In this video, Avinor’s Gaute Riise shows us how to fly an electric airplane and talks about what electrification means for the future of aviation. How does it feel to fly electric? Watch!

Gaute Riise is an experienced pilot: he received his US Commercial Pilot license in 2007 before working as a flight instructor for a year. He then went on to become a commercial pilot in Norway, before switching to the business side of the aviation industry. But he hadn’t flown an electric airplane – until now!

In this video, Gaute gives his impression on flying electric. He also talks a little about what this means for the aviation industry and Norway’s plans for electrification.

7 questions for Gaute Riise:

1. Which planes are you allowed to fly and which did you fly?

Through my training and instructor work, I flew the Cessna 172, Cessna 152, Piper Seminole and Piper Seneca. As a pilot for the airlines I flew the DHC8 -100, -200 and -300. My current license is limited to single-engine aircraft, but it is not very demanding to get it up to where I was working for the airlines.

2. What was your best flying experience?

Hard to pick one, but flying alongside the Lofoten islands in beautiful weather is hard to beat.

3. Is there a specific event or experience or a series of events or experiences that havetriggered your desire to fly?

Not really, it was more a general affection. When I was younger, I always loved traveling and being at airports. The magic of flying always had a good grip on me, but it wasn`t before I was in my teens that I realized this was something I could manage to become myself – and then I made the decision to follow the dream.

4. How do you feel when you think about your first electric flight?

As this is a new way of flying, it will give me some sort of pioneer feeling, and to try this out first hand really excites me.

5. Do you trust this technology? If so, from what do you draw this trust?

I trust the technology. First of all, I am driving an electric car myself, so I have somewhat tested it on the ground, which already gives me confidence in the battery technology. Plus, I know that the certification process for aircraft is very strict. Also, with an electric motor, you have fewer parts that can fail, which makes the technology more reliable, I assume.

6. How do you see the future of aviation?

Aviation definitely plays an important part of our future. Exploring and connecting people will always be important – for the development of us as human beings and for business. In recent years, the focus has really turned towards sustainability, and I am sure that we will see many great initiatives being realized in the coming decades. Among those are flying by using electricity for sure. This can be done through with hybrids and purely electrical aircraft, all depending on the development of technology and the capacity of the aircraft. We will also see increased use of biofuels.

7. What happens if the aviation industry does not change? Then what will the future of flying look like?

It will still exist of course, but the scale will likely be very different. With the focus on climate change and the impact of air travel, I believe we would see an escalation of the taxation of the industry going forward if nothing happens. This will for sure affect the demand and again the profitability of the industry. At a bigger scale this will affect the world economy as aviation is essential for growth in the economies around the world, enabling businesses to do trade and tourism to flourish.