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How to Make a Great Aircraft Even Better

We sat down with David Fletcher, an experienced pilot, trainer, and examiner about why he recommends Concorde Batteries on the aircraft he flies and why you should make the upgrade too.

Could you introduce yourself and what you do?

My name’s David Fletcher and I’m a TRI/TRE on the Embraer Phenom 100, Embraer Phenom 300, Airbus A320, Airbus A330 and Airbus A350. Whilst an airline captain in 2008, I started a company called FlairJet Ltd, the first commercial operator of the Phenom 100 and 300 in Europe, so I have a very strong understanding of the platform. 

Could you tell me about the upgrade carried out on some of the aircraft you fly?

The factory fitted battery on the Phenom series provides for a limited time span between power up and engine start. Allowing the battery to deplete below 24.0 volts can lead to a failed or a hot start, neither of which is desirable. Whilst less of an issue for owner-pilots who generally arrive at the aircraft with their passengers, corporate and commercial pilots must now juggle between battery life, fuel burn and passenger delays. Most opt for the use of a ground power unit (GPU), or a single engine start in lieu of an auxiliary power unit (APU); both of which add to the operator’s costs.

In my experience, Concorde batteries allow at least three times the utilization period before being ineffective for start-up. This means that a crew can get on board, carry out their pre-departure checks and load the flight management system well before passenger arrival, without the need for a GPU or single engine ground operation.  GPU’s can be expensive and running engines noisy. For an operator, this means a much more streamlined experience for their passengers, fewer delays, and lower turnaround fees.

Are there positive environmental factors to using the Concorde Battery?

Many GPU’s are diesel powered and running an engine purely for electrical power is inefficient. So yes, there are environmental benefits to using a Concorde Battery.

Are Concorde batteries better for training pilots?

A significant number of my flights are training or check flights. The extra set-up time that Concorde batteries afford means a more relaxed flight deck with less ‘voltage watching’. This creates an environment more conducive to learning.

How cost-effective is it using Concorde batteries?

Switching to Concorde batteries will see long term cost savings to operators. Even owner-pilots will appreciate the additional time available before engine start. It’s an upgrade worth paying for. I haven’t met a single Phenom pilot that doesn’t love them.


For me, as an operator, pilot, trainer and examiner, it just makes sense