Textron Completes $235 Million Purchase Of Pipistrel


Textron is paying $235 million for Slovenian electric aircraft innovator Pipistrel. The company announced the closure of the deal on Wednesday and said the acquisition will expedite the mainstream incorporation of electric aircraft. “Pipistrel has already achieved what many other companies only aspire to—certifying and delivering highly regarded electric aircraft to customers around the world,” said Textron Chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. “We are excited to accelerate Pipistrel’s development and to welcome its talented people into our organization, where we will pool expertise to make Textron a world leader in sustainable aircraft for a wide range of missions.”

The deal was announced last month and surprised many pundits. Pipistrel has epitomized bootstrap innovation in its 20 years of building aircraft and its efficient and capable creations are highly regarded. But it was the certification of the Velis Electro, the first certified electric aircraft, that caught the attention of the buttoned-down Textron executive suite. “With Pipistrel, we have the opportunity to take an already great aircraft manufacturer and make it greater still,” said Textron eAviation CEO Rob Scholl. “We look forward to working with its remarkable team and helping the business achieve its full potential.”

Pipistrel Founder Ivo Boscarol will retain a 10 percent stake in the company for two years and stay on in an advisory role after which he will be bought out by Textron. Pipistrel will remain headquartered in Slovenia and Italy and Textron says it will invest in those facilities to boost production and development of new aircraft.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Oh, I hope this is good for Pipistrel. I hope they get to keep their fresh and creative mindset, designing and building aircraft that are far ahead of the classic American metal we’ve been flying for 50 years. I hope they don’t get put under some ridiculous cost-cutting and component-sharing regime that slowly but surely brings those great aircraft back to average.

  2. What if… Pipistrel’s nimble thinking, pragmatic practicality, and Can-Do approach caught on… at Textron?

  3. Man, I hate to be such a downer on this. “We look forward to working with this remarkable team…” that is where you’ll see this fall apart. ‘Work’ at giants like Textron and ‘Work’ at any startups are massively different things – for example one reason Pipistrel successfully has gone to market is that decision by committee wasn’t there. They just got it done. No one at Textron will have the ability to be nimble without decision by committee or analysis paralysis let alone the legal team at Textron. When Pipistrel’s stars see the fetters they’ll bail within two years. Best approach could have been an third entity joint-owned by Textron and Pipistrel that allows it to be more autonomous.

  4. I wonder what will happen to the Panthera. 185 kts cruise at 10.5 gph. Will it be dropped before U.S. certification?

    • Or they’ll double the price. “If you want something more modern, sleek, fast, efficient, safe and cool than our Skylane, you really can’t expect to get it for roughly the same price!”

  5. They should get ready for a blizzard of pink slips. The minions at Textron will immediately find all kinds of wrongs and problems that only they can fix and then only by ridding the company of those who were making it work regardless of the coming era of Textron back seat flying.

  6. Kiss of death. Sincerely hope this isn’t the end for Pipistrel. I’m still mourning past purchases the bean counters at this company snuffed. Hope they spin the Panthera off to a company that will recognize the design and construction technology or it will become the new Corvallis/TTx marketing fail. Truly sad.