Recently unveiled at the Aero Expo in Freidrichshafen, Germany, Pipistel’s new Panthera Four-seater airplane can be ordered with a standard, albeit highly efficient, gas engine. But it’s also available in an all-electric model for those preferring an aircraft that produces less air and noise pollution. The four-seat, 202-knot, 210-horsepower Lycoming IO-390 powered airplane is projected to be certified in both Europe and the United States in 2015. The airplane has a carbon-fiber and Kevlar composite construction and comes with a ballistic parachute system, gull-wing doors, and a panel built around Garmin’s G500 avionics suite.
The Panthera will be ready in three versions driven by petrol, hybrid and electric. A 145kW motor powers all three models with the hybrid version releasing a cruising speed of 263kmph for a range of 1220km, while the electric version permits 400km at a cruising speed of 218kmph. The petrol version however will be more expensive and go into production following year and with output of 230 miles per hour and a fuel consumption of only 10 gallons per hour. This is the only model which can actually allow space enough for four persons or extra baggage as the hybrid and electric ones in order to make up for the extra weight of batteries is able to carry fly with only two people aboard.
Besides a slick streamlined design, the inside of the Panthera includes generously sized touchscreen aviation instruments, front seats that look like they were lifted from a luxury sports car, and extra wide back seats for added passenger comfort. All three versions of this svelte aircraft are done up with titanium-component landing gear, a state-of-the art, spacious, air-conditioned ergonomic cabin, recovery parachute, glass cockpit instrumentation, automatic solar powered ventilation and a list of standard features that should satisfy most VFR/IFR flight requirements.
And since you’ll be landing quite often given its limited range, there’s also plenty of storage space for luggage since you’ll probably be spending a lot of time in hotels waiting for it recharge. [Pipistrel]