On the heels of Pipistrel’s four-seat Panthera announcement about a month ago, the Slovenian airplane manufacturer has introduced a new LSA – the Pipistrel Alpha Trainer. The airplane was designed specifically for the rugged training environment, with stronger landing gear and a steerable nosewheel set lower compared with Pipistrel’s previous LSA offerings to improve the forward visibility during taxiing.
While the airplane looks nothing like an Air Force fighter, the catalyst for the project was a request from several countries’ “military aircraft forces” for a basic trainer, according to Pipistrel.
The two-seat composite airplane is equipped with an 80 hp Rotax 912 engine and Pipistrel’s own wood propeller. Pipistrel claims the Alpha Trainer’s cruise speed will be just shy of 110 knots. At first glance, the Alpha’s 15-gallon fuel tank may seem insufficient, but Pipistrel claims the airplane is capable of doing traffic pattern work at a fuel burn of 2.5 gph, which would make the airplane capable of five hours of flying with reserves.
Primary flight instruments display a combination of digital and analog readouts. In addition to the ground gauges, the panel includes an electronic attitude indicator, a Garmin Aera 500 portable GPS mounted inside an AirGizmo Panel Dock, a Garmin GTX 327 transponder and a 406 MHz ELT.
According to Pipistrel’s U.S. distributor, Michael Coates, “shipping has already started for the first customers” and there is a steady supply of Alphas currently in production. The price is tied to the Euro, but Coates says the current price is approximately $95,000, including delivery.