Through the initiative of the startup Electro.Aero and aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel have started test flights for an all-electric plane above an airport in Australia.
The move is part of the future plan to have electric planes that can carry up to five people over short distances.
The test flight comes amid the the active forces in the world for an all-electric vehicle (EV) future and numerous countries plan to do away with combustion-engine cars, it comes as no surprise that the next EVs are airplanes.
The test flight of the electric-powered airplane was part of these transition.
Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel flew the two-seater airplane dubbed “Pipistrel Alpha Electro” over an airport in Perth for the first time on Jan. 2.
The manufacturer was known for crafting innovate planes, including some powered by hydrogen fuel.
This plane runs on two lithium-ion batteries, like those in Tesla’s EVs, that can keep it in the air for an hour, with some 30 minutes of extra power in reserve.
The batteries can supposedly give the plane 1,000 flying hours in total over their lifetimes. A supercharger based in Jandakot Airport can supply the Alpha Electro with a full charge within about one hour.
To bring electric planes to Australian skies, Pipistrel is working with local startup Electro.Aero. The two companies recognize the advantages electric planes have over conventional ones, said Joshua Portlock, founder of Electro.Aero.
“Electric propulsion is a lot simpler than a petrol engine,” Portlock told ABC.
“Inside a petrol engine you have hundreds of moving parts,” Portlock added.