Our Alpha Electros are late, but in production!! When we ordered our Alpha Electros, the factory estimated they would be completed by the end of August and the first of September respectively and that we should receive them by mid-November. However, that has not been the case. We have been in contact with the factory through Michael Coates, their U.S. distributor, and the latest updates are that the aircraft are currently being completed at the factory, will be undergoing flight testing, and will be shipped for arrival around the first of January to mid-January. Recently, Sabi Apai, the California dealer for Pipistrel, was at the factory for some training and sent these photos of our planes under construction.
The delays have not been an issue for the overall project since there are many moving pieces that need to be completed, such as installing the electrical circuits at the respective airports and getting new hangars at the City of Mendota. Currently, we have installed charger circuits at Reedley Municipal Airport and Fresno Chandler Executive Airport. Mendota has acquired a Port-a-Hangar and is working on getting an adjustment to their Airport Layout Plan to facilitate its installation and adding the charger circuit. A second Port-a-Hangar will be acquired by January.
We have also been working with top level FAA staff in Washington D.C., Kansas City, and Seattle to get the initial airworthiness certification and collaborate on data collection to help advance electric propulsion in aviation within the U.S. These talks are on-going, but the FAA staff we have been working with have been very helpful and very interested to be working with us on this project. More updates on this front as they develop.
Once we have a more definite delivery date for the aircraft, we will let everyone know. Stay tuned; we are getting closer to receiving aircraft.