PipistrelÔÇÖs Taurus G4 - The first 4-seat electric aircraft in the world takes flight!

(slovenski prevod na dnu strani)

Oshkosh, USA, 12 August 2011 (7:00 local time)

We are pleased to announce that after long and demanding work nearly of a nearly 30-member team of developers and constructors from PipistrelÔÇÖs R & D Institute the first 4-seat electric aircraft in the world took off this morning at 7 AM local time.  

The aircraft was developed in order to compete at the next NASA challenge, called CAFE Green Flight Challenge 2011 with the team Pipistrel-usa.com, lead by Jacob W Langelaan. This year, the competition prize pool amounts to $ 1.65 million dollars.
The aircraft was first presented to the public at the Oshkosh Airventure in July this year. According to the informal vote by the visitors, it was amongst 10 most attractive aircraft on display among 15,000 exhibited airplanes; each year, the EAA awards a virtual ÔÇťDead Grass AwardÔÇŁ prize (for the most viewed exhibit) to the ten aircraft with most votes.

But everything was not so easy. The electric propulsion represents an unknown factor so it presented quite some trouble for Pipistrel. It was a great challenge even to import the aircraft into the United States because it is powered by 450 pounds of lithium-polymer batteries, which can in certain circumstances be highly flammable.
It was also extremely difficult to find an insurance company in the U.S. which was prepared to insure such aircraft.  
The company also had to find an American test pilot - the FAA requests that the first test flights must be performed by an American test pilot and CAFÉ competition rules also demand an American pilot to fly the aircraft at the race.
Fortunately, the Taurus G4 received huge media interest during the exhibition in Oshkosh, so consequentially, the team managed to find an insurance company and convince it to accept the insurance challenge, as well as one of the most famous American test pilots Dave Morss to conduct the test flight program.

After the Airventure expo, when the huge airport complex emptied, the friendly airport crew allowed us to use of the airport hangar and runway for testing. Thus the Pipistrel-USA.com team with the test pilot Dave Morss  achieved the historic flight this morning.

IMG 4124 IMG 4125 IMG 4126

The Taurus G4 was developed specifically to race at the $1.65 million CAFE/NASA Green Flight Challenge (GFC) to be held in Santa Rosa, California. Pipistrel's new, 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 new Pipistrel's 4-seat aircraft Panthera, is mounted between the passenger pods and drives a 2-meter-diameter, two-blade propeller in tractor configuration. Taurus G4ÔÇÖs full wingspan is about 21.36 meters (75 feet).

The undercarriage is retractable which enables good gliding ratio and low drag, paramount for the success at the competition. Despite not being intended as a glider, the superb aerodynamic profile gives the G4 an edge over the competition, since the goals of the challenge are mostly aeroefficiency and economic flight.

ÔÇťThe Taurus G4 NASA Racer is a technology demonstrator,ÔÇŁ said univ.dipl.ing Tine Toma┼żi─Ź, Pipistrel development engineer and the leader of the G4 development team. ÔÇťIt is the first-ever electric four-place aircraft, the most powerful electric aircraft with most battery capacity on board.ÔÇŁ He declined to disclose just what that capacity is (it is a race secret), nor did he disclose the aircraftÔÇÖs ÔÇťvery high glide ratioÔÇŁ other than to say itÔÇÖs more than 30 at cruise speed (100 mph). These and other aircraft details will be released at the GFC, he said.

All components of the aircraft have been developed and made by Pipistrel. Aerodynamic studies have been entrusted to prof. dr. Gregor Veble, Head of Research at Pipistrel. The construction of the aircraft was accomplished by univ.dipl.ing Vid Plevnik in cooperation with structural specialist univ.dipl.ing Rado Kikelj. The development of composite technology parts and systems was done by Sa┼ío Kolar and Franci Popit with their teams. The most challenging part, namely the development of electronic systems and their regulation as well as the system for charging the batteries were developed by univ.dipl.ing Jure Toma┼żi─Ź.

Pipistrel, founded by CEO Ivo Boscarol, has been producing Light aircraft for almost 20 years in Slovenia, with more than 1,000 completed overall. Pipistrel aircraft have done very well in previous efficiency competitions, including the 2007 CAFE/NASA Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Challenge and the 2008 CAFE/NASA General Aviation Technology Challenge Centennial Challenge where the Pipistrel Virus SW claimed victory two years in a row.
Before the start of the NASA GFC competition in September, where the G4 will attempt the third consecutive victory, the aircraft must accomplish 40 hours of test flights under the supervision of the of the Pipistrel-USA.com race team leader, prof. Jacob W Langelaan.

On the historic event ÔÇô first flight of a 4-seat electric aircraft, which means one of the greatest development successes in the history of Pipistrel, the CEO of the company, Ivo Boscarol would like to thank and congratulate to everyone who contributed in any way to this great success.



 Media Coverage:

2011 08 16 ENG G4 http://www.examiner.com/aviation-and-aerospace-in-national/world-s-first-4-seat-electric-aircraft-takes-off?CID=examiner_alerts_article

2011 08 16 ENG G4 Inhabitat     http://inhabitat.com/pipistrel-introduces-the-worlds-most-powerful-electric-airplane/

 2011 08 16 ENG G4 AvWeb http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Four_Place_Electric_Airplane_Flies_205220-1.html

2011 08 16 ENG CAFEblog http://blog.cafefoundation.org/?p=4098

2011 08 16 FRA piloter

2011 08 09 ENG Oshkosh6a 2011 08 09 ENG Oshkosh6 http://www.wired.com/autopia/2011/08/pipistrel-taurus-g4-electric/

2011 08 17 ENG G4 01  http://www.think-dash.com/2011/08/electric-airplane-has-4-seats-two.html 

2011 08 17 ENG G4 03 http://www.greenmuze.com/climate/travel/4124-the-green-flight-challenge-.html 

2011 08 17 ENG G4 04 http://www.aopa.org/oshkosh/2011/news/110726mega-electric-taurus-g4-debuts.html

2011 08 17 ENG G4 05 http://www.flyingmag.com/news/electric-aircraft-makes-first-flight

2011 08 17 ENG G4 06 http://www.mcp.com.au/sinus/newsletters/newsletter-56/newsletter-56.html

2011 08 17 ENG G4 07http://www.technologicvehicles.com/en/actualite-mobilite-verte/815/pipistrel-met-au-point-un-ovni-electrique-22

2011 08 17 ENG G4 08 http://www.generalaviationnews.com/2011/08/15/first-flight-taurus-g4/

2011 08 17 ENG G4 09 http://www.greenpacks.org/2011/08/09/taurus-g4-the-most-powerful-electric-airplane-is-ready/

2011 08 17 ENG G4 10EAA1 2011 08 17 ENG G4 10EAA2 2011 08 17 ENG G4 10EAA3 2011 08 17 ENG G4 14

2011 08 17 ENG G4 11  2011 08 17 ENG G4 12

2011 08 17 ENG G4 13 http://www.ecofriend.com/entry/pipistrel-taurus-g4-twin-fuselage-electric-seater-airplane/

2011 08 18 ENG G4 1 http://evworld.com/article.cfm?storyid=2010



2011 08 29 ENG topsecret  http://www.topsecretwriters.com/

2011 08 29 ENG Slovenes in the USA http://svn.amebylon.net/blog

2011 08 17 ENG G4 15 http://www.australianflying.com.au/news/week-in-brief-august-19-2011

2011 08 31 ENG G4 16  http://www.airventure.org/news/2011/110725_pipistrel.html


Pipistrelov Taurus G4  - prvo ┼ítirisede┼żno elektri─Źno letalo na svetu je poletelo!

Oshkosh, ZDA, 12. 8. 2011 (7.00 po lokalnem ─Źasu)

Z veseljem sporo─Źamo novico, da je po dolgotrajnem zahtevnem delu skoraj 30-─Źlanske ekipe na─Źrtovalcev in konstruktorjev Pipistrelovega razvojnega in┼ítituta, ter po dolgotrajnih birokratskih bojih z zavarovalnicami in in┼ítitucijami kot prvo tovrstno na svetu poletelo na┼íe ┼ítirisede┼żno elektri─Źno letalo Taurus G4. Letalo je bilo razvito z namenom udele┼żbe na naslednjem tekmovanju ameri┼íke agencije NASA, in sicer CAFE Green Flight Challenge 2011 v ekipi Pipistrel-USA.com. Nagradni sklad tekmovanja zna┼ía kar $1.65 milijona dolarjev.

Letalo je bilo prvi─Ź predstavljeno javnosti na letalski prireditvi Oshkosh Airventure julija letos in je bilo po glasovanju obiskovalcev med 15.000 razstavljenimi letali na 9. mestu po zanimivosti. Prvim desetim zdru┼żenje EAA vsako leto podeli virtualno nagrado za najbolj obiskan razstavni prostor oziroma najbolj ogledan eksponat.

Vendar ni ┼ílo vse zlahka. Zaradi posebnosti in velike neznanke, ki jo predstavlja elektri─Źni pogon, je imel Pipistrel ogromne te┼żave letalo sploh prepeljati do ZDA, saj ga poganja kar 450 kilogramov litij-polimernih baterij, ki so v dolo─Źenih okoli┼í─Źinah lahko vnetljive.
Zato je bil izredno velik izziv najti zavarovalnico v ZDA, ki je bila pripravljena tak┼íno letalo zavarovati, pa tudi testnega pilota, saj mora po pravilih tekmovanja in ameri┼íkih letalskih oblasti prve testne lete opraviti ameri┼íki testni pilot. Na sre─Źo je bil Taurus G4 med razstavo v Oshkoshu dele┼żen ogromnega zanimanja medijev, tako da je ekipi Pipistrela vendarle uspelo najti in prepri─Źati eno od zavarovalnic, da je sprejela izziv zavarovanja, ter enega najbolj znanih ameri┼íkih testnih pilotov, Dave-a Morss-a, da opravi program testnih letov.

Po sejmu, ko se je ogromni letali┼íki kompleks izpraznil, so nam prijazni organizatorji dovolili uporabo letali┼í─Źa in hangarja za testiranja. Ekipi Pipistrela pod vodstvom vodje projekta univ. dipl. ing. Tineta Toma┼żi─Źa je tako s pomo─Źjo testnega pilota Dave-a Morss-a za krmilom danes zjutraj uspel zgodovinski let.

IMG 4126 IMG 4125 IMG 4124


Pipistrelovo letalo Virus SW, ki je zmagalo na zadnjih dveh tekmovanjih agencije NASA v letih 2007 in 2008, se je tokrat umaknilo ─Źisto druga─Źnemu designu. Novo letalo Taurus G4 nima ni─Ź skupnega s prej┼ínjim dvakratnim zmagovalcem nate─Źaja. Je popolnoma novo, razvito posebej za namen tekmovanja. To je prvo ┼ítirisede┼żno letalo na elektri─Źni pogon, ki je kadarkoli poletelo. Naj omenimo, da je ┼íe eno Pipistrelovo letalo, Taurus Electro, leta 2007 poletelo kot prvo dvosede┼żno elektri─Źno letalo na svetu sploh.

Edinstvena zasnova letala G4 je nastala tako, da so zaradi zmanj┼íanja stro┼íkov razvoja v podjetju povezali med sabo dva trupa obstoje─Źega letala Taurus Electro G2, ki so ju spojili s centralno, 5 metrov dolgo sekcijo na kateri je name┼í─Źen elektri─Źni oziroma hibridni pogon, ki je bil razvit za novo nastajajo─Źe 4-sede┼żno letalo Panthera. Rezulatati testiranja pogona na letalu G4 bodo torej kasneje uporabljeni v serijski proizvodnji letala Panthera. Energijo med letom ─Źrpa bodisi iz litij-polimernih akumulatorjev, ki so name┼í─Źeni v obeh trupih ter v sredinskem delu, po potrebi pa tudi iz generatorja, ki proizvaja elektriko.

Letalo poganja 145 kW brezkrta─Źni motor, ki se nahaja na sredini centralne gredi med obema trupoma, in poganja posebej za to letalo izdelani propeler s premerom 2 metra. Skupni razpon kril zna┼ía 21,4 metra, kar pomeni da letalo ni dosti manj┼íe kot potni┼íki DC3!

Podvozje je uvla─Źljivo in letalo ima izjemno malo upora, se pravi dobre jadralne karakteristike, kar je tudi pogoj za uspeh na tekmovanju. ─îeprav ni bilo na─Źrtovano kot jadralno letalo, izkori┼í─Źa dobre jadralne karakteristike zato, da kar najbolje uporabi svoj elektri─Źni pogon, to pa pomeni da je energetsko var─Źno, kar je najpomembnej┼íi kriterij tekmovanja.

Namen razvoja in izdelave tega letala je uvrstitev in obranitev naslova iz let 2007-2008 na  tekmovanju CAFE/NASA green flight challenge, ki se bo odvijalo v septembru 2011 na letali┼í─Źu Santa Rosa v severni Kaliforniji.
Ve─Ź o tekmovanjih: 2007 CAFE/NASA Personal Air Vehicle (PAV) Challenge in 2008 CAFE/NASA General Aviation Technology Challenge Centennial Challenge

Tine Toma┼żi─Ź, vodja projekta in skoraj 30-─Źlanske razvojne ekipe, je letalo opisal kot ┬╗demonstrator nove tehnologije┬ź. Toma┼żi─Ź je eden glavnih in┼żenirjev, ki so razvili projekt, hkrati pa tudi testni pilot. Elektri─Źni in pogonski sistemi so bili v celoti razviti v Pipistrelu. Aerodinamika je bila zaupana prof. dr. Gregorju Vebletu, vodji oddelka Raziskav na Pipistrelu, konstrukcijo pa je razvil univ.dipl.ing Vid Plevnik v sodelovanju z univ.dipl.ing. Radom Kikljem. Ekipo razvoja plasti─Źnih delov in sistemov sta vodila Sa┼ío Kolar ter Franci Popit. Najzahtevnej┼íi del, in sicer razvoj elektri─Źnih in elektronskih delov, njihove medsebojne komunikacije ter nadzor polnjenja baterij in pogonov pa je razvil univ.dipl.ing. Jure Toma┼żi─Ź.

Univ.dipl.ing Tine Toma┼żi─Ź nam je razkril, da je Taurus G4 ta trenutek najmo─Źnej┼íe elektri─Źno letalo na svetu. Ima najve─Źjo kapaciteto baterij na krovu in je tudi prvo ┼ítirisede┼żno letalo sploh, ki leti na elektri─Źni pogon.┬ź
Prazna te┼ża letala je 1065 kg, od tega te┼ża baterij 470 kg. Maksimalna predpoletna te┼ża pa zna┼ía 1500 kg, kar pomeni da ima Taurus Electro G4 435 kg uporabne nosilnosti ÔÇô torej pravo ┼ítirisede┼żno letalo.

Ko smo ga spra┼íevali o prihodnosti tega letala in o mo┼żnosti, da bi vstopilo v serijsko proizvodnjo, je Tine povedal da je to letalo koncept, namenjen zgolj za Nasino tekmovanje, hkrati pa poskusni zaj─Źek za mnoge nove tehnologije, ki bodo uporabljene za nedavno razkrito ┼ítirisede┼żno poslovno letalo Panthera ÔÇô letalo, ki bo na voljo v treh verzijah bodisi z navadnim bencinskim motorjem, hibridnim motorjem ali v popolnoma elektri─Źni razli─Źici.
Po koncu tekmovalnega obdobja bo letalo G4 verjetno prodano kakšnemu zbiratelju, ki bo iskal edinstveno, unikatno letalo za zasebno uporabo ali za raziskovanje prihodnosti alternativnih letalskih pogonov.

Letalo bo pred tekmovanjem, ki se za─Źne 25. Septembra, naletelo 40 ur testnih letov in se nato pod vodstvom vodje tekmovalne ekipe Pipistrel-USA.com, prof. dr. Jacka Langelana poskusilo tretji─Ź zapovrstjo osvojiti naslov najbolj energetsko u─Źinkovitega in var─Źnega letala, ki ga podeljuje ameri┼íka vesoljska agencija NASA.

Ob zgodovinske prvem poletu ┼ítirisede┼żnega elektri─Źnega letala, ki pomeni enega najve─Źjih razvojnih uspehov v Pipistrelovi zgodovini, direktor Pipistrela Ivo Boscarol ─Źestita in se zahvaljuje prav vsem ki so kakorkoli pripomogli k temu.



2011 08 13 SLO G4 Delo http://delo.si/gospodarstvo/podjetja/izjemen-podvig-ajdovskega-pipistrela.html


2011 08 12 SLO G4  http://www.finance.si/320500/Pipistrelov-novi-favorit-za-Nasino-tekmovanje?src=rad100811


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