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 to Tine Tomazic, part of the company’s research and development team. Tine confirms that the aircraft will cruise on 160 horsepower at 200 knots (230.4 mph), is a hybrid – although not a parallel hybrid, and that its “performance will definitely be on par with the Cessna Corvalis or Cirrus SR 22.”
Look forward to more information and more pictures in the New Year.