Pipistrel LSA Expands, Hints At "Revolutionary" New Design

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2009 was the "most successful year in Pipistrel's 22 year history," seeing increased production and sales, plus the hiring of new employees, the company announced this week. Translated into numbers, Pipistrel's production and sales increased by more than 50 percent when compared to its 2008 numbers. It completed its 300th aircraft from the Sinus-Virus light sport aircraft family and the 50th Taurus model. That boom led the company to hire 11 new employees in 2009, building the company's total personnel to 60. Looking ahead, the company says its order positions for 2010 "have already been sold out to around June." It has distributed as profit sharing to employees some of the 10 million Euros it generated last year "as a reward for their outstanding performance and service." The company has also invested about 1 million Euro into an all-new project that it calls "revolutionary."

Pipistrel has previously mentioned its "revolutionary 4-seat aircraft project" before, but has so far shared almost no details. In May of 2009, it said the project was already under way and that "this new aircraft concept will trigger an unexpected large-scale revolution in the field of aviation." Pipistrel is known for highly efficient, environmentally friendly two-seat light sport aircraft. Its Sinus 912 very long-range-capable motorglider made an around the world flight (with stops) in 2004, which Pipistrel claims as a "first" for its category of aircraft. More recently, in 2008, the company's Virus SW won the NASA General Aviation Technology Challenge for exhibiting exceptionally low noise emissions. That year also saw introduction of the Taurus Electro two-place side-by-side electric-motor-powered glider.