Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
The world of electric airplanes is becoming busier and ever more crowded. One airplane we haven't covered yet is the amazing little Pipistrel Alpha Electro, an awesome 2-seat electric trainer.

Aviation

The Pipistrel Alpha Electro, An Awesome 2-Seat Electric Trainer

The world of electric airplanes is becoming busier and ever more crowded. One airplane we haven’t covered yet is the amazing little Pipistrel Alpha Electro, an awesome 2-seat electric trainer.

The world of electric airplanes is becoming busier and ever more crowded. One airplane we haven’t covered yet is the amazing little Pipistrel Alpha Electro, an awesome 2-seat electric trainer.

Pipistrel introduced the Alpha Electro

The Cool Little 2-Seat Electric Trainer, the Pipistrel Alpha Electro

Over at CleanTechnica, we’re always excited to see new frontiers expand, Pipistrel introduced the Alpha Electroand none are more exciting than the airspace. When it comes to electric vehicles (EV), the news is mostly centered on cars (and maybe two-wheelers of various sorts). However, electric airplanes and other vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft have been making the rounds for the past two years.

One airplane that makes perfect sense for any training school and those who just want to have fun locally for pennies on the dollar, in terms of maintenance, is Pipistrel’s Alpha Electro. The electric powertrain is operated with one simple lever, letting the pilot and crew focus on learning piloting skills.

Pipistrel introduced the Alpha Electro

The Alpha Electro is from Pipistrel Aircraft, a company well known for its lightweight and fun aircraft. With its short takeoff distance and an impressively powerful 1000+ fpm climb rate, the Alpha Electro can fly for over an hour plus reserve. The electric airplane is really optimized for training schools and traffic-pattern operations. It uses the aviation’s equivalent of regenerative braking, which gives it a 13% of energy recuperation on approach. This further increases its endurance, enabling its short-field landing capacity, and raises its security with extra energy should a landing be aborted.

Ivo Boscarol, CEO of Pipistrel was quoted as saying: “With the ever-growing cost of fuel, it is time to rethink pilot training. Our solution is the first practical all-electric trainer! Technologies developed specially for this aircraft cut the cost of ab-initio pilot training by as much as 70%, making flying more affordable than ever before. Being able to conduct training on smaller airfields closer to towns with zero C02 emissions and minimum noise is also a game changer! Alpha Electro meets microlight and ASTM LSA criteria, as well as standards for electric propulsion. Alpha Electro is our 5th electric aircraft project and the second to result as a commercial product.”

From The WATTsUP to the Pipistrel Alpha Electro

Originally, Pipistrel was working on its electric aircraft prototype the WATTsUP, which was developed in partnership with Siemens AG. Siemens provided the main electric propulsion components. Progressively, Pipistrel further developed every element of the aircraft and refined it to become lighter, more efficient, and more reliable.

The first prototype sported an 85 kW electric motor and only weighed about 31 lb (14 kg). What made it appealing to Pipistrel is that the electric motor is both lighter and more powerful than the popular Rotax 912 series, an engine typically used on microlights and light sports aircrafts (LSA).

Pipistrel introduced the Alpha Electro

Using a 17 kWh battery pack that was designed to be dual-redundant and quickly swappable within minutes, it can also be charged in less than one hour using Pipistrel’s battery management technology and its ALPHA Electro smart charger.

Using Siemens electric motors made sense since it was and still is developing electric drive systems that have the highest power-to-weight ratio for aircraft propulsion. Another reason why so many airplane makers are now seriously looking into electric drive is that it is scalable. Eventually, Pipistrel introduced the Alpha Electro as an improvement to its “WATTsS UP” prototype.

Electric Planes Are Coming In Fast!

2017 is certainly proving that electric airplanes are coming in fast and making a more and more compelling business and maintenance budget case for electric drive in aviation.

We’re happy to see the Pipistrel Alpha Electro taking off like this. It makes for a perfect trainer electric aircraft.

 
Check out our brand new E-Bike Guide. If you're curious about electric bikes, this is the best place to start your e-mobility journey!
 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Advertisement
 
Written By

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. He grew up in an international environment and his communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

Chevrolet has released another preview of the all-electric Chevrolet Blazer SS and has announced its official reveal date: Monday, July 18th. Stay tuned for...

Clean Transport

Siemens Mobility and its consortium partners Orascom Construction and The Arab Contractors have signed a contract with the Egyptian National Authority for Tunnels (NAT),...

Cars

Pre-fabrication saves time and lowers costs.

Clean Transport

Lab results and employment analysis blow another hole in the well-funded campaign, which is aimed at lawmakers deciding on new EU car CO2 targets....

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.