Luka Znidarsic shared this happy message this morning.
“We are very proud to inform you, that the SILENT 2 Electro, equipped with our FES system, has been awarded Type Certification by the German Aero Club (DAeC).
“This is the very first electric powered Ultralight sailplane certified, by DAeC. This represents a significant milestone in gliding history, which marks a new age of technology!”
We hope this breakthrough in Germany encourages our own Federal Aviation Administration to review their schedule for electric aircraft certification. Such rule making would allow sales of existing electric motorgliders and light aircraft and encourage others to step up development of these alternatives to fuel-burning lightplanes.
The Type Certificate gives some clear ideas of the technology incorporated in the very elegant little bird. The 13.2 meter-span airplane has a 22 kilowatt (peak power) motor and electronic speed controller of the Znardnic’s own design for instance. This motor can run at 20 kilowatts continually and swing a one-meter propeller at 4,500 rpm, enough to allow self-launching and a respectable climb rate, while producing only 57.3 dBa, barely enough noise to let those nearby that an airplane is passing overhead.
FES’ motor and controller are of the company’s own design, while batteries are Kokam lithium polymer cells with an integrated battery management system (BMS). Batteries, according to FES, are in two packs of 28 high-power, 43 Amp-hour Kokam cells weighing 14 kilograms (30.8 pounds) each, and storing a total of 4.2 kilowatt-hours of energy.
It’s taken a while for FES to achieve this official imprimatur on their efforts, but it’s one which will benefit electric flight in the near future, with more such certifications to follow.