Taking a big step towards developing flying taxis, H55, a Solar Impulse technological spin off, successfully flew a two-seater fully electric airplane on Friday. Powered by H55's electric propulsion system and manufactured by BRM Aero, the Bristell Energic airplane will be used for pilot training and flight schools, H55 said in a statement.
The Bristell Energic offers a solution which is clean, quiet, cost efficient and safe, the company added.
The airplane has an endurance of 1.5 hours, providing 45-60 minutes of mission flight with enough reserves, a typical training programme for flight schools, H55 said, adding that this electric flight trainer airplane has received considerable interest from flight schools, airport resident associations and aviation authorities.
"Electric air transport will deeply transform and improve urban mobility," said Andre Borschberg, former CEO and Pilot of Solar Impulse, and now H55's Co-Founder and Executive Chairman.
"Electric propulsion has enabled the world of drones, it will do the same for aviation. The Bristell Energic is a stepping stone for the development of such new aviation transport solutions, where the challenge will be safety and certification.
"By having our electric airplanes fly and monitoring their performance, H55 will continue to build up big data essential for the development of VTOLs (vertical take-off and landing aircraft) and flying taxis," Borschberg added.