Den­mark’s Air Force has become the first in the world to use Pip­istrel’s Velis Elec­tro air­craft to train its pilots, as part of a gov­ern­ment plan to reduce CO2 emis­sions by 70 per cent by 2030.

The Velis Elec­tro is the world’s first ful­ly cer­ti­fied elec­tric air­craft and the coun­try’s air force has leased two, which will be deliv­ered in Sep­tem­ber and used by pilots at its fly­ing school in Karup. They com­ple­ment the air force’s cur­rent air­craft, the Saab T‑17, and will be used over a two-year peri­od.

Ini­tial­ly, the planes will be eval­u­at­ed by expe­ri­enced pilots but will be used as train­ing air­planes and includ­ed in Karup Fly­ing School’s pro­gramme for new pilots.

Trine Bram­sen, Dan­ish Min­is­ter of Defense, said: “Every­one has a respon­si­bil­i­ty to con­tribute to cli­mate change pre­ven­tion. This also applies to the area of defense.Therefore, we have decid­ed to pro­cure elec­tric air­craft for our air mil­i­tary. The elec­tric planes will be used for train­ing, among oth­er things. The expe­ri­ence will be impor­tant for future equip­ment acqui­si­tions in the field of defense.”

The two air­craft will be pro­vid­ed to the Dan­ish Armed Forces in coop­er­a­tion with Green Aerolease, the own­er of the largest Pip­istrel Velis Elec­tro fleet to date after it pur­chased 50 air­craft last year.

Lieu­tenant Colonel Casper Børge Nielsen of the Min­istry of Defense Mate­r­i­al and Pro­cure­ment Agency will be in charge of test­ing the elec­tric planes for flight train­ing use in the Air Force.

This will include test­ing whether some of the flights and tasks usu­al­ly car­ried out in the air force can be replaced by elec­tric planes. Nielsen added that although there are lim­i­ta­tions, due to the very ear­ly stage of elec­tric flight, the air­craft will ‘prob­a­bly be able to cov­er the many needs of the Dan­ish Air Force’.

Ivo Boscarol, Pip­istrel CEO, said: “We are thank­ful to the Dan­ish Armed Forces for their pio­neer­ing spir­it and deci­sion to con­tribute to a clean­er atmos­phere. Our Velis Elec­tro will deliv­er imme­di­ate reduc­tion of CO2 emis­sions, noise and cost asso­ci­at­ed with mil­i­tary pilot train­ing oper­a­tions. Sure­ly Dan­ish cit­i­zens will appre­ci­ate much qui­eter fly­ing activ­i­ties in vicin­i­ty of pop­u­lat­ed areas across the coun­try.

“For Pip­istrel, it is a big hon­our to be select­ed by such an esteemed insti­tu­tion as the Dan­ish Armed Forces. For all oth­er train­ing organ­i­sa­tions, this is a clear sig­nal that Pip­istrel Elec­tric Air­craft can be used equal­ly well in ab-ini­tio pilot train­ing and in the most demand­ing mil­i­tary flight train­ing sce­nar­ios.”