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Affinity trials electric aircraft for UK

Affinity has conducted a series of electrically powered flights aboard a Velis Electro pilot training aircraft from Pipistrel. (Crown Copyright)

Affinity Flying Training Services (AFTS) has trialled electric-powered aircraft for the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD), the training provider announced on 13 April.

The consortium responsible for the UK Military Flying Training System (UKMFTS) said that it has conducted a series of battery-powered flights to assess environmentally friendly alternatives for future military flying in a ‘Sustainable Aviation Pathfinder'.

“The concept of trialling zero-emissions aircraft, and the subsequent Pathfinder, was proposed to the Ministry of Defence by Affinity, a joint venture between Elbit Systems UK and KBR,” the consortium said. “In line with the Ministry of Defence's ‘green' transformation, the flights aim to help the Royal Air Force [RAF] assess the technology of electric aircraft, determine their potential for use in military service, and realise the net zero ambitions of the service's Astra campaign.”

As noted by Affinity, the Pathfinder has run for around four months, using a Pipistrel Velis Electro pilot training aircraft. The flights were conducted out of the RAF pilot training academy at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire.

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