The first electric aircraft in Finland took off at Malmi

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The Pipistrel Alpha Electro aircraft acquired by the Helsinki Electric Aviation Association made its first flight today at Helsinki-Malmi Airport. During about a quarter of an hour, test pilot Jussi Frisk introduced the aircraft’s features on the ground and in the air. The almost non-existent sound of the engine charmed the audience.

Talks were given at the event by Finavia’s Managing Director Kimmo Mäki, Fortum’s Development Director Heli Antila, Slovenian Honorary Consul Irmeli Rytkönen and Member of Parliament Matti Vanhanen, a member of the Electric Aviation Association. The City of Helsinki had been invited to the event but did not attend. The presentation of the aircraft took place in the large aircraft hangar of Helsinki-Malmi Airport.

The Electric Aviation Association has made itself thoroughly familiar with electric aviation technology. The aim is to promote research and teaching in the field and the technological development of Finnish companies. The aircraft itself was built in Slovenia.

Mr. Timo Hyvönen, Chairman of the Friends of Malmi Airport, thanks the organizers for their active promotion of the project. “It is likely that aviation is facing a breakthrough as big as the advent of mobile communications. New innovations require courage and concrete actions, such as have now been demonstrated by the Electric Aviation Association.” He compares the situation with neighboring countries. “In Sweden the demonstration phase is still ongoing, but investments are about to start. About a month ago at the demonstration at Gothenburg City Airport (Säve), the mayor of the city was on board the demonstration flight. Göteborg wants to be a “miljövänlig stad” (an environment-friendly city).  In Norway electric aviation has been raised to aviation strategy level. In Finland we’re already flying, so at the moment we are in the leading position.”

“Helsinki-Malmi is a natural place for cutting edge development projects like this, so I hope that the City of Helsinki will get involved in this work for the future. The possibilities and multiplicative effects for Helsinki can be substantial. Hopefully we can jointly develop Helsinki-Malmi Airport into its new heyday”, says Mr. Hyvönen.

The aircraft is owned and operated by the Helsinki Electric Aviation Association (www.sahkolentokone.fi).

A general plan to build apartments for about 10.000 people in Helsinki-Malmi Airport and for about 15.000 people in the surrounding areas has been devised by the City. The new plan has been appealed to the Supreme Administrative Court.  A conservation proposal to save the airport has been filed and is being evaluated by the Ministry of the Environment. In the Ministry’s public poll, Helsinki-Malmi emerged as the leading proposition for Finland’s upcoming UNESCO World Heritage site.