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B.C. company using province’s first electric plane for training

A Vancouver Island company is the first in the province to own and operate an electric airplane.

Sealand Flight Ltd.’s all-electric Velis Electro aircraft, which aims to “lay the groundwork” for sustainable aviation in Canada, has arrived in Campbell River, B.C.

From the outside looking in, it’s like any other airplane but, to set it apart, it obviously has no gas tank.

“This aircraft is the only certified electric airplane in the world,” Bill Alder said, Sealand Flight’s president. “Electric airplanes are coming.”

The all-electric aircraft arrived in Campbell River this past weekend, where it was unboxed and assembled within an hour.

The aircraft weighs roughly 600 kilograms and has a range of 50 minutes with a 10-minute reserve. The battery, much like a tank of gas, needs to be replenished.

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“We’re in the process of putting charging stations in Powell River, Courtenay and Qualicum,” Alder said.

But now, Sealand Flight said the real work begins.

In March, technicians from Pipistrel, the aircraft manufacturer, will be hosting a week-long training course in Campbell River.  Several industry partners, including Transport Canada, will be attending.

The first flight date has not been scheduled but Sealand Flight expects take off sometime in March.

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