Pipistrel took the wraps off its super-efficient Panthera four-seater this week at the Aero Expo in Friedrichshafen, Germany, giving avgeeks a first glimpse at the aircraft that boasts a 1,000 nm range and a cruise speed of 200 knots, all while burning a mere 10 gallons of gasoline per hour.
The prototype unveiled at the Expo is powered by a Lycoming IO-390 fuel-injected engine and comes equipped with retractable landing gear and BRS parachute. Company reps say a hybrid and electric version of the aircraft are currently in the works.
The Slovenian-based manufacturer has pinned the Pipistrel Panthera with the tagline “Wildly Innovative,” and if the sleek design can attain its target performance stats under Part 23 certification, it will be. Company reps expect the Panthera, which was launched last year, to receive that certification in 2015 and are planning on pricing the aircraft below $500,000.