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Mon, Jun 28, 2021

Eyre To There Aviation Breaks World Endurance Record For Electric Aircraft

Will Continue To Adelaide And Aiming To Achieve 1350 KM By The End Of The Journey

South Australian-based Eyre to There Aviation has achieved a world endurance record for an electric aircraft, breaking the previous mark set in Germany last year.

Flying a Pipistrel Alpha Electro plane, Eyre to There Aviation Managing Director Barrie Rogers and his team arrived in Port Augusta late Friday, June 25, after breaking the previous mark of 750km on the leg between Shoalwater Point Station and Whyalla. They will continue to Adelaide and aiming to achieve 1350km by the end of the journey.

Along the way, the team has also broken other world records for electric aircraft including longest over-water flight (30.8km); furthest distance in a 24-hour period (330km); and fastest speed between waypoints (177km/h ground speed). Barrie says the team has battled strong winds and rain as well as below zero morning temperatures to achieve the record.

"It's been a mammoth effort by everyone involved to achieve this incredible feat. The weather hasn't exactly been on our side - we had ice on the wings one morning and were grounded in Port Lincoln due to an intense low pressure system," Barrie says.

"On the plus side, the aircraft and the recharging systems have held up incredibly well. It has gone a long way to proving the endurance and reliability of the Pipistrel Alpha Electro plane.

"Because we can only fly about 125km before having to recharge, we've been landing in some pretty remote locations, including dirt airstrips at Corunna and Nonning sheep stations on the Eyre Peninsula."

The flight team and support crew includes three pilots, five on-the-ground support crew, a second support (petrol-powered) plane, and two vehicles carrying recharging equipment for the aircraft.

The Pipistrel Alpha Electro - dubbed the 'Tesla of flying' - has a flight time range of about 1 hour and cruising speed of 85 knots so each leg has been carefully planned and build in contingencies for weather. Barrie says the Pipistrel Alpha Electro is the world's first and only serially produced electric aircraft currently approved in Australia for flight training by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority.

"This record attempt will further demonstrate the overall viability of this aircraft, with a view to one day setting up an assembly line in Adelaide producing up to 40 aircraft per year," he says.

"Electric aircraft are cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, significantly quieter and don't rely on fossil fuels. They are ideally suited for short range flight training activities.

FMI: www.pipistrel-usa.com

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