Pipistrel Lands Biggest U.S. Order

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Pipistrel has sold 15 Alpha trainer aircraft to a flight school in California, the company’s largest-ever U.S. order. The flight school, WorldWide Wings, operates facilities in California and Florida that train pilots from all over the world, especially India. WWW director Naushad Imam said his flight school had been looking for a “suitable LSA ab-initio trainer” for quite a while. They leased a few airplanes from various manufacturers and tried them out in the training environment. “This provided a very good understanding of their suitability,” said Imam. “Finding the right airplane which provided the flexibility of conducting all training seamlessly from end-to-end on a standardized platform was the key.” All of the Alpha trainers will be IFR equipped.

The Alpha trainer was introduced in 2012. It’s powered by the Rotax 912 engine and can fly up to 324 NM at a cruising speed of 108 knots. More than 300 are flying in 35 countries, including almost 50 in the U.S., Pipistrel says. Deliveries to WorldWide Wings from Pipistrel’s Italian production facility will begin later this month, with commissioning in San Bernardino scheduled for the first week of June, the company said. AVweb’s editorial director, Paul Bertorelli, went flying in an electric-powered Alpha in 2015.

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