Pipistrel unveils Panthera

On opening day of Aero, the giant general aviation show in Germany, Pipistrel presented to the world for the first time its latest design, the Panthera.

Launched as a project at last year’s Aero, the Panthera is a new four-seat composite cruiser, developed entirely in house. The streamlined design takes four people 1,000 nm and cruises at 200 kts while burning only 10 US gallons per hour of fuel. The prototype is powered by a Lycoming IO-390 fuel injected engine, but hybrid- and electro powerplants are coming soon, company officials promised.

Pipistrel CEO Ivo Boscarol (pictured below) calls the design “wildly innovative.”

“Panthera will shake the world of general aviation, setting the benchmark for efficiency, cabin comfort and safety for others to follow,” he predicted. “Hybrid and electric aircraft are the future of aviation, with Panthera being the best airframe to demonstrate the potential of this technology.”

Panthera’s standard equipment includes a specially-developed low-altitude high-speed Ballistic Parachute Rescue System, 26 G safety cockpit, tuned exhaust system, titanium trailing-link retractable landing gear and Garmin avionics. Global Part-23 certification is expected in 2015.

Pipistrel is a three-time winner of the NASA Centennial Challenges and has claimed the highest prize ever awarded in aviation, the Green Flight Challenge 2011. Its four-seat electric Taurus G4 airframe was recently nominated for the prestigious Collier Trophy, awarded to greatest achievements in astronautics and aeronautics.

For more information: Panthera-Aircraft.com, Pipistrel.si




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  1. Vlastacandles says

    Wow, she is beautiful I am so proud to be Slovenian. On the trip back home, Slovenia, my husband and I got a tour of the factory, which is only 1 mile from my parents house and we saw this plane’s fuselage in the mold. They were just working on the wings as well. How cool to see it done. Great job Pipistrel!

  2. Leguest says

    Looks like lengthened DA40. Same tail, sticks, instrument panel, seats.. DA40+
    It would be interesting to know what the useful load is on this thing. Still it looks really nice. I am a bit skeptical about hybrid and electric propulsion. Such plans seems too optimistic at this time but who knows. Electric airplane could be revolutionary for flight training.

    I find it surprising that with all flight restrictions and red tape in Europe companies still manage create such innovative new airplanes. Where are american companies? Are they all gone to LSA or are they asleep like Cessna and Piper? Even Cirrus only managed to add unusable 5th seat in their SR22 and re-announce Vision Jet this year.

    • KevinKrywko says

      I too am skeptical about the hybrid and all electric. The all electric might not have sufficient range and performance without the latest in battery tech which would be prone to overheating and huge prices. While a hybrid would help with some of the problems, the planes would still underperform. Also I suspect that there would be a severe weight penalty which would be the key reason why the plane would underperform.

      Hopefully, breakthroughs would resolve those issues in the near future. But in the meantime, I’d recommend sticking with just the Lycoming IO-390 fuel injected engine. Although conventional, it is lighter, has better performance number (on paper at least, as it’s faster and uses less runway, etc), yet reliable, simpler and sips fuel while still producing more enough power to meet the High Performance cat (giving the plane a bragging right or two).

      • gbin says

        It takes a dreamer to design a new plane.  The Panthera looks like a beautiful dream already, and if they really do pursue hybrid and electric powerplants for it – and I very much hope they do – all the better!

    • Vlasta says

      When you talk about restrictions in Europe, you are right, but then you have never met Ivo Boscarol CEO of Pipistrel. He was building planes in his garage and he is the visionary and always pushing the limits. 

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