YBL Hangar Charging Infrastructure

The electricity is flowing! Less than two weeks after the Velis Electro’s arrival, our home base charging setup is complete and operational. FPIP can charge and power on. Once the permission to fly is granted, we’ll be ready to get electric flight underway.

To summarize the complex setup you see, the aircraft’s smart charger requires 3 phase power with up to 450 Volts and 32 Amps for maximum charge capability (providing minimum charging time). Unfortunately, our flight school building does not have 3 phase power readily available. Thus, single phase electricity comes from the hangar’s electric hookup, through a phase converter to 3 phase power, through a cutoff switch, then up to a transformer box to provide 400 Volts, and finally into a standard high voltage outlet. From here, we plug in Pipistrel’s smart charger which takes the required power supply and feeds it to the aircraft, while monitoring the aircraft’s batteries. This setup is designed to give us the maximum power and minimum charge time possible, given our building’s current electrical input. We are the first that we know of with this type of configuration.

In the future of efficient electric aircraft, 3 phase power will be a necessary cost at all ports of operation. We envision a day when aircraft chargers will be as common as fuel pumps are at most aerodromes, mirroring the massive increase in the population of EV chargers.