Date: 14. May 2020
Time to read: 2 min
As part of the national campaign for the promotion of the Slovenian economy, the public agency Spirit Slovenia has selected 19 new ambassadors who will contribute to greater recognition of Slovenia as a technologically developed and green country with sustainable and innovative solutions. Pipistrel is one of them.
- Pipistrel has shifted its focus to developing aircraft designed to transport cargo, an electricity-powered flying van that is supposed to fly above smaller cities. Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA
- With two types of electrically powered aircraft (Taurus Electro and Alpha Electro) already on the market, they are a key factor in the electric aviation sector. Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA
- Pipistrel is one of the largest manufacturers (more than 200 aircraft per year) in the small aircraft segment with sales worldwide. Photo: Stanko Gruden/STA
One of the largest manufacturers
Ultralight aircraft maker Pipistrel is a 30-year-old company that manufactures aircraft based in Slovenia. With more than 200 employees in Slovenia, Italy, Germany and China, it is one of the largest manufacturers (more than 200 aircraft per year) in the small aircraft segment with sales worldwide. With two types of electrically powered aircraft (Taurus Electro and Alpha Electro) already on the market, they are a key factor in the electric aviation sector.
In its 30 years, Pipistrel has grown from an enthusiastic hobby hang-glider garage manufacture into a world-renowned small aircraft producer, recognised by leading global aviation authorities.
According to Spirit's nomination announcement, Pipistrel is a company that sets the trend for the present and shapes the future of aviation as the leading global manufacturer of ultra-light motor gliders and auxiliary engine gliders whose distribution network stretches across all continents. Its revolutionary ideas have introduced composite technology into ultra-light aviation and have set new milestones in aviation with the first flights of fully electric two- and four-seat aircraft.
- With more than 200 Pipistrel aircraft in the air in 100 countries, the company has distinguished itself with its green and environmentally-friendly engine solutions, is the holder of 10 glider world records and two flight-around-the-world records, winner of three NASA flight challenges, recipient of the 2011 Lindbergh Prize for Electric Aircraft Vision Award and many more. Photo: Rosana Rijavec/STA
- Its most ground-breaking solution, however, is the electric powered pilot training aircraft Alpha Electro. Tamino Petelinšek/STA
All of its parts are made in Slovenia
In terms of development, the Pipistrel Group is focusing on the design and construction of cargo aircraft, vertical take-off air taxies and a 19-seat passenger aircraft powered by zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell propulsion.
Its most ground-breaking solution, however, is the electric powered pilot training aircraft Alpha Electro.
The electric-powered aircraft is designed to meet all aviation safety standards. Pipistrel developed its own batteries, engine, battery management system, charging control, intelligent operation control system that helps the pilot with power management and a dedicated fast charger. The aircraft is designed to produce 15-times less noise than piston-powered aircraft, is made from environmentally-friendly and degradable materials, is simple to use and has a built-in rescue parachute that saves the aircraft and its crew in the case of an emergency. All of its parts are made in Slovenia.
- The company's CEO and founder Ivo Boscarol. Photo: Nebojša Tejić/STA
- Its revolutionary ideas have introduced composite technology into ultra-light aviation and have set new milestones in aviation with the first flights of fully electric two- and four-seat aircraft. Photo: Anže Malovrh/STA
- Major flight schools (such as Air France) are already choosing to train their pilots in environmentally-friendly Pipistrel aircraft. Photo: Rosana Rijavec/STA
Agreement with an Australian electric aircraft company
Pipistrel has signed a letter of intent with the Australian company Eyre to There for the production of Pipistrel's two-seater electric aircraft alpha electro. In the first phase, Australians would import 15 aircraft to use for demonstrations and test flights, and later start production of small aircraft for training in Australia.
Eyre to There would thus become the first in Australia to manufacture electric aircraft. Up to a hundred could be produced annually.
The two-seater electric plane is ideal for schooling, Eyre to There CEO Barrie Rogers told Australian newspaper Aviation. There are 250 registered flight schools in Australia, using around 3400 aircraft. As much as a quarter of all training is dedicated to the initial learning phase, which includes learning to take off and land near the airport. “Pipistrel aircraft, however, are very suitable for this,” Rogers said.
Researchers at the Armostrong Flight Research Center in California are testing several of Pipistrel's electric engines used by the company in the serial production of its Taurus Electro G2 aircraft. They are testing the possibilities for the development of a new electric experimental aircraft.