A Six Pipistrel Formation

Dean Sigler Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Ready to Set Records Again

You may remember these guys from the conclusion to a successful, electrically-powered flight in a Pipistrel Velis from their base in Switzerland to the North Sea in 2020.

Team at end of three-day flight from Switzerland to Germany’s North Sea

They set several world records in that attempt, and showed how a resourceful team could overcome the lack of an electrical charging infrastructure between Schänis, Switzerland) and Norderney on the northern German coast.

Review that team’s list of accomplishments here and in the Sustainable Skies entries by your editor from September 6, 2020 and September 12, 2020.   The team’s official web site contains many records set on the flight, with fairly astonishing numbers for electricity used, much lower than the equivalent fuel that would have been consumed by a petrol-powered Pipistrel.

Like many aviation records, the mountain-to-sea adventure was a lonely one, shared mainly with the few at destination airports and the ground crews who carried chargers and other gear to each stop.  The team is moving on to something much more public – something that will set a new record.


2024 will mark the 100th anniversary of the Lake Night Festival, an event combining a street festival, ample food and beverages, a long zip line, and some spectacular air show, most recently flown by the Swiss Air Force demonstration team, the Patrouile Swiss.

Patrouille Suisse

The Elektro-Weltrekordflug team has a great idea – have the Swiss Air Force flying team, the Patrouille Swiss, fly a six-plane formation of Pipistrel Velis’, the same craft Morell Westermann and his team flew to the North Sea four years ago.  Westermann claims this will be the world’s first all-electric air show, a splendid addition to a century-old celebration.

The team normally flies Northrop F-5E fighters, so the transition to the much slower and quieter Velis will mark a new challenge for the pilots, flying something without afterburners or weapons.  The silent formation passing over should awe the crowd for a different reason, though.

Swapping the F-5Es for Pipistrels will be a major change for Patrouille Swiss.  Image: MatthiasKabel – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Now, if the organizers could swap the night time fireworks show for a 1,000 drone display, the event could be one of the cleanest in Europe.


If your editor were far younger, he’d consider hopping a cheap flight to Europe and working at the festival.  The festival advertises for helpers, and will pay 12 Euros an hour “plus helper.”   You even get a commemorative event T-shirt.  Your editor may get overlooked for having a 1942 birth date, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.  Even without that incentive, the event looks world class, enhanced by a first-ever flyover of six electric aircraft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *