In keeping with Pipistrel’s tradition of continuing evolution, quality, high tech manufacturing and now most importantly flying without ruining the environment through toxic gases or excessive noise, Pipistrel is proud to introduce the Pipistrel ALPHA Electro.
The name “Pipistrel ALPHA Electro” describes the exact purpose of this exciting new aircraft designed for Light Sport Aircraft Flying Schools in markets and countries which have the FAA-LSA (or adaptation of ASTM rules) categories.
The aircraft has been designed with the “essence of training” as its primary design goal; training has to start somewhere, just like the modern alphabet starts with the letter “A” this new aircraft bears the name ALPHA, the ALPHA Electro to be exact.
The aircraft is available in a fixed configuration of instrumentation and is targeted directly to flight schools and the training market but can also be used by recreational flyers looking for a fully featured electric aircraft at very reasonable pricing.
Performance of the ALPHA Electro 2-seat electric trainer is tailored to the needs of flight schools. Short take-off distance, powerful 1000+ fpm climb, and endurance of one hour plus reserve.
The Alpha Electro is optimized for traffic-pattern operations, where 13% of energy is recuperated on every approach, increasing endurance and at the same time enabling short-field landings.
The ALPHA Electro is a completely new approach to flight training and at a cost nearly half that of our competitors.
Before we get into the amazingly affordable price let’s talk about some of the exciting features.
The new ALPHA Electro is an aircraft which is affordable to acquire, it is economical to maintain and we believe no other LSA training aircraft is as cheap to run as the new Pipistrel ALPHA Electro with its frugal operating costs, in most areas it could be as little as $3/hour for electricity to operate the aircraft.
Let’s list what Pipistrel believe an LSA training aircraft should be:
Extensive market research and evaluation has given Pipistrel this wish list for the perfect training aircraft and we have really delivered, providing a fully optioned and approved training aircraft at a very reasonable cost with the lowest running costs in the industry.
Who is Pipistrel some of you may be asking ?
Pipistrel is the leading light aircraft manufacturer established in Europe for over 25 years, winner of the world air games, and winner of the NASA CAFE challenge 3 times in a row (including winner of $1.375 Million – the largest prize ever awarded for efficiency in flight) and you may even have heard about our aircraft flying around the globe without assistance. Pipistrel is not only the perfect choice for adventurers and advanced pilots but it is now the choice for the training market as well.
Let’s look at the changes Pipistrel has made to the new ALPHA Electro model and the philosophy behind their changes.
Undercarriage, the main undercarriage which is made of composite material is beefed up for a MTOW which still allows for 2 reasonably sized adults, it is strong and durable and capable of accepting the bad the landings made by new students. The new nose leg is 2 inches shorter lowering the nose and improving the visibility during taxi. Propeller clearance is not sacrificed because the Pipistrel ALPHA Electro uses a smaller 63” diameter fixed pitch propeller.
Durability in the training market requires careful planning, for this reason Pipistrel have chosen to supply the Pipistrel ALPHA Electro with extra heavy-duty seat fabric, the wheel spats are also removed from this aircraft meaning it’s impossible for a student to break them getting in and out and in the unlikely event of a puncture the wheel can be replaced in around 2 minutes, again design features helping to keep the Pipistrel ALPHA Electro in the air and earning you money rather than being in the repair shop.
The Pipistrel ALPHA Electro has a new wing design based on the already successful and proven Pipistrel Virus SW aircraft. With the redesigned wing the aircraft does not require airbrakes to land, further simplifying the cockpit controls for students. The new wings feature redesigned flaperons which now have 25° of flap travel making short field landings a breeze.
The new propeller for the Pipistrel ALPHA Electro is Pipistrel’s own design, CNC machined in house it’s manufactured from wood and is then protected in a composite covering including leading edge protection which is then painted. Being a wooden propeller there is very little vibration which contributes towards the smooth running of the aircraft, a composite covering makes a propeller very durable offering years of use in a normal training environment.
The Pipistrel ALPHA Electro has a very small luggage area for storage of tie downs and ropes, water bottles, first aid kit and other accessories; access to the storage area is through the cockpit seats which fold forward to offer easy and unrestricted access. Because the aircraft is designed as a training aircraft and designed to stay in circuit there is no need for a large storage capacity. There are also two large pockets on the sides of the instrument panel, ideal for storing maps and water bottles during flight.
The brakes have been redesigned and simplified for the Pipistrel ALPHA Electro offering exceptional braking performance on even short airfields. The directly steerable nose wheel can easily turn the aircraft on a dime and the brake shoes can be replaced in less than 15 minutes keeping your maintenance cost down.
The price may be inexpensive but we have not spared any of the Pipistrel ALPHA Electro options.
Features… Yes there are plenty.
Looking at the features, quality, performance, and economy, the new Pipistrel ALPHA Electro represents the best value in a composite LSA for the training market.
Working widely with several finance companies and business planers we have developed a complete turnkey solution for a start-up training school business, or for an existing training school looking to modernize the fleet while cutting current operating costs in half.
Are you looking to improve the return on investment for your flight school? The Pipistrel ALPHA Electro may be the perfect solution.
|TECHNICAL DATA PIPISTREL ALPHA ELECTRO|
|max power||60 kW 1 min, Cruise 50 kW @ 2100 – 2400 rpm|
|ground adjustable three-blade 1.64 m diameter propeller|
|wing span||34′ 6″ (10.5 m)|
|length||21′ 4″ (6.5 m)|
|height||6′ 9″ (2.05 m)|
|wing area||102.4 sqft (9.51 m2)|
|rudder area||11.8 sqft (1.1 m2)|
|tail area||11.6 sqft (1.08 m2)|
|positive flaps||0°, 15°, 25°|
|centre of gravity||20% – 38% MAC|
|empty weight – with batteries||368 kg|
|max take off weight (MTOW)||550 kg LSA|
|DATA PUBLISHED FOR MTOW 1,212 lbs (550 kg) All speeds in Knots|
|stall with flaps||35 KCAS|
|stall without flaps||43 KCAS|
|cruising speed (75% power)||85 KIAS|
|maximum horizontal speed at sea level||+ 100 KIAS|
|max speed with flaps down||70 KIAS|
|manoeuvring speed||86 KIAS|
|best climb speed||76 KIAS|
|max climb rate||1,220 fpm|
|best glide ratio speed||64 KIAS|
|take off run – grass||555 feet|
|take off over 50′ obstacle – grass||870 feet|
|service ceiling||12,800 feet|
|45°-45° roll time||2.6 sec|
|endurance||up to 60 minutes (plus reserve)|
|cruise range distance||75 NM|
|max load factor permitted @ (1.875)||+4g -2g|
|design safety factors & tested||minimum 1.875|
|Note: Pipistrel reserves the right to revise this data sheet whenever occasioned by product improvement, government/authority regulations or other good cause.|
What charging systems are available ?
|Basic Worldwide||Off-board Charger, 3kW, single-phase
85-265 Vac, 45 – 65 Hz
|USA – Upgrade||Off-board Charger, 10kW, single-phase
85-265 Vac, 45 – 65 Hz
|USA – Upgrade||Off-board Charger, 15kW, single-phase
85-265 Vac, 45 – 65 Hz
|EU – Upgrade||Off-board Charger, 10kW, three-phase
380 Vac, 45 – 65 Hz
|EU – Upgrade||Off-board Charger, 20kW, three-phase
380 Vac, 45 – 65 Hz
How long will the aircraft fly typically in circuits?
Up to 60 min + reserve. For LSA Aircraft the reserve is 20 minutes.
How long will the aircraft fly at cruise/cross-country?
45minutes @18kW and 75 kts IAS
How long does it typically take to charge the batteries with the different chargers? (20%-95% range)
6hrs with 3kW charger, 1h 40′ with 10 kW charger, 1h 5′ with 14 kW, 45 minutes with the 20 kW charger
What are the temperature limitations for flying in cold weather / hot weather?
There is no limitation in the POH. +39 °C ambient air temperature due to battery cooling and airflow for cooling
Will I overheat when I am taxiing in hot weather?
No, not if you follow the POH procedures
If I am not using the aircraft in winter do I need to do anything special to stop the batteries from freezing
Select Rest Charge and keep the operating battery temperature between 5-55°C. Indoor Storage 10-40°C is ideal. If battery storage temperature is below 10°C the battery capacity may decrease
How long will the batteries last, what is their lifespan in years and charge cycles before the batteries drop to 75% of the original capacity
17 years. 300 to 700 cycles depending on careful operation according to POH.
Can I add extra batteries to get more range when I am flying?
How long does it take to remove the batteries for storage?
Less than 5 minutes
How heavy are the batteries and can I swap them over myself?
Each battery pack is 53 kg. Yes, you can remove the pack with no extra help
What is the luggage capacity the aircraft?
There is no luggage compartment. Convenience luggage can be stored in the side pockets on the instrument panel
Can I fly with just one battery in the front so I can carry more luggage in the back?
There is no luggage compartment. You can fly with 1 battery only but you will need to ballast in the back-battery compartment due to CG range reasons and you will only have half of the endurance.
Are there any special maintenance requirements for an electric aircraft?
Electric motor overhaul is 2,000 hrs. (Total life is 6,000 hrs.)
Who can work on the engine for regular maintenance?
There is no regular maintenance on the motor required, the first maintenance requirement is the 2,000-hour TBO service
How long will the engine last and who can do servicing?
The motor lasts 6,000 hrs (2,000 x 3 service series). The producer can perform the servicing
Why are electric aircraft so expensive?
Because you are buying all the fuel upfront with the aircraft purchase (the cost of the batteries) Because of low production numbers compared to the auto industry and the battery costs
What charger can I take with me in the aircraft so I can go on a trip and recharge from different airports?
At this time, none
What are the chances of an electrical fire?
Extremely remote 108
Are there any special precautions taken to stop me getting electrocuted especially during servicing?
Yes. There is an isolation monitor device built into the airplane. It measures the voltage difference between the two battery packs and prevents the system to power up if this difference is higher than a certain level
What are the volts and amps that the engine runs at?
The motor operates at 325 V and 240 A. Batteries 400V. Unless really cold the system will supply full power even with low battery SOC
Can I use a different charger when I am travelling, perhaps a charger for an electric vehicle?
No. Pipistrel aircraft run a dedicated charger that communicates via proprietary CAN-bus protocol with the main computer and the BMS for optimized charging
What is the warranty on the electrical propulsion system?
All Pipistrel aircraft have a 2 years / 100 hrs. warranty (whatever comes first)
Does the ALPHA Electro have cabin heating system?
Who is the motor producer?
Pipistrel. The base motor before extensive modification is Emrax (cooling, mechanical parts)
How much power can you recuperate in circuit?
What kind of batteries are installed?
Lithium ion. Cells are manufacturer by Samsung. Battery box design and assembly is Pipistrel, Battery Management System (BMS) is also designed and manufactured by Pipistrel
Is any sort of hybrid version planned?
How can i register the ALPHA Electro today?
It depends on the operating location and the intended use. Please check with your local dealer for information specific to your location.
What infrastructure do I need at the airport for charging?
The charger comes with a prepared and marked supply wire, you can wire a connector according to the country of operation
Can I use solar panels for charging?
Yes, installed on the roof of the hangar with a proper storage unit
Is there the possibility to install solar panels on the wings?
The wing surface is so small that there are not enough benefits, it simply can’t be justified
What is the cost to overhaul the electric motor at 2000 hours?
The cost October 2017 is 500 Euro +12 hours of labor
What is the cost of replacing the electric motor at 6000 hours?
The cost October 2017 is 10,000 Euro
What is the cost of replacing the batteries is a complete set?
The cost October 2017 is 19,500 Euro
What is the cost of replacing the battery cells in my existing battery boxes?
The cost October 2017 is 12,000 Euro
Can I do aerobatics, spins in the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer?
The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer design follows the strictest EASA CS-22, CS-VLA and CS-23 (sections) certification standards, as well as their FAA FAR counterparts and the ASTM standards for LSA aircraft.
More than six months of ground, structural and vibration tests went by without a glitch, followed by an extensive flight test program with more than 100 hours of cumulative tests. The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer aircraft was designed for the training market but still offers exceptional and sprightly performance. The aircraft is however not suitable for aerobatics, despite the +4 G, -2 G allowable loads.
Pipistrel cannot prevent people doing aerobatic maneuvers in the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer, but we do not approve it – the reason is in aerodynamics. The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer has so little drag that it picks up speed MUCH quicker than other aircraft with little drag. This can be dangerous in aerobatic maneuvers (also spins, which are completely recoverable) and an average pilot can very quickly overstress the airframe because of VNE in a steep dive in just 5 seconds!
If the customer approaches you because he wants an aircraft for aerobatics, you as the distributor/promoter can clearly say that this is not the aircraft he/she wants.
The paint used on the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is a special acrylic based pigment, which is applied to the molds during the manufacturing process. Pipistrel aeroplanes are not after-painted like many other aeroplanes – instead, paint is applied onto/into the structure while molding. This makes the paint much more durable and resistant to UV light and environmental contaminants. Recommendations for care and cleaning of the aircraft can be found in the Flight manual and Maintenance manual, section Handling and Maintenance, chapter, keeping your aircraft in perfect shape.
Standard wheels have large 4-ply tires, which are adequate for use on grass/gravel and light use on hard (asphalt, tarmac, etc.) runways. If you anticipate using the aircraft on asphalt only, consider ordering six or eight ply tires which will last much longer. Pipistrel offers tires with 4, 6, 8 or 10 ply’s, additionally, tires are available from companies like Aircraft Spruce who offer overnight US delivery at very reasonable pricing.
The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer aircraft is certified and approved in the LSA category (in the USA) the aircraft would also qualify for certification approvals in other countries.
The upholstery offered with the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is very durable fabric which has been offered by Pipistrel with all of their aircraft since 1995. This upholstery matches the seats, firewall, carpet and also wing spar cover which is now offered as a standard option.
Real life performance
True to Pipistrel performance, all data published for the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is accurate and acquired from flight testing. Please note that the data is published for the take-off mass of 550 kg and ISA Sea Level conditions.
Based on experience, you can for a hot summer day expect the cruise speed figures to be a maximum 10 km/h (5 kts) less than those in ISA Sea Level and take-off performance degraded by maximum 20%. Further information about aircraft performance in hot conditions and on grass runways is also included in the flight manual.
The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer contains a solid luggage compartment behind the seats which is easily accessible in the cockpit. The baggage allowance varies depending on the fuel quantity in the aircraft. The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer has not been designed as a touring aircraft but as a training aircraft, there is more than enough room however for an overnight bag, limited spares, tie downs etc. The recommended maximum full fuel weight in the luggage area is 22 pounds although the aircraft can carry up to 55 pounds with reduced fuel capacity. This baggage allowance is additional to the ballistic parachute which is installed as standard.
Is it possible to have Rotax 100 hp or 914 Turbo engine?
No. The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer has been designed as a training aircraft and the 80 hp engine is more than adequate for operations at the maximum takeoff weight. Typically at maximum takeoff weight the aircraft will still climb at 800 fpm. 100 hp would be overpowered in the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer aircraft.
Can I have an in-flight adjustable or feathering propeller?
No, the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is only offered with a fixed pitch propeller, it is designed as a training aircraft and not as a glider.
Can I fit airbrakes or spoilers?
No, the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is not available with airbrakes as an option.
Can I get a larger fuel tank?
No, the fuel tank capacity is fixed.
Can I use fuel with ethanol?
Yes, the fuel tank and the fuel lines are protected for ethanol up to 10% which is the current limit set by Rotax.
Can I change the instruments?
No, to keep the cost of the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer as low as possible the aircraft is only available in a set instrument configuration.
What is the Pipistrel Alpha Trainer warranty?
The warranty on Pipistrel aircraft is 12 months or 100 hours whichever comes earlier. The airframe is covered by Pipistrel, the engine is covered by Rotax International warranty and individual warranties are carried by the instrument and avionics manufacturers. A full copy of the warranty conditions is available on request.
Wingspan and wing removal
The wingspan of the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is 34’ 6’’ (10.5 m) which is 18” (0.5 m) less than a Cessna 172. The wings can be removed in around 15 minutes
Do you need Service or Support for your Pipistrel products ?
Manuals for an aircraft you are servicing ? Spare Parts ? Airworthiness Information ?
Go to the Pipistrel Cloud https://cloud.pipistrel.si/ for the following information
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If you need more information then please contact Pipistrel USA here including as many details as possible