 24.8 kWh liquid-cooled lithium batteries, which are connected in parallel for fault tolerance. 

According to Pipistrel, the aircraft batteries are not swappable due to the liquid cooling and the weight of the battery unit. However, the manufacturer estimates that it takes two hours for the aircraft batteries to recharge from 30% to 100% capacity. 

The new Pipistrel Velis Electro plane will be on display in an exhibition at the UK’s Farnborough International Airshow, which will take place between July 18 and July 22, 2022.  

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