WATTsUP, Pipistrel’s new two-seat electric trainer took its maiden flight Aug. 22.
WATTsUP was developed in partnership with Siemens AG, which provided the electric main propulsion components.
According to Pipistrel officials, every element of the aircraft has been refined to be lighter, more efficient and more reliable. The 85 kW electric motor weighs 14kg, while the 17 kWh battery pack is dual-redundant and designed to be either quickly replaceable within minutes or charged in less than one hour, thanks to the next generation of Pipistrel’s Battery Management technology, officials note.
Ivo Boscarol, CEO of Pipistrel says: “With the ever growing cost of fuel it is time to rethink pilot training. Our solution is the first practical all-electric trainer. Technologies developed specially for this aircraft cut the cost of ab-initio pilot training by as much as 70%, making flying more affordable than ever before. Being able to conduct training on smaller airfields closer to towns with zero C02 emissions and minimum noise is also a game changer.”
WATTsUP meets microlight and ASTM LSA criteria, as well as standards for electric propulsion and is already certified in France.
“More countries will follow soon and we are applying for an exemption with the FAA to allow training operations as an S-LSA,” he continued.
Pipistrel expects to bring the final product to the market in 2015 with a target price below 100,000 EUR.
Pipistrel is a light aircraft manufacturer headquartered in Slovenia. Pioneering electric flight since 2007, Pipistrel’s Taurus Electro G2 received the Lindbergh award, crowned by the NASA Green Flight Challenge 2011, 1.3 Million USD victory with the four-seat Taurus G4. More than 1000 Pipistrel aircraft are flying in more than 70 countries worldwide. For more information: Pipistrel.si