Pipistrel have presented their brand new Panthera Four-seater airplane at the Aero Expo in Germany, available either with a highly efficient gas engine, with a hybrid system or an electric one, for less fuel usage and pollution.
The plane will be certified to fly over the United States and Europe in 2015, boasting with a 210 HP Lycoming IO-390 engine able to reach speeds of 202 knots. Made of Kevlar composite and carbon fiber, the aircraft is also extremely light and comes equipped with a ballistic parachute system, a panel built around Garmin’s G500 avionics suite and gull-wing doors.
Reportedly available with three different engine types, the only plane suitable to carry four people or extra luggage is the petrol engine, the most expensive of them all. It’s due to enter production during the next year, featuring an engine that can reportedly propel it with a maximum speed of 230 miles per hour with a fuel consumption as low as 10 gallons per hour.
The other versions are powered by a 145 kW motor that allows for a cruising speed of 263 km/h and a rage of up to 1220 km. The electric model on the other hand allows for a lower cruising speed of 218 km/h and a range of 400 km. These two versions are only able to carry two persons, the extra space available being occupied with batteries.
The exterior of the planes is streamlined, sleekly allowing for air to flow all over them. The inside on the other hand sports touchscreen aviation instruments, exquisite front seats resembling supercar ones and lavish back seats for passengers. The landing gear of all three versions has been hardened with titanium.
In addition, they include automatic solar powered ventilation, glass cockpit instrumentation, recovery parachute and a one of, comfortable, air-conditioned cabin. The list of standard features is quite astonishing as well, with the possibility of meeting the most discerning VFR/IFR flight requirements. And if this wasn’t enough, they come with enough luggage space for long journeys.
The downside of these planes, except the petrol powered version, is that their range is pretty much limited. You’ll need to touch at a few hotels in order to get them recharged and to be able to carry on your journey.