TEUGE – Aircraft Maintenance Netherlands (AMN) is the first Dutch aircraft maintenance company to employ certified personnel who are permitted to perform maintenance on electric aircraft and electric aircraft engines.
AMN Director Theo Arends and Engineer Melvin Joseph have been certified by the Pipistrel aircraft manufacturer after training in Slovenia to perform maintenance on electric aircraft.
Pipistrel is the first and only manufacturer in the world to date to have successfully certified both the electric aircraft type and the electric aircraft engine. The Pipistrel Velis Elektro and the Pipistrel E-811 engine received EASA approvals in 2020. AMN employees have now completed a training course at Pipistrel in Ajdovščina, Slovenia that gives them the authority to maintain the Velis Elektro and the E-811 engine.
“Aircraft batteries for electric motors are made very differently than car batteries,” says Theo Arends, director of AMN. “Your car’s starter battery contains fluid and lead. An electric aircraft battery like the Velis Elektro contains more than 2,300 small cells, each the size of an AA battery. But there are many differences between piston engines and electric aircraft engines. When you tinker with a Velis Elektro engine, You handle 400 volts and you shouldn’t make any mistakes with it.With a piston engine, you could accidentally drop a wrench, but if you did it while servicing an electric motor, then – so to speak – the world could end.
“Of course we learned all about safety regulations,” continues Theo Arends. “In electric motor cooling systems, among other things, they are not comparable to those of piston engines.” “It couldn’t be otherwise with lithium batteries that have ten times the energy of regular lead-acid batteries for airplanes and cars. History has shown many times what can happen if you don’t handle it properly. We saw great examples of this during our training at Pipistrel”
New electric planes
Aircraft Maintenance Netherlands consults with current and future owners on the maintenance of new electric aircraft. A request has also been submitted to the Human Environment and Transportation Inspection Authority to add the new competencies to Part-145 for AMN recognition. Aircraft Maintenance Netherlands is located at Teuge Airport and has a branch at Lelystad Airport.