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Pipistrel's Sinus Flex Offers Two Airplanes in One
Pipistrel has introduced a new LSA, which offers the capability of quickly turning the airplane from a motorglider into a cross-country cruiser. The Sinus Flex is a standard Sinus model, which was designed with a 49-foot 1.5-inch wingspan. But the outermost parts of the Flex version's wings are removable and can be substituted for shorter wingtips, giving the Sinus the same wingspan as Pipistrel's Virus — an LSA designed for cross-country flights and flight instruction.
The Slovenian company claims the wing transformation can be done in as little as five minutes using a standard wrench. The shorter wingspan is 41 feet, which also makes the LSA much easier to fit into a hangar.
If you already own a Sinus you can remove the wings and replace them with the flexible wings to enjoy the benefits of the wingtip swap. The cost of the Flex wings is about $7,900, and Pipistrel will take the old wings in return. The amount of credit received for the used wings depends on their condition. Customers who are only looking for the shorter wingspan to fit the airplane into a smaller hangar can order the Flex wings without the replacement wingtips for about $5,000.
While Sinus owners can essentially turn their airplanes into a Virus (there are some slight differences other than the wings), the opposite is not true. A Pipistrel representative said the reason for this is that the VNE for the Virus is 135 knots, while the Sinus Flex wing is only approved for a VNE of 120 knots. The Sinus and Virus are both offered with tailwheel or tricycle landing gear, but once the gear configuration has been selected it cannot be modified.