L’Alpha Electro de Pipistrel en production

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En bref : Un Alpha Electro pour les tours de piste, un Trainer « normal » pour le cross-country et le voyage

Currently, Pipistrel sells the Alpha Electro, which is essentially an electrified version of its Rotax-powered Alpha trainer. Pipistrel has long recognized that electric airplanes are hobbled by their short endurance and has encouraged buyers to purchase both the gasoline and electric versions. The Alpha Electro is suitable for pattern and practice area work while the gasoline model can be used for cross-country training.

The next version of the Electro will be certified under CS23 and will include water-cooled batteries. Coates says this may provide two improvements: faster charging time and longer battery life due to better thermal stability.

“The problem with rapid charging is to control the temperatures. With an air-cooled system, you can reduce the temperatures by about 10 degrees Celsius. With water cooling, you can drop it down by 20 degrees,” Coates says. Although Pipistrel hasn’t confirmed this by field experience yet, water cooling could reduce charging times well below the one minute of charge for one minute of flight that’s now the rule of thumb. The cooling system has a Rotax-type oil cooler radiator with a small electric pump to circulate standard engine coolant.

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