The Netherlands Aerospace Centre (NLR) has opened a new research facility complete with an electric Pipistrel Alpha Electro, which will be deployed as a research aircraft in NLR’s new Living Lab for Electric Flight.
Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management, said: “The Netherlands is highly successful in aerospace technology. This is precisely how it should be, because demand for air transport is continuing to grow.
“But we can’t simply go on building more and more planes. The aircraft also need to be lighter, must be equipped with new technology and have more economical engines. They present new challenges and we must look for the answers.
“Wherever new ideas must lead to new possibilities, there is a need for incubators. This new NLR complex is such an incubator.”
Auditing and consultancy firm PwC made a donation to NLR to enable the purchase of the Pipistrel Alpha Electro, so far the world’s only production electric aircraft.
NLR will conduct research into increasing the range of the Pipistrel Alpha Electro by using new battery technology or a fuel cell and aerodynamic enhancements.