A New Zealand company announced its all-electric plane has become the first aircraft of its type to make the 48-mile flight across the country’s Cook Strait.
ElectricAir, which owns and operates the Pipistrel Alpha Electro plane, announced founder Gary Freedman piloted the electric aircraft for the approximately 40-minute flight from Omaka to Wellington Airport.
The company said Freedman’s flight is believed to be a new world record for the longest flight over water by an all-electric plane.
The flight was timed to coincide with the beginning of the U.N. COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow.
“This is the start of a radical change in the way we fly. Bigger, longer-range electric aircraft are on the way and are ideal for short haul routes,” Freedman said after his flight.
“New Zealand is the perfect place for electric planes to be widely used, with one of the highest rates of short-haul flights per person of any country in the world and an electricity grid powered from predominantly renewable sources,” he said.