Pipistrel is a long-time leader in aircraft design and production. In 2011 they won the NASA Green Flight Challenge, which was the largest aviation prize in history totaling at $1.5 million. Their electric G4 concept was able to fly up to four passengers 100 miles at an average speed of 108 mph. Located in Slovenia, Pipistrel is producing 13 different models of two- and four-seat aircraft, among which the Alpha Electro and the Taurus Electro feature all-electric propulsion. Pipistrel recently developed the Panthera aircraft, a high performance four-seat general aviation aircraft with modular propulsion systems, available as fully electric, hybrid and fuel powered.
Ivo Boscarol, Pipistrel’s founder and General Manager said: “Pipistrel is not trying to reinvent the helicopter by giving the vehicle many rotors, we are instead embracing dedicated propulsion solutions for cruise and vertical lift with built-in scaling capability for a family of vehicles with two to six seats. Pairing an innovative integrated vertical lift system, which is quiet and efficient and with highly aerodynamic wings results in a new class of eVTOL that maximizes high-speed cruise performance and dramatically lowers cost of operation for a clear advantage to UBER Elevate passengers.”
Mark Moore, UBER’s Director of Engineering – Elevate Vehicle Systems said: “Pipistrel has been one of the pioneers in electric aircraft development, initiating the age of electric flight. As an Uber Elevate partner, their eVTOL concept is pushing towards the next generation of Distributed Electric Propulsion. We’re thrilled to continue our work with Pipistrel, and look forward to bringing this concept to the Elevate network.”
At the conference Pipistrel also unveiled strategic partnership with Elan, a Slovenian-based global developer, producer and supplier of sporting equipment featuring high-technology advanced composite components and wind-power technology.
During his presentation of the eVTOL design, Tine Tomazic, Pipistrel Director of R&D, said: “Today we’re announcing a strategic partnership with company Elan, a Slovenian company, they’re 1 hour’s drive from us and they have mastered the production of composite materials and structures in the 50+ years of existence, at massive scales. Elan is producing everything from sports equipment to tens of thousands of windmill power plant components yearly. And together we are developing the design of a eVTOL structure that is scalable. Building-in automation, building-in digital manufacturing high speed RTM composite construction and other things. This is how we believe we stand a chance of going from where we are today with the concept design into the future.”