Swiss aviation pioneer brings electric flights into present

Tiny all-electric planes that can take off and land vertically – this sci-fi future is not that far away, and Solar Impulse pilot and co-founder André Borschberg wants a slice of the action. His electric plane start-up is one of dozens of firms worldwide hoping to make electric aviation a reality.  Nine months after touching down from his round-the-world solar-electric flight, Borschberg is on a new mission.  “I’m convinced that we are at a turning point in the world of aviation,” he tells swissinfo.ch excitedly.  The Swiss pilot is returning to the skies with H55 (formerly Hangar 55), a small team of aviation specialists and aEro1, their experimental electric aerobatic plane (see video below). The company he co-founded is betting on a green aviation future (see infobox) and is currently testing the plane at Sion Airport in the Rhone valley. Borschberg and H55’s long-term aim is to build on their unique Solar Impulse expertise to develop electric propulsion technologies – from …