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Pipistrel d.o.o Ajdovščina
Private company
Industry Ultralight aviation
Founded 1989
Headquarters Ajdovščina, Slovenia
Key people
Ivo Boscarol, Chairman
Products Ultralight aviation
Number of employees
Website www.pipistrel.si

Pipistrel d.o.o Ajdovščina is a Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer established in 1989[1] by Ivo Boscarol and based in Ajdovščina. It was the first private aircraft producer in Yugoslavia. Its facilities are located in Ajdovščina, Slovenia and near the town of Gorizia, Italy.[2][3] By June 2017, Pipistrel had produced more than 1500 aircraft.[1]


Due to legal restrictions imposed by the Yugoslavian government during the 1980s, the first aircraft was flown secretly in the evening, between dusk and dark. The flying times and triangular shape of the hang-glider style wings earned the aircraft the nickname "bats" which was adopted by the company naming themselves after the Latin word for bat, pipistrellus.[2]

In August 2012, Pipistrel was hit by a brief week-long import ban issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. Pipistrel had opened a factory in Italy to benefit from the country's bilateral agreements with the United States. During a routine check, the FAA was unable to locate Pipistrel's Italian factory on Google Earth and banned the import of some of Pipistrel's products.[4]

In July 2015, Siemens, provider of the Dynadyn 60-kilowatt motor used in the Alpha Electro trainer, warned Pipistrel that it should not use its motors for overwater flights, just as Pipistrel was about to launch a historic electric-powered flight across the English Channel and back. As it turns out, Airbus was preparing exactly the same Louis Blériot-like exploit, with a plane powered by a motor also provided by Siemens, and it was speculated that Siemens was pressured by Airbus.[5][6]

On 12 October 2015 Pipistrel won an international tender issued by the Indian Ministry of Defence, to supply 194 Pipistrel Virus SW 80 trainers to the Indian Air Force, Indian Navy and National Cadet Corps.[7][8]

In February 2016, Pipistrel ran the most powerful hybrid electric powertrain in aviation to date, as a part of the project HYPSTAIR.[9][10]

On 29 September 2016 the world’s first four-seat passenger aircraft powered by a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system accomplished a successful first public flight. Pipistrel was one of the partners in the "HY4" project.[11][12]


Pipistrel Taurus G4 take-off at 2011 Green Flight Challenge

The company produced the Flight Team Spider ultralight trike under sub contract to Flight Team UG & Company AG of Ippesheim, Germany.[13]

The Taurus G4 is the first all-electric four-seat aircraft.d[14] and uses the most powerful electric motor in an all-electric airplane design.[15]

By June 2016, Pipistrel had produced 800 Sinus and Virus.[1]

Awards & records[edit]

  • In 2004, the Sinus accomplished a record-breaking flight around the world, the first ever ultralight aircraft to do so, flown by a Slovenian pilot, Matevž Lenarčič.[citation needed]
  • 2007 NASA Centennial Challenges Personal Air Vehicle Challenge in 2007[16]
  • 2008: General Aviation Technology Challenge[17]
  • In December 2007, the aircraft Taurus electro took off as the world’s first fully electric 2-seat aircraft. It was named as one of the most important innovations in 2008 by the American magazine Popular Science. In 2010, it won a gold medal at the Biennial of Industrial Design.
  • 2010: UKTI Award for Innovation[18]
  • 2011: CAFE/NASA/Google Green Flight Challenge for energy-efficient aircraft with its four-seater electric plane Taurus G4.[19]
  • 10 FAI world records.[20]


  1. ^ a b c Or 1989... --> "Pipistrel Produces 800th Airplane From Sinus/Virus Family". Avweb.com. 16 June 2016. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  2. ^ a b James Lawrence (January 2012). "Light-Sport Chronicles: Profiles In Vision: Ivo Boscarol". Planeandpilotmag.com. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Learning to fly with SPIRIT Slovenia". Spirit Slovenia Public Agency. 7 May 2014. Retrieved 4 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Stephen Pope (23 August 2012). "FAA Ends Brief Pipistrel Import Ban". Flyingmag.com. Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  5. ^ Thomas A. Horne (7 July 2015). "Siemens denies e-motors to Pipistrel". Aopa.org. Archived from the original on 2016-09-14. Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  6. ^ Stephen Pope (9 July 2015). "Airbus vs Pipistrel: An Electrifying English Channel Race". Flyingmag.com. Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  7. ^ G. C.; G. K. (12 October 2015). "Pipistrel to deliver six to seven planes each month to Indian Armed Forces" (in Slovenian). RTV Slovenija official website. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  8. ^ "Pipistrel signs huge microlight deal with India" (in Slovenian). FLYER official website. 12 October 2015. Archived from the original on 12 October 2015. Retrieved 13 October 2015. 
  9. ^ "Hybrid Electric Aircraft Motor Powers Up". Flyingmag.com. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  10. ^ "Hybrid Electric Powertrain Powers Up For The First Time". Aeronews.net. 20 February 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  11. ^ "Zero-emission air transport – first flight of four-seat passenger aircraft HY4". hy4.org. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  12. ^ "HY 4 - Zero-emission passenger flights". Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  13. ^ Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, page 211. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
  14. ^ "Wittman Regional Airport Sees First Flight For Taurus G4". Aero-News Network. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Paur, Jason (8 August 2011). "Electric Airplane Has 4 Seats, Two Fuselages, One Big Motor". Wired. Retrieved 7 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Pipistrel Virus The Big Winner At PAV Challenge". EAA News. 15 August 2007. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  17. ^ "Pipistrel Team Again the Big Winner in NASA GA Technology Challenge". EAA News. 13 August 2008. Retrieved 4 July 2014. 
  18. ^ "Pipistrel winner 2010 The UKTI Award for Innovation". European Business Awards. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  19. ^ Steitz, Dave & Anderson, Janet (3 October 2011). "NASA Awards Historic Green Aviation Prize". NASA. Retrieved 4 October 2011. 
  20. ^ "Pipistrel Apis/Bee". Pipistrel company website. Retrieved 8 March 2012. 

See also[edit]

Related articles[edit]

External links[edit]