Transport Canada has certified an electrically-powered aircraft for the first time. The Pipistrel Alpha Electro was certified as an advanced ultralight earlier this month and that means it can be used for training. A Pitt Meadows, B.C. owner recently had one delivered but it’s not clear if he will be using it for training. The progress of the aircraft will be followed closely in the U.S. where regulations still prohibit the use of electric motors to power certified aircraft. Other countries have certified the Electro and it’s being used as a trainer.
The aircraft has a 60-kilowatt motor which makes about 80 horsepower. It will fly for about 90 minutes on a charge, which makes it ideal as a training aircraft, particularly for circuit work. It weighs about 1200 pounds and will cruise at about 85 mph.