Pilots of the Danish Armed Forces at Flying School in Karup will soon be able to practice their flying skills in a more climate-friendly way. The Danish Ministry of Defense has launched an action plan focusing on the transition to more environmentally friendly solutions, so as the first country in the world, Denmark leased two electric aircraft on course to their operational use in the Airforce.
Danish Minister of Defense, Ms. Trine Bramsen says: “Everyone has a responsibility to contribute to climate change prevention. This also applies to the area of defense. Therefore, we have decided to procure electric aircraft for our air military. The electric planes will be used for training, among other things. The experience will be important for future equipment acquisitions in the field of defense.”
Lieutenant Colonel Casper Børge Nielsen of the Ministry of Defense Material and Procurement Agency has many years of experience as a test pilot. Now he is in charge of testing the electric planes for flight training use in the Air Force. He says: “We will test whether some of the flights and tasks we have in the Air Force can be replaced by electric planes.”
The two electric planes will be delivered to the Flying School in Karup this September, where they will be used for a two-year trial period. Initially, the planes will be evaluated by experienced pilots, but then they will be used as training airplanes and included in Karup Flying School’s program for new pilots. The Pipistrel Velis Electro is the first type-certified fully electric plane in the world. It will complement the Danish Air Force’s current training aircraft Saab T-17 .
Pipistrel’s Velis Electro is 100% emission-free and very quiet, with a noise level of only 60dB (decibels), which is roughly equivalent to two people holding a normal conversation. Military interest in the type has also been shown in France, as the Chef d’état-Major de l’Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Chief of the French Air and Space Force), Gen Philippe Lavigne, completed a test flight in the platform from Base Aérienne 107 (BA107) Villacoublay-Vélizy, near Paris, on May 19, 2021.
The Slovenian-built Velis Electro and its capabilities will be evaluated by the RDAF for its primary use as a training platform – along with other possible mission sets – to determine whether to make further type acquisitions for wider military roles. The electric aircraft will be flown alongside the air arm’s current training platform, the Saab T-17 Supporter, which is used for flying school training and maintenance flights.