MOU Signed With Adelaide Company Eyre To There Aviation
Pipistrel has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Eyre to There Aviation of Adelaide, Australia for the rights to manufacture the Pipistrel Alpha Electro in Australia.
Channel 9 News in Adelaide reports that Eyre to There would be the first Australian company to manufacture and electric aircraft. The company could build as many as 100 airplanes each year.
“Electric aircraft are cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, are significantly quieter than conventional aircraft and don’t rely on fossil fuels,” said Eyre to There Managing Director, Barrie Rogers, “and they are ideally suited for short-range flight training activities."
Rogers believes that the Australian GA industry is ready to accept an electric aircraft as a flight trainer.
“The one thing that has previously hindered the development of electric aircraft compared with, say, electric vehicles, has been the weight of the battery. We believe we’re now at the stage where technological advances have reduced the battery weight to a point where electric aircraft are now commercially viable in Australia.”
Eyre to There plans to import 15 of the airplanes from Pipistrel for demonstration flights and training as it gears up its own production line.
According to Rogers, the 250 registered flight schools in Australia use more than 3,400 training aircraft. “Roughly 25% of flight training covers the beginner phase which involves circuit training for take-offs and landings as well as training in close proximity to an airfield. Electric aircraft are perfectly suited for this task,” he said.
Powered by a 60 kW electric motor, the Alpha Electro can fly for one hour plus a 30-minute reserve, a cruise of 85 knots with a range of 75 nautical miles.
(Image from file)