My Friends Call Me Pipi!
Hi! I am N119JP, a Pipistrel Alpha Trainer. My friends call me Pipi.
I was built in Slovenia by Pipistrel Aircraft Company. I am the third in a line of models built with the same airframe. The first of the line, the Sinus, is a long wing, motor glider. The second, Virus, is the speedster of the family and is often Experimental so that it can go really fast.
The Pipistrel Aircraft Company is known for its high-efficiency motor gliders and electric aircraft. They combined both in 2007 and won the $1.3 million X-Prize for flying 200 miles with an airplane based on my super-duper glider sibling, the Taurus.
Since winning the X-Prize, Pipistrel Aircraft Company has been busy building electric aircraft, first with my little brother the Alpha Electro and now with an entirely European (EASA) Certified airplane called the Velus. The Velus is currently being flown, along with other Alphas and Virus, in flight schools across Europe. They will be here as soon as the FAA has figured out electric airplanes.
My first flights were in Italy, where I got my paperwork before I was sent to Wisconsin, where I was re-assembled and began training pilots in Minnesota in 2013. In my early days, I had more accessories added during my time in a flight school in Minnesota, like a Tanis engine heater, Berringer brakes, a newer Garmin Radio, and recently, ADS-B Out. The heater keeps my engine ready to go, the fancy French brakes for all the landing I do in training, the radio that includes a connection to the GPS for frequencies, and the ADS-B keep me connected.
When I was a young bird, I flew around Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. I had pilots who liked how high I can go with a service ceiling of 18,000 feet!
Some passengers and pilots appreciate the view they have from my seats. All those windows keep folks warm in the winter. It is sunny and warm inside no matter what the temperature is outside.
Lots of people say I am a glider—some of my Alpha family function as glider trainers. I do kind of act like one because I am efficient and slick. My first Chief Flight Instructor compared my landing approach to the CRJ which he was flying for his day job. Different speeds but the same approach angle. If you like math, the ratio is 15-1.
I am a good choice for people who like to tread lightly environmentally. I burn little gas and yet can cruise along at the maximum speed for a Light-Sport. My efficiency allows for plenty of time aloft.
Being in Colorado reminds me of my roots in the mountains of Slovenia. My long wings and slick aerodynamics are suited for this high altitude. It is helpful that my carburetors know how to adjust for the different air pressures.
I am looking forward to bringing lots of folks around and above the peaks in my new home.
As my test pilot would say, Arrivederci!
If you want to learn more about me, visit https://www.pipistrel-aircraft.com/aircraft/flight-training/alpha/