Designed to reduce noise pollution for local residents and generate no CO2 emissions for the planet, the electric aircraft Pipistrel Velis Electro (manufactured by the Slovenian manufacturer Pipistrel and purchased in April by the American Textron, owner of the brands Cessna, Beechcraft and Bell) is currently the only aircraft certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
With a flight autonomy of one hour and a noise level of 60 dB, two aircraft of this type will land this month in the center of Carcassonne of the National School of Civil Aviation (ENAC).
ENAC, which trains professional French pilots (including those of Air France) and foreigners, has just signed a lease for electric aircraft with Green Aerolease, a Breton company specializing in carbon-free aviation, a subsidiary of the W3 group, which it will guarantee the initial training of its pilots.
Challenge of Decarbonization
From the autumn of 2022, students will receive Airline Pilot Students (EPL) from the start of their education for 10 hours of training on the Velis.
The two Velis will therefore be deployed in the Muret center, near Toulouse, for the benefit of trainees in PPL training (private pilot license, Private Pilot License in English) and LAPL (Light Aircraft Pilot License, Light Aircraft Pilot License in English).
The lease, signed after six months of testing and 100 hours of flight time, plans to go up to 10 aircraft within two years.
” Ultimately, the electric plane will be offered to all international customers of the school. specifies the ENAC (2,000 students per year) in a press release published on July 12.
” Above all, this partnership with Green Aerolease allows us to maintain the flexibility to increase the number of electric aircraft in our fleet by adapting them to the demand and needs of our customers. adds Thierry de Basquiat, director of flight training at ENAC.
For the institution, this integration of zero-emission devices also represents a first commitment to reduce the environmental footprint of its flight training. More generally, this agreement confirms the challenge of the ecological transition for the aviation sector.
” It is very important for us to lead by example by making a concrete commitment to a greener aviation Thierry de Basquiat adds.
30 of the 50 electrical appliances already deployed
Charles Cabillic, founder of Green Aerolease and chairman of the W3 group, notes: a real awareness of the actors for zero-carbon aviation.”
“Lhere are 1800 planes in French flying clubs. In the near future, half of the training could take place on electrical devices he judges.
In this sense, the partnership with the ENAC represents a nice sign of trust and ” an international reference “.
” The Velis Electro is an ideal aircraft for initial training,” raise this aviation enthusiast.
Green Aerolease was founded in Brest in January 2021 with the ambition to anticipate the growth of the light and private aviation sector in France and Europe by 2025 (travel on demand, business, leisure) and accelerate the ecological transition.
To give wings to its turnkey rental service, accessible at the fixed monthly price of 2,500 euros excluding VAT for 288 flying hours per year, the W3 subsidiary has teamed up with Pipistrel Aircraft from the start.
This exclusive agreement, concluded with the support of the French Aviation Federation (FFA), concerns the order for 50 two-seat light aircraft intended for pilot training.
Green Aerolease has already deployed 30 aircraft to some twenty customers (flying clubs, training schools), in France but also in Europe (the Netherlands, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland). Of the 20 others that will be integrated in early 2023, Charles Cabillic specifies:
” They will be equipped with a new generation battery that offers more autonomy and a charging time divided by two (20 minutes for a 40 minute flight) », adds the entrepreneur who is also a partner of Ronan Le Moal (ex-CEO of the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa group, co-founder of the West Web Valley) in the investment company Épopée Gestion.
Two training aircraft delivered to the Air Force of Denmark
The unprecedented service developed by Green Aerolease includes delivery of the aircraft and charger, as well as insurance, maintenance and airworthiness monitoring, managed through a dedicated mobile application.
Last year, Green Aerolease also invested in the military aviation sector by supplying two aircraft to the Royal Danish Air Force for the initial training of its pilots.
200 aircraft offered in 2025
By 2025, nearly 200 electric aircraft should be offered in “Aircraft As A Service” mode and deployed in France and Europe (including Germany, Northern Europe) Green Aerolease anticipates. In addition, the SME wants to exceed the bar of 60 to 80 affiliated flying clubs.
The founder of Green Aerolease, which also focuses on the business market for leisure and business travel, hopes in due course to offer the rental of hybrid electric aircraft (new or retrofit) for interregional passenger transport.
9-seat hybrid aircraft for 2024, regional locations…
Green Aerolease has already positioned itself with aviation manufacturers, such as VoltAero, a French startup that is developing a 6-9-seater electric-hybrid aircraft by 2024.
Discussions are also underway with several French regions to position aircraft at regional airports.
Motivated by the desire to make life easier for companies and create jobs in the region » the W3 group has already built up a portfolio of three light aviation companies and a crew of thirty people.
In addition to Green Aerolease, Charles Cabillic, through his W3 group, controls the OpenFly platform (ex-Air Affaires) for the rental of private aircraft (+60% growth in 2022, 2,000 business trips) and the acquired company Finist’Air, in 2020.
The company provides connections from Brest, Rennes and Vannes to Ouessant and Belle-Île (10,000 passengers per year). It is preparing a connection with Ouessant in a 100% electric aircraft for the transport of goods and wants to experiment with retrofitting traditional aircraft.