Pipistrel announced on Wednesday that it has promoted dealer Right Rudder Aviation to be its sole general U.S. distributor. The Inverness, Florida-based aerospace company will oversee a network of dealers throughout the country that will be unveiled in coming weeks.
Pipistrel has introduced several of its aircraft into the U.S. over the past five years, including the Panthera high-performance retract single and the Velis Electro, the world’s first all-electric airplane to gain EASA certification.
Andrew Chan, founder and COO of Right Rudder Aviation, spoke with FLYING and expressed his enthusiasm for serving the Pipistrel customer base—of both current and future pilots. The previous setup didn’t make much sense from a customer standpoint, Chan said, and now the company is poised to offer a more “concierge”-style experience for potential aircraft buyers as well as those looking to maintain and service their aircraft.
Chan expects up to three new Velis aircraft to come into Right Rudder Aviation this spring so that he can get them in front of folks. He also said that Part 23 certification on the Panthera high-performance single-engine with retractable gear is on track. Pipistrel has reported that certification is anticipated for the end of 2023.
The Velis series of both normally powered and electric aircraft have proven popular overseas as well as with flight schools. Chan has been participating in recent meetings under the FAA MOSAIC (Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certificates) initiative that show encouraging signs that several Pipistrel models currently operated under ASTM could move to Part 23 approval under the new guidelines.
A Velis Electro was brought to Florida Tech last summer, and its implementation there has been successful as well, according to Chan.
“It’s the right airplane for the mission,” said Chan of the Electro’s use in flight training. “It may not fit every need, but flight schools are responding to it.”