June 22, 2019
Intended for the training of pilots, the aircraft, presented by André Borschberg, should be at the disposal of the aviation schools from 2021.
An electric plane was presented Friday at Sion airport (Switzerland), after making its first successful flight. Intended for pilot training, it should be available to aviation schools by 2021.
Two-seater electric plane H55
The two-seater electric plane sits in a hangar at Sion airport. It offers a zero-emission solution, quiet and economical, said to a hundred people gathered for the occasion, André Borschberg, former CEO and pilot of Solar Impulse and co-founder and president of H55.
Manufactured by the Czech company BRM Aero, the device is equipped with an electric propulsion system consisting of a motor and batteries (in the wings) developed by H55. This spin-off of Solar Impulse develops electric motors, batteries, management and control systems and interfaces with the driver.
Three former Solar Impulse adventurers, the world's first solar-powered flight, are at the helm of H55: pilot André Borschberg, electrical engineer Sébastien Demont and economist Gregory Blatt.
An hour and a half of endurance
The plane last week made its first flight in the skies of the city. By the end of 2020, a pilot project will be conducted with two aviation schools in Switzerland and by 2021 the Bristell Energic should be available to all interested schools, said André Borschberg.
The aircraft has an endurance of one hour and a half, for flights of 45 to 60 minutes, which corresponds to the flying schools training program. Overall, the cost of an electric-powered aircraft is lower than that of a gas-powered aircraft, taking into account the purchase price, maintenance and fuel.
For the H55 team, electric aircraft respond to a real need in a society that is increasingly sensitive to the environment and nuisances. It is attracting "considerable interest from aviation academies, airport resident associations and aeronautical authorities".
Image above: André Borschberg, co-founder and president of H55, in charge of the electric plane presented Friday in a hangar at Sion airport.
A member of the team spun the Bristell Energic engine in front of the guests gathered in the hangar: the purr contrasted sharply with the deafening takeoffs and landings heard at the airport on Friday morning.
Springboard to flying taxis
The H55 aircraft is a springboard for developing new solutions in air transport. "By flying electric planes and analyzing their performance, we are collecting essential data for the development of VTOL (note: vertical takeoff and landing aircraft) and flying taxis," said André Borschberg.
In 2018, H55 raised five million francs to develop its electric propulsion systems. The company benefits from the support of the Confederation of Canton Valais through the foundation The Ark, the city of Sion, but also an investment fund based in Switzerland and Silicon Valley.
A new electric plane will soon be launched in Switzerland
BRM Aero: https://www.bristell.com/
Solar Impulse: https://orbiterchspacenews.blogspot.com/search?q=solar+impulse
Images, Text, Credits: ATS/H55/Orbiter.ch Aerospace/Roland Berga.
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