Iceland’s first electric aircraft arrived by ship in Sundahöfn Harbour yesterday, Vísir and Stöð 2 report. The aircraft, which is a small Pipistrel Velis Electro two-seater, will primarily be used for pilot training. The Velis Electro, which is produced in Slovenia, is the world’s first electric powered airplane to receive a Type Certificate from EASA.
The purchase of the aircraft was the initiative of Matthías Sveinbjörnsson and Friðrik Pálsson, who have launched an effort to electrify Iceland’s aircraft fleet. In an interview with Stöð 2 News last night, they stated that the arrival of the aircraft is an important first step in making aviation in the country eco-friendlier.
“We have been working on this for more than two years now,” Matthías says. “The next steps involve bringing together a group of people who are interested in the issue and are willing to help us out,” Friðrik adds.
They say that the aircraft will probably not take off until next spring. Preparations, such as registration and training, are estimated to take a couple of months.
Electrically powered passenger planes may become a reality in just a few years
Electrically powered aircrafts have existed since the 1970s but most of those who have been produced since then have either been unmanned or experimental prototypes. However, there has been a growing interest in the development of electric passenger aircrafts in recent years, primarily due to their reduced environmental impact.
But are electric aircrafts a realistic alternative to traditional petroleum-powered airplanes? Friðrik and Matthías are certain that in just a few years, electrically powered passenger airplanes will become a reality. They point out that a 19-seat electric aircraft, E-19 Heart Aerospace, is currently being developed in Sweden. If all goes according to plan, the aircraft will be operating within five years.
“The wait is shorter than people think,” Matthías says.