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 …