A report from Mr. Patrick Hart

A letter by Mr. Patrick Hart about his visit to the Pipistrel factory and the test-flights he did there.
The following letter was written by Mr. Patrick Hart, who joined the EAA after 40 years away from the cockpit…
He was impressed by the visit at Pipistrel.

Patrick writes…

On May 2, I flew with Pipistrel's Franci Popit in their Taurus motor glider for over an hour at Pipistrel's century-old grass factory field in Ajdovscina. Franci and I flew the company's Rotax-powered motor glider that Sunday but while in the air Franci told me the pure electric version of the Taurus can take off in a shorter distance the internal combustion engine version due to more torque being instantly available than with the 80-horsepower Rotax. The down side is that at present the Pipistrel motor glider is battery energy-density-limited to a 45 minute all the time run time. Gliding, however, like we did for over half the flight, using the very minimal slope lift that existed that day could easily extend the all-electric Taurus overall flight time to over two hours.

Ivo Boscarol, Pipistrel's General Manager graciously spent over three hours on his Sunday with my wife and I. He gave us a tour of what has to be one of the greenest, most energy efficient and totally energy self-sufficient facilities that exist anywhere in the world. At the end of our tour Ivo took us back to his office and showed us artist sketches of what Pipistrel s upcoming four-seat hybrid aircraft will look like. Ivo told me Pipistrel's new plane will be designed to take off as silently as possible to keep the noise levels down. He says that the company's new four-place will switch over to conventional internal combustion engine power once the aircraft is well clear of communities sensitive to aircraft noise on take-off.

Please make sure you get to hear Mr. Boscarol s presentation at Oshkosh. Ivo told me in May that he was going to present more details on Pipistrel s four-seat hybrid aircraft there...and he didn't ask me to keep what I had seen a secret. So there you go.

As a 1970 Aeronautical Engineering grad, in my opinion, Pipistrel is the small aircraft company to keep an eye on. They've got the talent, they've got the technologies, and they ve got the know-how to build a more maintenance-free, safe and economical-to-operate line of aircraft than I've seen from any company, U.S.-based or otherwise, to date.

Sorry I can t be there at AirVenture 2010. Perhaps next year...

Best regards,

Patrick Hart
Pacific Palisades, CA

P.S. The Taurus responds to pilot input as if it were an extension of your mind's wishes. What an amazing and safe-feeling aircraft...after having flown mostly Cessna 150 s and 172 s back in my college days.

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