ABOVE: The Integral S features the same composite construction and side-by-side seating as other variants, with the addition of tricycle-configuration landing gear 

French startup Aura Aero has successfully completed the first flight of its new aerobatic trainer, the Integral S, at Tolouse-Francazal airport.

Part of a family of aerobatically-capable light aircraft, the tricycle-gear Integral S is the second of three proposed variants to take to the skies, following the Integral R tailwheel variant’s first flight in July 2020. A third model, the all-electric Integral E was also unveiled during this year’s Paris Air Show.

The S model received EASA authorization to commence its flight test campaign in April 2023. Prior to its maiden flight on 28 July, the crew – test pilots Eric Delesalle and Hervé Poulin – observed a minute of silence in memory of ‘pilots and friends’ Baptiste Vignes and Simon de la Bretèche, who died testing the Integral R in 2020.

Jérémy Caussade, president and co-founder of Aura Aero, described the first flight of the Integral S as a “major step”; adding that “in the name of everyone, I can say that we are extremely proud and very moved to see our young company take a new step today and continue its route towards decarbonized aviation”.

Featuring a side-by-side cockpit and capable of reaching a cruise speed of 300km/hr, the Integral S is described by the manufacturer as being ‘ideal for pilot training’, especially in the UPRT role. Following further flight testing, Aura Aero hope to achieve EASA CS-23 certification for the type as early as 2024. The all-electric E version is also scheduled to perform its first flight in the coming months.