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​The Norwegian Air Sports Federation and Avinor band together to buy Norway's first electric aircraft

Press Release   •   Nov 24, 2017 10:10 GMT

The aircraft is set to be delivered in summer 2018 and will primarily be used for demonstration purposes.

Electric aircraft represent completely new opportunities for air travel and several international manufacturers are currently working hard on developing their offering in this field. The first commercial routes using electric aircraft are expected before 2030, and hopefully Norway will be its testing ground.

“Electric aircraft are set to significantly improve the environmental consequences of the aviation industry. It could also be cheaper to fly as operating costs for several aircraft models will be considerably lowered, which will have an impact on ticket prices”, explains Dag Falk-Petersen, CEO of Avinor.

Avinor is working to ensure that Norway takes a leading role at an international level when it comes to electric aircraft, and is collaborating with partners in the aviation industry on a development and innovation project for electric aircraft. The aim is for Norway to become the first market in which electric aircraft represent a significant share of the market. The project is backed by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications, and ZERO, Widerøe and SAS are also supporting the project designed to bring Norway's first electric aircraft to the country.

A contract with a renowned aircraft manufacturer in Slovenia

The aircraft that Avinor and the Norwegian Air Sports Federation have ordered comes from one of Europe's largest aircraft manufacturers — Pipistrel in Slovenia. The Alpha Electro G2 (see photo) is the first electric two-seater aircraft to be approved for commercial series production. The range is approximately 130km and the aircraft can remain airborne for about 1 hour per charging. The aircraft will be delivered in May 2018.

CEO Day Falk-Petersen is also a certified pilot and has invited Minister for Transport and Communications Ketil Solvik-Olsen to join him on the first flight as soon as the aircraft arrives in Norway.

“We are now seeing rapid, positive development in environmentally friendly technology in the transport sector. Electric drives and batteries are changing shipping and road transport. It is incredibly exciting that we can also contribute to leading the way in environmentally friendly air travel. By introducing Norway's first electric aircraft, we will be demonstrating that this is not a far-off vision of the future but a reality achievable within a few years”, says Minister for Transport and Communications Solvik-Olsen.

ZERO are also positive to the inititative:

“The purchasing of the first electric aircraft is a milestone in the transport sector. It represents a broken barrier with regards to what can be electrified. The progress from here on could be quite rapid. After all, it has only been ten years since the Buddy was the best electric car we had. Norway has to set an example when it comes to making zero-emission technology and green solutions a reality”, says Marius Holm, the leader of environmental organisation ZERO.

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Avinor is responsible for the 45 state-owned airports and air navigation services for civilian and military aviation in Norway. This network links Norway together - and links Norway to the world.

Avinor is a driving force in environmental work in aviation and a driving force to reduce the combined greenhouse gas emissions from Norwegian aviation. The company has a leading role in the work on developing and delivering biofuel for aircraft. Every year Avinor contributes to safe and efficient travel for around 50 million airline passengers. Around half travel to and from Oslo airport.

More than 3,000 employees are responsible for planning, developing and operating airports and air navigation services. Avinor is funded by aviation fees and commercial sales at the airports.

Comments (1)

    'The next step is then an electric plane', I would say.
    Let me call it the FCEA, perhaps a little anticipatory, by analogy, the FCEV, which is currently still not widely recognised (respectively Fuel Cell Electrical AIRCRAFT and (land)VEHICLE).

    Surely a' hybrid (= engines internal combustion of fossil fuel + electric motors on either battery-powered or...) powered aircraft' is not going to make the same mistakes as in the automotive sector and I will explain further below.

    Propulsion solely on the basis of batteries on board is, in my opinion, a wrong and, above all, too expensive, neither economically nor - and perhaps even worse still - ecologically sound choice.

    Batteries are quite afflicted with some very harmful disadvantages:
    they are heavy, in every sense of the word: in weight, in price, in ecological load 'from the cradle to the grave'.
    No matter how one turns or reverses it, it depends on the power supply and that power can even come from power stations on coal or even lignite! Supplementing with E of PV cells seems nice idea to me, but how do you get the necessary high power levels?
    I would like to see how the power density (in Joules. sec/kg) of these batteries is going to increase dramatically, or at constant power the weight is drastically reduced?
    No, it is obvious that it is better to have the power source itself on board of the vehicle, whether it operates on land, on water, in the air or even in space.
    And the good news is that this is possible, by means of the Fuel Cell Technology (Fuel Cell) with no other fuel than hydrogen gas H2 (or derivatives).
    It has to be said that hydrogen is and will be the ideal energy carrier (not to be confused with energy source!) in the future.
    If you would like to know more about this, I refer to a study by my Team H2 SALK/ThinkTank/IngenieursBureau http://sproelants.simplesite.com/431698554 (Dutch language)
    Please note, this study is 5 years old and therefore outdated, but the principles in it remain valid.

    Certainly, there are still some problems with the use of H2 as a fuel, such as:
    - The production also costs energy. On the other hand, H2 is a valuable by-product of all kinds of chemical processes and processes used in industry. See https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwaterstof
    - Storage is usually carried out under high pressure (in cars such as the Toyota. be/mirai at 700 bar). This can be solved using a process e. g. developed by cellaenergy.com. When implementing the Cella Energy invention (H2 storing in nanocrystals - see e. g. https://www.nemokennislink.nl/publicaties/nanokristallen-als-ijverige-waterstofproducent/ of 2012! Since then, substantial progress has been made) storage and refuelling will be carried out under normal atmospheric conditions of pressure and temperature, as is the case for petrol diesel and kerosene fuel. Moreover, this' H2 liquid' will be almost odourless, colourless and tasteless. Do we have to deal that way with the Holy Grail of energy of the future H2 economy?
    These' disadvantages' do NOT outweigh the many advantages.

    For some time now, hydrogen has been regarded by the initiators as a promise in the field of sustainable energy. The odourless and colourless gas can be made relatively easily out of water and as mentioned above as a by-product of the chemical industry and when burned it transforms back into water. It therefore seems to be an ideal medium for the storage and transport of energy.
    It is perhaps with some exaggeration the Holy Grail of energy research;

    The UPF unitedpeople-foundation. org Foundation, of which I have the honour of being a member, will probably support these developments.

    Having zaid this, I would like to reopen the debate between researchers, designers, engineers, investors, industrialists and consumers.
    Anyone who wants to cooperate can always contact me.

    - Remy SPROELANTS - Jan 24, 2018 17:03 GMT

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