Our Alpha Electros have arrived!! On the morning of March 13, 2018 at about 8:40 am, two 40 foot shipping container trucks rolled through the gate at Fresno Chandler Executive Airport with our four (4) Pipistrel Alpha Electros, four chargers, and a Pipistrel simulator destined for a customer in L.A. It took a crew of five to six about 2 hours to remove the aircraft and chargers from the trucks. We had to use a flatbed tow truck to back up to the containers so that we could roll the planes and chargers out. One plane had a flat tire and damaged main gear wheels due to loosening of the bolts that held the plane wheels to a steel bracket that was screwed to the container floor. One other plane had similar wheel damage from the same cause. It took about 10 minutes per plane to install the wings and horizontal stabilizers; the way Pipistrel designed the planes makes installation of the wings an easy process.
Michael Coates, the U.S. distributor for Pipistrel, and Sabi Apai, the Pipistrel dealer for California were on hand to help guide the process and were a great help! The planes had been at sea in the containers for 3 months and yet, the batteries were still at from 43% to 53% State of Charge when we inspected them. All aircraft were charged to the recommended 60-65% rest SOC the next day.
New wheel assemblies are being shipped from the factory tomorrow to replace the ones damaged in transport. The aircraft are scheduled for their airworthiness inspections on Wednesday, March 21. They are insured and registered, so once the airworthiness inspections are complete, we will make plans for the first flights. A brief taxi test was done on 3/18/18 to get the photo below in front of the historic Terminal Building at KFCH. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming days…
Largest concentration of Alpha Electro aircraft in the world (for now)!