194 Out The Door: Pipistrel Completes Indian Trainer Deliveries


All of the 194 aircraft ordered by the Indian government for use by the Indian air force, Indian navy and the National Cadet Corps have been delivered, according to Pipistrel. Based on the Virus SW 80, the trainers are called the GARUD, a bird prominent in Hindu mythology. 

Pipistrel began delivering aircraft in 2016, but also managed training of “a large number of technicians and engineers” from all branches of the Indian Ministry of Defense. The Indian government is expected to use the aircraft for at least the next 15 years. 

“At the beginning also big players in the aviation warned me that working with India is not possible and we would never bring the contract to the end successfully, but all of us, working together as a strong team, succeeded in doing just that,” says Ivo Boscarol, Pipistrel’s CEO. “This deal opened many future doors for us.”

According to former Wing Commander Sanjay Thapar, who is now CEO of Skytec, a partner in the Pipistrel program, “Winning the contract in tough competitive environment was easy for Pipistrel as they offered the best product at the lowest price. But execution of contract was full of challenges, biggest being large number of delivery locations spread all over India from Srinagar to Trivandrum, Chabua to Naliya and Port Blair in high seas.”

The all-composite Virus SW uses an 80-HP Rotax 912 for this application and carries a claimed 132-knot cruise speed. 

Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. 132 knot cruise on 80 horsepower? Sounds like marketing wishful thinking. It will be interesting to see how they hold up to training abuse. I wouldn’t count on them making the 15 year service life.

  2. Hi John. Interesting comment. What is your experience with the aircraft and manufacturer? How many hours have you flown with one of these aircraft? I’d be interested in your experience. I think it is rather astounding that Pipistrel has fulfilled the order to the satisfaction of the customer. Thank you, G