Pipistrel Virus

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Pipistrel Virus
Pipistrel Virus at EDKR Bergfliegen 2012 1892 (cropped).jpg
Role Ultralight civil utility aircraft
National origin Slovenia
Manufacturer Pipistrel
First flight 1995
Number built 1000 (Sinus and Virus family total, March 2019)[1]
Unit cost
base price EUR 69,000, LSA certified EUR 159,000
Developed from Pipistrel Sinus

The Pipistrel Virus is a light aircraft manufactured in Slovenia and sold as an ultralight, homebuilt kit, or light-sport aircraft.[2][3][4]

Design and development[edit]

It is a high-wing, cantilever monoplane of pod-and-boom configuration with a T-tail and air brakes. The cabin has two seats side-by-side. Its fixed undercarriage can be provided in either tricycle or tailwheel configuration. It is available in three models: the Virus 912 with a 12-metre wingspan, the Virus 912 SW 80 (for "short wing" and 80 hp) and the Virus 912 SW 100, both with a 10-metre wingspan. The Virus SW 100 has an uprated Rotax 912ULS engine producing 100 hp (75 kW). The SW 100 model cruises at 273 km/h (170 mph), which is 24 km/h (15 mph) faster than the long wing 80 hp (60 kW) version.[3][4]

The aviation journalist Paul Bertorelli has criticized the aircraft's design for lack of cabin occupant crashworthiness. However, the manufacturer points out that this kind of issue is typical of aircraft in the LSA category. The design has no history of head trauma during the accidents that have occurred.[5]

By February 2014 Pipistrel had produced more than 600 Sinus/Virus aircraft.[6]

In April 2016 the Virus SW 121 received an EASA Full Type Certificate.[7] The SW 121 is powered by a Rotax 912 S3 and is designed to meet EASA requirements for a Light Sports Aeroplane.

Operational history[edit]

Pipistrel Virus SW

The Virus won the NASA 2007 Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Challenge and the 2008 General Aviation Technology (GAT) Challenge.[8]

On 8 January 2012, Slovenian pilot Matevž Lenarčič launched an around-the-world flight attempt from Slovenia in a turbocharged Virus SW914, sponsored as the GreenLight World Flight. As part of his flight he flew past Mount Everest at an altitude of 29,344 ft (8,944 m), some 300 ft (91 m) above the peak's height; this portion of the journey was not authorized, as Nepal had cancelled his permit to make the flight right before he took off.[9][10] He completed the flight on 19 April 2012, returning to Slovenia claiming to be the first person to complete such a flight without a copilot and having flown 62,000 miles (99,839 km) during the journey.[11]

On 12 October 2015 Pipistrel won an international tender, issued by the Indian Ministry of Defence, to supply 194 light trainers to the Indian Air Force (72 aircraft), Indian Navy (12 aircraft) and National Cadet Corps (110 aircraft).[12][13] The two-seat Pipistrel Virus SW 80 aircraft, known as the Garud after a bird in Hindu mythology, will be used for training of Flight Safety and Air Wing Cadets and the entire quantity of 194 aircraft must be delivered 30 months from the day of the first delivery.[12][13] The contract includes an option for an additional 100 aircraft within the third year.[12][13]

Specifications (Virus SW 100 912)[edit]

Pipistrel Virus cockpit

Data from Manufacturer[14]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 6.05 m (19 ft 10 in)
  • Wingspan: 11 m (36 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
  • Empty weight: 284 kg (626 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 600 kg (1,323 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 100 litres (22 imp gal; 26 US gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rotax 912 ULS , 75 kW (100 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 300 km/h (190 mph, 160 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 274 km/h (170 mph, 148 kn) at 75% power
  • Range: 1,420 km (880 mi, 770 nmi)
  • Endurance: 5.3 hours
  • Service ceiling: 7,000 m (23,000 ft)
  • Rate of climb: 8.4 m/s (1,650 ft/min)


  1. ^ https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/3-2-1-1000-2/
  2. ^ Vandermeullen, Richard: 2012 Kit Aircraft Buyer's Guide, Kitplanes, Volume 28, Number 12, December 2011, page 63. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  3. ^ a b Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, page 70. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
  4. ^ a b Tacke, Willi; Marino Boric; et al: World Directory of Light Aviation 2015-16, page 73. Flying Pages Europe SARL, 2015. ISSN 1368-485X
  5. ^ Bertorelli, Paul (12 September 2012). "LSA Crashworthiness". AVweb. Retrieved 13 September 2012.
  6. ^ "Slovenia's Pipistrel marks 600th ultralight aircraft". Shanghai Daily. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2014-02-14.
  7. ^ Pipistrel (21 April 2016). "Pipistrel Virus SW 121 got EASA Full Type Certificate". pipistrel.si. Archived from the original on 18 June 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  8. ^ Pipistrel. "Pipistrel Virus". pipistrel.si. Archived from the original on 14 March 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  9. ^ "Flying the Pacific on 93 gallons of fuel Pilot to circumnavigate world in Pipistrel motor glider". Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  10. ^ Grady, Mary (30 March 2012). "Pipistrel LSA Flies Above Mt. Everest". AVweb. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  11. ^ Associated Press, "Lofty Achievement," Washington Post Express, April 20, 2012, p. 8.
  12. ^ a b c 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 13 October 2015.
  13. ^ a b c "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.
  14. ^ Manufacturer's specification

External links[edit]