Pipistrel has a wide variety of Light-Sport Aircraft from trikes (where they started long ago) to powered sailplanes to motorgliders to more conventional fixed wing aircraft. In this video we examine the Sinus (pronounced SEEN-us) in taildragger configuration – it is also available in tricycle gear. This impressive company earned SLSA status for three models earlier in 2011 and they are moving up the sales charts.
Search Results for : Pipistrel
Not finding exactly what you expected? Try our advanced search option.
Select a manufacturer to go straight to all our content about that manufacturer.
Select an aircraft model to go straight to all our content about that model.
Pipistrel, headquartered in Slovenia with U.S.-bound manufacturing done in nearby Italy, has a line of interesting models. In this video we examine the Virus SW, for Short Wing. We’ve previously reviewed the long wing version and the Sinus motorglider. In addition this company makes a powered sailplane and they started with weight shift trikes. Pipistrel has also distinguished itself with a string of victories in NASA efficiency contests, more recently winning an astounding $1.3 million.
Pipistrel is a European producer of a family of airplanes with very smooth lines and handsome shapes. Winner of the NASA efficiency flight prize a few years ago, we have a look at the Virus (pronounced “veer-us”) that won a big check but our review can significantly apply to the Sinus (“seen-us”) motorglider. And the company also offers the Taurus, a powered sailplane… all are remarkably sleek birds in the LSA space.
Electric aircraft continue to develop rapidly and the most visible actions are on ultralight aircraft such as Zigolo, eSpyder, or Light-Sport Aircaft (Evektor EPOS) as these are the lightest and therefore most workable candidates for electric power today. At Oshkosh we heard more about the two-seat SunFlyer in development by Bye Aerospace and those who visited the Fun Fly Zone (the place formerly known as the Ultralight Area) saw electric aircraft regularly flying as they have for several years. Now, one of the leading creators of electric airplanes is making a bigger push to offer a training-capable aircraft. As with several Pipistrel models the name is a bit unusual but WATTsUp is a two-seat electric trainer based on Pipistrel’s Alpha (video). WATTsUp took its maiden flight on August 22nd. The Slovenian company unveiled the new aircraft on August 30th at a popular recreational aircraft show south of Paris called Salon du Blois.
One of the top LSA manufacturers and a coming producer of four seaters is Pipistrel, which I visited last year. Recently the company announced that it completed and delivered its 600th aircraft, after which they shipped it halfway around the globe to Australia. The down under country, presently in its summertime (a warm thought while the Eastern USA digs out from yet another heavy snowstorm), fully accepts ASTM standards. On the occasion of its production of Pipistrel number 600, the Slovenian company with an LSA facility in nearby Italy, also celebrated its 25th anniversary. The twin achievements gave an opportunity for the Pipistrel team of 80 members to pose with aircraft number 600. Regular factory visitor and Australian distributor (also the rep for the United States), Michael Coates joined the photo. Michael has been a Pipistrel distributor for over 15 years and was chosen as the “Distributor of the Year” in 2012.
After Germany’s Aero 2013 event, we traveled to Pipistrel. It was our first visit to Slovenia, a country of four million with a section of the Alps running through it and a lovely route called the Emerald Trail to view the tall mountains. Slovenia proved a beautiful country that we’d love to visit again, but a leading reason to repeat is the presence of Pipistrel. This summer, the LSA and self-launched glider producer is in the news with their exchangeable wingtip Sinus Flex that transforms the long, shapely motorglider wings from a 50-foot span to a more hangar-manageable 40 feet. Using a single bolt, the change is said to take only five minutes and the unused tips can be stored in leather bags; the option price is $5,200. Buyers get both “a long range super-economic cruiser” and a “training aircraft,” noted Pipistrel. Sinus offers dual flight controls and a choice of either tailwheel or nosewheel gear, though the latter decision must be made at purchase.
We paid two memorable visits after Aero ended and I’ll tell you a little about each one … but first … While I was at Pipistrel in the office of boss Ivo Boscarol, he received word that Matevz Lenarcic had reached the North Pole on his flight reported earlier. Congratulations on this achievement; a long flight across the North Atlantic remains. Godspeed! ••• The two visits were to Rotax Aircraft Engines and to Pipistrel. These two are not geographically far apart and work closely. Each spoke highly of the other and both companies are highly impressive places to visit.
BRP-Powertrain is the parent behind Rotax Aircraft Engines. Though occupying a sizeable amount of real estate in the immense BRP-Powertrain factory, the aircraft engines are the “hand built” portion of the production. Fast-paced, largely-automated, robot-assisted assembly lines manufacture many thousands of engines each year for such products as SeaDoo, BMW motorcycles, and other well-known brands.
Known for their several lucrative wins at the NASA Challenge events, Pipistrel also logged market successes in the USA and around the world during 2012. The manufacturer with a range from weight shift trikes to electric-powered gliders to Light-Sport Aircraft to their four-seat Panther in development has become a company to watch. At the end of the year, the Slovenian company with a production facility in Italy had plenty to discuss.
Most notably, the company built their 500th aircraft from the Sinus/Virus family. These sleek machines include the Sinus (“Seen-Us”) motorglider, the Virus (“Veer-Us”) lightplane and shorter-winged version called the Virus SW. The company proudly announced, “Together with the other models and the powered-hang gliders, this means we have made well over one thousand flying devices!” Aircraft number 500 buyer was Charles Dalglish from Australia. The aircraft was handed over to distributor Michael Coates whose organization includes U.S. sales.This year Coates recorded his 100th delivery.
Two days ago, Aero-News Network was first to break a news story (“Stupid Fed Trix”) about FAA blocking Pipistrel from the ability to get Airworthiness Certificates for aircraft awaiting customer delivery. The problem was not a new model FAA had never seen. It was for models already in the country and flying with typical LSA approval. The problem? FAA didn’t seem sure where those LSA were made and in the arcane world of federal government approval, a LSA cannot be built in a country where FAA does not have an understanding with local aviation authorities called the Bilateral Safety Agreement (BSA). Bored yet?
*** Maybe… but if you were one of the customers who paid for an aircraft that you could not fly, you wouldn’t be bored. You’d be mighty unhappy. You paid for it. The aircraft has no problems except for the BSA issue (which cannot make an existing aircraft any safer).
The company I’ve been writing a lot about lately keeps finding more things for me to talk about. When I was in Slovenia last month, Pipistrel‘s movers and shakers told me on the QT to be ready for a major announcement soon. *** And here it is: just officially announced this morning, introducing the Alpha Trainer, a purpose-built version of the company’s winning Virus SW (Short Wing) cruiser. Designed for the flight school market, it carries an introductory price that should raise a few eyebrows: $83,000 just about everything, including delivery, shipping to the US, FAA fees etc. *** Yep, I’d call that news. *** Rand Vollmer of SALSA Aviation, a U.S. Pipistrel dealer, tipped me off this morning about the official release. Pipistrel makes elegant, fun-flying, functional aircraft and the Alpha (200 were recently ordered by the Indian government) should prove to be no exception.