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Futuristic electric airplane flights over Europe

Electric airplane, Europe

Pioneering Electric Flights Take to the Skies in Europe

In a significant step towards sustainable aviation, Europe is set to host the first publicly available international electric flights this summer. The Electrifly collaboration, a consortium of airports, universities, and companies, is launching a two-month trial period starting July 1st, allowing members of the public to experience zero-emissions air travel.

The electric flights will operate between three airports in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany, with journey times ranging from 16 to 26 minutes. Passengers will be able to book seats on the small, two-seater Pipistrel Velis Electro aircraft, which are the only electric planes currently approved by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

While the concept may seem futuristic, there are a few caveats for passengers to consider. Due to the modest size of the aircraft, only a single passenger will be able to fly alongside the pilot, and no luggage can be brought onboard. Additionally, the total weight of the pilot and passenger cannot exceed 392 lbs (178 kg) for safety reasons.

To provide a seamless door-to-door experience, the Electrifly project has partnered with Chinese electric car company NIO to offer electric vehicle transfers within a 9.3-mile radius of the participating airports. This integration of ground and air transportation aims to showcase the potential of a fully electric mobility ecosystem.

The Electrifly collaboration, which includes the Aachen University of Applied Sciences, aviation operator ASL Group, and the three participating airports, sees this trial as a glimpse into the future of sustainable aviation. According to Jonas van Stekelenburg, CEO of Maastricht Aachen Airport, the project represents an “open invitation” to use the site as a testbed for next-generation technology.

While the current trial is limited to a two-month period, the findings will be evaluated to inform future tests and pilots with different equipment or circumstances. This pioneering initiative in Europe aims to pave the way for a future where passengers can seamlessly connect between hubs using low or zero-emission electric aircraft.