Newsletter 126 – May 2020

Newsletter 126 May 2020

NEWS: Pipistrel Cargo Aircraft & Pipistrel 19-seat Hydrogen powered shuttle

Slovenian and Italian Light aircraft manufacturer, Pipistrel has started development of a cargo aircraft for aerial delivery of payloads without landing.

Pipistrel is also involved in a EU program to develop a hydrogen powered 19-passenger shuttle.

Pipistrel Cargo Aircraft

Pipistrel are currently working on/with two unique cargo programs.

The first one is a cargo aircraft capable of carrying 300 kg payload (approx. 660 lbs), a range close to 200 nautical miles, and a design similar to the Pipistrel 801 eVTOL under development for the UBER program. This aircraft is expected to be released to a large customer in Asia during 2022 and at this stage further details are fairly limited but as they say “watch this space”

The second cargo aircraft is already flying and being demonstrated in various locations. We have affectionately called it the “Box Droper” because of what it does. Initially using a Pipistrel ALPHA Electro airframe as the demonstration platform, this unique aircraft has been developed to be remotely piloted or manned and it is designed to deliver humanitarian goods to people isolated by natural disasters and other crisis events with absolute accuracy.

To simplistically describe this system, there is a pod carried on each wing, inside this pod are up to 3 specially designed cardboard boxes with a load capacity of 20 kg each (approx. 44 lbs). These boxes are ejected from the aircraft when it is flying over the deployment location and the air opens some special flaps on the cardboard box which allow it to float down to the ground like its descending under a parachute. When the box hits the ground a dedicated crumple zone at the bottom of each box absorbs the impact and protects the goods from damage. Developers have tested this by dropping boxes from 300 feet with eggs inside and would you believe when the box is opened, all of the eggs are intact!  You can even use the box to light a fire should there be a need!

Please visit   https://wingsforaid.org/   for more information on this exciting project.

NEWS: Pipistrel Cargo Aircraft & Pipistrel 19-seat Hydrogen powered shuttle

Pipistrel is cooperating with several other EU based organisations in the development of a 19-passenger hydrogen powered aircraft for short duration flights up to 500 km (300 miles).

Currently there are very few options to travel between major cities. The congested road network takes time to navigate and many of these cities are ideal to be linked with a hydrogen-powered aircraft shuttle service. Flying would reduce the time taken on these shorter trips down to one-third of the time needed for driving. Being hydrogen powered, the aircraft are themselves pollution free with the only by-product being water which is evaporated during the flight. Refuelling these aircraft can be completed in as little as five minutes, there is no engine warm up or any of the normal maintenance tasks required in conventional aircraft.

The true operating costs are expected to be around one-quarter of conventional aircraft operating in the European Union.

Pipistrel are currently in the final stages of testing a dual hydrogen fuel cell propulsion system for another project. Despite the challenges that come with Covid-19 Pipistrel is still developing and cooperating on many new projects.

Artist's impression of new 19-seat Hydrogen Powered Shuttle

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