These days Pipistrel is celebrating a very important anniversary: it is now exactly 10 years since our third NASA GREEN FLIGHT CHALLENGE victory.
https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/pipistrel-won-the-nasa-green-flight-challenge-for-the-third-time-in-a-row/

NASA Green Flight Challenge winners

The NASA CAFE Green Flight Challenge in the USA took place from 25 September through 3 October 2011.
In that week, the Pipistrel Taurus G4, world’s first fully electric 4-seat aircraft, accomplished a flight of almost 200 miles (321.9 km) non-stop with the average speed of 107.4 mph (172.8 km/h). At the time, this was the longest flight of any electric aircraft. The winner got awarded a 1.3 million USD reward, which was higher than the Nobel prize and it is still the highest monetary award in aviation, ever. The entire world automotive industry still hasn’t managed to develop an electric car which would take 4 people 200 miles with the average speed over 100 miles per hour.

The 2011 NASA Green Flight Challenge marked a historic achievement in aviation—the first demonstration of practical, cross-country emission-free flight. Team Pipistrel-USA’s winning 4 seat, electric-powered aircraft, the Taurus G4, proved its efficiency by achieving mileage of 403.5 passenger-MPG equivalent! (click HERE for results).

The Taurus G4 was developed specifically for the Pipistrel team to race at the Green Flight Challenge in Santa Rosa, California. All components of the aircraft have been developed and made by Pipistrel.

The twin-fuselage plane was created by combining two Taurus G2 fuselages, connected by a 5-meter-long spar. A 145-kilowatt brushless electric motor, developed for the Pipistrel’s 4-seat aircraft Panthera, was mounted between the passenger pods and drove a 2-meter-diameter, two-blade propeller in tractor configuration. The undercarriage was retractable which enabled good gliding ratio and low drag. The Taurus G4’s full wingspan was about 21.36 meters (75 feet).

More info about the aircraft HERE.

At the race, the aircraft was flown by two of the most famous American test pilots: Dave Morss and Robin Reid.

The second place was claimed by the team E-genius of the University in Stuttgart. This meant a double victory for Pipistrel, who has been team E-Genius’s development partner. Their aircraft was actually a modified Pipistrel Taurus (wings and fuselage) with a specially developed tail section and an electric propulsion system in the tail. So in a way, Pipistrel’s aircraft claimed both the first and the second place!

Because of this amazing achievement, the team Pipistrel was honoured greatly when they returned to the homeland. The president dr. Danilo Turk decorated Pipistrel with the Golden Order for Services to the Republic of Slovenia.

Taurus G4 was even featured on the front page of the NASA website.

They say history repeats itself, right?
Almost to the day 5 years later, the Taurus G4 aircraft became the star of all the media once again.

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Pipistrel was one of the partners in the “HY4” project – the world’s first four-seat passenger aircraft powered by a zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell propulsion.

The aircraft accomplished a successful first public flight on 29. September 2016.

Left: Team of NASA 2011 GFC in front of the Taurus G4
Right: Pipistrel team with the HY4 in 2016

TEKST V SLOVENSKEM JEZIKU:

Te dni Pipistrel praznuje zelo pomembno obletnico: minilo je natanko 10 let od naše tretje zmage na tekmovanju Agencije NASA, GREEN FLIGHT CHALLENGE.
https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/pipistrel-won-the-nasa-green-flight-challenge-for-the-third-time-in-a-row/

Tekmovanje NASA Green Flight Challenge v ZDA je potekalo od 25. septembra do 3. oktobra 2011. V tem tednu je Pipistrel Taurus G4, prvo popolnoma električno 4-sedežno letalo na svetu, opravilo polet skoraj 200 milj (321.9 km) brez pristanka s povprečno hitrostjo 107.4 mph (172.8 km/h). Do takrat je bil to najdaljši polet katerega koli električnega letala. Zmagovalec je prejel nagrado v višini 1,3 milijona USD, kar je bilo višje od Nobelove nagrade in še vedno ostaja najvišja denarna nagrada v letalstvu doslej. Celotna svetovna avtomobilska industrija še vedno ni uspela razviti električnega avtomobila, ki bi 4 ljudi prepeljal 321.9 km daleč s povprečno hitrostjo 172.8 km na uro.

NASA Green Flight Challenge 2011 je zaznamoval zgodovinski dosežek v letalstvu – prvi prikaz praktičnega poleta na dolge razdalje brez emisij. Zmagovalno letalo ekipe Pipistrel, električni Taurus G4, je dokazalo svojo ekonomičnost s porabo 403,5 MPG (miles-per-galon – preletenih milj na ekvivalent porabe ene galone goriva na potnika). Kliknite TUKAJ za rezultate.

Taurus G4 je bil razvit posebej za Pipistrelovo ekipo za dirko Green Flight Challenge v Santa Rosi v Kaliforniji. Vse komponente letala je razvil in izdelal Pipistrel.

Dvotrupno letalo je bilo ustvarjeno s kombinacijo dveh trupov sicer serijsko proizvajanega letala Taurus G2, povezanih s petmetrsko sredinsko gredjo. 145-kilovatni brezkrtačni elektromotor, razvit za 4-sedežno letalo Pipistrel Panthera, je bil nameščen med obema potniškima kabinama in je poganjal 2m velik dvokraki propeler. Podvozje je bilo uvlačljivo, kar je omogočilo dobro drsno razmerje in nizek upor. Celoten razpon kril letala Taurus G4 je bil 21,36 metra.

Več informacij o letalu TUKAJ.

Na dirki sta letalo pilotirala dva od najbolj znanih ameriških testnih pilotov: Dave Morss in Robin Reid.

Na drugo mesto se je uvrstila ekipa E-Genius Univerze v Stuttgartu. To je pomenilo dvojno zmago za Pipistrel, ki je bil razvojni partner ekipe E-Genius. Njihovo letalo je bil pravzaprav preoblikovani Pipistrel Taurus Electro (krila in trup) s posebej razvitim repnim odsekom in električnim pogonskim sistemom v repu. Tako ste se Pipistrelovi letali uvrstili tako na prvo kot tudi na drugo mesto!

Zaradi tega neverjetnega dosežka so bili člani ekipe Pipistrel zelo počaščeni, ko so se vrnili v domovino. Predsednik dr. Danilo Turk je namreč Pipistrel odlikoval z najvišjim državnim odlikovanjem Republike Slovenije: Zlatim Redom za zasluge.

Taurus G4 pa je bil celo predstavljen na naslovnici spletne strani agencije NASA.

Pravijo pa, da se zgodovina ponavlja, kajne?
Skoraj do dne natančno 5 let kasneje je letalo Taurus G4 ponovno postalo zvezda vseh medijev. Pipistrel je bil eden od partnerjev v projektu »HY4« – razvoju prvega štirisedežnega letala na svetu na pogon vodikovih gorivnih celic, z ničelnimi emisijami CO2. Letalo je uspešno opravilo svoj prvi polet 29. septembra 2016.