The Prince of Monaco was invited by Raphaël Domjan, founder of the SolarStratos project, pilot of the device and already author of a world tour in a solar sailboat.
Prince Albert II of Monaco made a flight in Nice on Tuesday in a 100% electric plane piloted by the Swiss Raphaël Domjan, founder of the SolarStratos project, in order to promote aviation “more respectful of the environment”, has detected AFP.
On board a Velis Electro developed by the Slovenian manufacturer Pipistrel, Prince Albert and his pilot made a return flight between Nice airport and Monaco, lasting around thirty minutes.
“In July 1910, Ferdinand I of Bulgaria was the first head of state to fly by plane. In 2021, Prince Albert of Monaco is, to our knowledge, the first Head of State to fly on an electric plane, ”said Raphaël Domjan. “Our goal is to promote the aviation of the future, electric aviation more respectful of the environment, and this is a step,” he added: “If now a head of state has flown in an electric plane, Everyone can do it. “
The only 100% electric device certified
“It was a very nice flight, a little too short. We followed the coastline to Monaco, ”commented Prince Albert as he descended from the tiny aircraft, the only 100% electric aircraft certified by the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), since June 2020. For the sovereign of Monaco, who has already sponsored Raphaël Domjan for his round-the-world trip in a solar sailboat, “we also have to work on clean fuels, but I think that there is a place for electric aviation that must be further developed” : “It may not be tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, but I think that in the long term electric aviation will have its place”.
The Pipistrel, which has an autonomy of one hour, flew, silently, at an altitude of 1,000 feet (300 meters) at a cruising speed of 140 km / h. The device consumed half of its battery in 30 minutes, “or the equivalent of a liter of gasoline, against 20 liters per hour on a thermal airplane of this size,” said Raphaël Domjan.
Raphaël Domjan is the founder of the SolarStratos project, a two-seater solar plane which has already reached an altitude of 12,000 feet and aims to reach the stratosphere in 2023. Before that, his goal next year is “to reach 35,000 feet (11,000 m) ”and thus beat the record held by Solar Impulse, an electric and solar plane developed by another Swiss, Bertrand Piccard, who completed a round-the-world trip.
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