Pipistrel Shares Three New Products and Springs a Surprise

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Slovenia, a tiny country which can be seen in its entirety from a light airplane, makes an astonishing array of such vehicles at the Pipistrel factory, awarded a European Union prize as the epitome of green manufacturing facilities. The company uses solar energy to power its operation and reports the number of kilowatts flowing through its plant on its web site. Naturally, we’d expect an environmentally responsible firm to build environmentally responsible products, and Pipistrel is committed to going green.  Dr. Gregor Veble, Head of Research in the Research and Development Department; and Tine Tomažič, researcher and designer, shared a multiplicity of new products and gave an all-too-brief glimpse of a surprising future project with participants at the seventh annual …

Panthera rollout and first engine start

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

On March 28, Pipistrel rolled out its prototype Panthera, a sleek four-seat cruiser destined to be the first production hybrid aircraft and eventually, Pipistrel’s second four-seat electric airplane. It is currently powered by a Lycoming IO-390, 210 horsepower engine.  At Pipistrel’s factory in Ajdovscina, Slovenia a team of engineers and technicians fired up the engine for the first time and performed ground runs, “verifying design parameters and engine operation.” Pipistrel’s press release quotes Ivo Boscarol, their CEO: “It is very exciting to witness the tests and see the aeroplane come to life for the very first time. This is definitely a very important milestone in the development of Panthera. We look forward to the continuation of tests and the first …

Pipistrel,PADA, and “Gus” Raspet

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Pipistel, the innovative Slovenian company that won the Green Flight Challenge with its G4 electric four-seater, continues to earn plaudits from the aviation industry. At this year’s AirVenture, the Experimental Aircraft Association’s annual gathering at Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the company was honored with the Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award and original and pace-setting design work exemplified in Pipistrel products. The Exerimental Aircraft Association has awarded the “Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award” annually since 1960 “to a person who has made outstanding advancements in the field of light aircraft design and the Experimental Aircraft Association.”  John Thorp, Lockheed engineer and designer, was the first recipient, with those following including Curtiss Pitts, Burt Rutan, Alan and Dale Klapmeier and Gordon Pratt. Taja Boscarol, …

Annual Personal Aircraft Design Academy Dinner and Presentation at AirVenture 2012

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Dr. Brien Seeley, President of the CAFE Foundation, and Program Chair for the Personal Aircraft Design Academy (PADA), announces that the group’s catered buffet “networking” dinner will be followed by a special meeting for top aircraft designers, enthusiasts and aero engineers as part of AirVenture 2012 at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. His announcement highlights the following: “The dinner will be at 6:15 p. m. on Friday July 27 at the Memorial Wall Tent near the Air Academy Lodge, with the PADA meeting following at 7:30 PM in the air-conditioned Vette Theatre inside the AirVenture Museum, a short walk from the tent. “This year, we’ve made it easy to register online in advance for the limited seating available. Please visit this site now …

The Sixth Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium

Dean Sigler Diesel Powerplants, Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

The CAFE Foundation will hold its sixth Electric Aircraft Symposium on April 27 and 28, 2012 at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California and at the Charles M. Schulz Sonoma County Airport, site of the Green Flight Challenge. Not only will there be a stellar lineup of speakers, but flying demonstrations of electric and hybrid aircraft, a first at any EAS. Jack Langelaan, team leader for the GFC-winning Electro Taurus G4 team, and Tine Tomazic from Pipistrel will share insights on the design and flight of the 403.5 epmpg aircraft.  David Calley, Chief Technical Officer for Motor Excellence, will describe ideal low-RPM motors for electric aircraft, and Mark Moore from NASA’s Langley Research Center will share breakthroughs in distributed …

Paint Me – Win 1,000 Euros

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Tine Tomazic sends the following invitation. Pipistrel has published a unique design contest for Design of Livery for the Panthera, our brand new aeroplane to be presented in 2012. Anybody can  participate! Prize is 1000 EUR ($1,350) and author’s signature on the aeroplane itself! The recognition may well be worth more than the prize money for the budding artist.  The airplane will be featured at major airshows worldwide and in masses of mass media.  All an aspiring illustrator has to do is capture the spirit of the sleek craft and create a livery “which will enhance Pantera’s unique lines and characteristics.” Connect with Pipistrel’s Facebook page to get all the particulars.  There, you’ll learn about the luxury, sportiness, speed, efficiency/environmental friendliness and …

The G4 Gets Off the Grass

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Pipistrel had a good week at Oshkosh.  Shortly after its G4 placed ninth in the Dead Grass Awards, an indication of the number of spectators who tramped around the perimeter of the displayed aircraft,  the company could announce the first test flight of the four-seat electric motorglider. “We are pleased to announce that after long and demanding work nearly of a nearly 30-member team of developers and constructors from Pipistrel’s R & D Institute the first 4-seat electric aircraft in the world took off this morning [August 12, 2011] at 7 AM local time.” Pipistrel overcame several difficulties in achieving this milestone.  Developing the electric power system, the most powerful currently in an aircraft, and importing the 450 pounds of …

Pipistrel’s Four-seat, Side-by-side Electric Airplane

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, GFC, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

One of the most anticipated presentations at this year’s Electric Aircraft Symposium in Santa Rosa, California, April 29th and 30th, was that of the CAFE Foundation’s Vice-President, Larry Ford.  He had the enviable task of unveiling the contenders in the Green Flight Challenge – a mix of conventional aircraft powered by unconventional means, unconventional craft being sent aloft by a variety of the mundane and the exotic, and wildly unconventional concatenations of technologies. Pipistrel’s G4 turned out to be simple math: G2 plus G2 equals G4.  The configuration could hardly be preconceived, though.  According to Pipistrel USA’s Michael Coates, “This unique design has come about by grafting two Pipistrel Taurus aircraft together with a center section which is some 5 meters (16 …

A Second Slovenian Self-Launching Sailplane – With a Solar-Powered Trailer

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Tine Tomazic of Pipistrel alerted the blog that his firm started series production of their Taurus Electro G2, a first for a two-seat electric aircraft, according to Pipistrel, claiming 20 customers who will receive their G2’s by year’s end. Improvements over the prototype led to the “rev.2” series version of the self-launching sailplane, which also is the first electrically-powered craft to exceed the performance of its two-stroke Rotax-powered alternative, according to Tomazic. Pipistrel expands on this.  “Taurus Electro G2 can use a shorter runway, climbs faster and performs much better than the gasoline-powered version when it comes to high altitude operations. All this is possible thanks to the specially-developed emission-free Pipistrel 40kilowatt electric power-train.”  The clean sailplane design (40:1 glide …

Pipistrel’s Hybrid Cruiser

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

The Pipistrel folks in Slovenia have been producing some suprising aircraft with surprising names for the last two decades.  Their Virus and Sinus motorgliders are well-traveled and well regarded, having won honors in the 2007 Centennial and 2008  General Aviation Technology Challenges sponsored by NASA and managed by the CAFE Foundation.   The firm recently announced that it won the European Business Awards prize as the Most Innovative Company in Europe – out of 15,000 entrants.  Indeed, their real-time posting of their solar-powered factory’s electrical output is a strong reminder of that drive to create new paths to the future. Another reminder of Pipistrel’s creative juices is the picture of their four-seat hybrid aircraft, which should be flying in the new year, according …