none

ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT TO BE MANUFACTURED IN ADELAIDE

20-02-2020
by 
in 
Barrie Rogers aims to build Australia's first electric planes in Adelaide

Adelaide-based company Eyre to There Aviation is aiming to become Australia’s first manufacturer of electric aircraft after signing an agreement with Slovenian designer Pipistrel for its Alpha Electro model for the flight training market.

Eyre to There Aviation MD Barrie Rogers says his company will initially import 15 assembled aircraft with plans to establish an assembly line in Adelaide to manufacture up to 100 aircraft a year.

The first of the planes has arrived in Adelaide with its maiden South Australian flight taking place this month.

Rogers says that Australian aviation authorities have been quick to embrace the idea of electric aircraft: “Australia is currently the only country in the world that already certifies electric aircraft for training purposes, so we have an opportunity to be a world leader,” he says.

“Electric aircraft are cheaper to buy, cheaper to run, are significantly quieter than conventional aircraft and don’t rely on fossil fuels. And they are ideally suited for short range flight training activities.”

While electric aircraft have traditionally been hampered by the heavy weight of the battery needed in each plane, Rogers reckons that technological advancements have reduced the battery size to a point where electric aircraft are now commercially viable in Australia.

“Electric aircraft don’t yet have the range of other aircraft but they’re perfect for short flights such as flight training and particularly circuit training, which is a core activity in obtaining a private pilot licence,” he says.

The Pipistrel Alpha Electro has a 1 hour range with a 30-minute reserve. The 6.5m-long aircraft can climb at 1220ft/min and has a cruising speed of 157km/h.

There are an estimated 3400 training aircraft being used by flight schools in Australia and about 25 per cent of flight training covers the beginner phase involving circuit training for take-offs and landings with training close to airfields.

Interestingly, the average age of a small single engine aeroplane in Australia is 36.4 years with many nearing the end of their life span, leading Rogers to say: “We see a clear market opportunity to provide brand new, low-cost aircraft that have zero emissions.”

 

 

Related news & editorials

  1. 02.04.2020
    02.04.2020
    by      In
    A national register has been launched to compile local expertise in the production of medical supplies and other essential items. The scheme, which has been driven by Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre (AMGC), itself a Commonwealth Government initiative - has received over 1,000 responses in less... Read More
  2. 02.04.2020
    02.04.2020
    by      In
    A cable systems technology company that is helping equip industry globally for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, LAPP, has announced further initiatives in Australia to expand its services to local industries seeking to become more flexible, cost-efficient and individually customer-responsive... Read More
  3. 02.04.2020
    02.04.2020
    by      In
    CeMAT has been rescheduled for 22-24 September 2020 in response to the evolving coronavirus situation. It will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.
    In a statement, the CeMAT team acknowledged difficulty and uncertainty in planning for the exhibition, but assured that “at all... Read More
  4. 31.03.2020
    31.03.2020
    by      In
    Industry Update called on government to do more to help business with wages and the government has delivered – a big reason for optimism as new cases of coronavirus continue to fall.
    In a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a $130 billion “JobKeeper” payment to... Read More