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UW and Waterloo Wellington Flight School gets electric plane


The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) and Waterloo Wellington Flight School now own a unique electric plane, known as the Velis Electro.

“We are really excited because this is the first electric trainer in Canada. It's not the first electric airplane but the first one for training fleet,” said Bob Conners, the general manager at Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre.

Before it can take its first flight, it needs to be approved and certified by Transport Canada. The team said it has been certified in Europe for two years and certified by the UK in 2022.

The Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics will help conduct the necessary research and apply for approval. The team says their main concern is if its battery will hold up with Canada’s cold.

“We're optimistic about that because it's operated in Europe and similar weather conditions, in Switzerland for example,” said Connors.

WISA and Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre own the plane. (CTV News/Krista Sharpe)

The plane was imported from Slovenia last month. It cost around 200,000 euros and was purchased through a research grant.

“It’s something that not only researchers, but the students are really excited about,” said WISA’s founding director, Suzanne Kearns.

WISA will use the electric plane to train the next generation of pilots and aviation professionals, who are hoping the future of flight will be more affordable and sustainable.

“Problem is, the students say ‘I want to fly. I don’t want carbon.’ We want to offer them a solution,” said Paul Parker, WISA associate director.

The team is hoping Velis Electro can take flight by the end of 2023 and inspire greener technology at flight schools across Canada. Top Stories

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