Campbell River’s Sealand Flight one step closer to soaring skies with all-electric plane

Campbell River's Sealand Flight one step closer to soaring skies with all-electric plane
Sealand Flight/Facebook

Campbell River-based Sealand Flight is one step closer to training pilots on an all-new electric plane after the state-of-the-art Slovenian aircraft arrived earlier this week.

The Pipistrel Velis Electro, a fully electric aircraft arrived at the company’s hanger on Feb. 18, in several pieces, requiring some assembly.

Facebook posts from the flight school show several employees putting together the pieces. (PHOTO)

Last month, Sealand Flight announced that it became the first company of its kind in B.C. to acquire such an aircraft. According to the manufacturer Pipistrel, it’s a two-seater plane, intended for pilot training. It features a 57.6kW liquid-cooled engine with noise levels of 60 dBa.

The plane’s battery allows for 50 minutes of flying.

“Sealand Flight has been selected to participate in the pilot project with Transport Canada to assess the use of the Pipistrel Velis Electro aircraft in a flight training environment,” said the company in a Facebook post.

The flight school still doesn’t have a date set for when the first flight will take off, only saying it will happen “soon.” They add that the plane’s charger needs to be installed first and then receive a special certificate from Transport Canada.

“After that we can start doing flights with licensed pilots,” wrote the company.

Flight test specialists and flight training inspectors from Transport Canada are currently evaluating the plane’s performance, characteristics, and its systems in various flight scenarios, which will then be reviewed by a committee.

“With these trials, Transport Canada would like to gather data with respect to the reliability and suitability of this aircraft in a training environment as well as on the quality of training it could provide to students. The data will be used to support potential future regulatory amendments,” wrote Sealand Flight.

The company adds that it’s working to install battery converters at all airports on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland.

READ MORE: Helijet announces plans for electric passenger and cargo transportation

In 2023, B.C. Premier David Eby embraced changes to the aviation industry, adding the province supports sustainable technology and infrastructure opportunities.

“This provincial government recognizes the potential of advanced air mobility to decarbonize the aviation sector,” said Eby last October.

“The integration of electric airplanes into our fleet of training aircraft is a testament to Sealand’s immense dedication to sustainability and innovation in aviation,” said Sealand Flight spokesperson Mike Andrews last month. “Alongside other industry leaders, we are excited to help pave the pathway towards sustainable aviation in Canada.”

Oli HerreraOli Herrera

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