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.”