Pipistrel Goes to Asia
China isn't just the world's largest car market, it's a pretty good bet it could also be the world's largest airplane market, especially light airplanes. So, it makes sense that Ivo Boscarol, the founder and head of Pipistrel (Slovenian for "Bat") would partner up with Chinese entrepreneur and Danny Wu Hao to produce aircraft for the Chinese and some ten other nations in S.E. Asia.
The agreement for unspecified financial terms other than Boscarol will hold a 51% share of the new company to be called Pipistrel Asia-Pacific, while Hao controls 49%. Pipistrel will share its technology with their Chinese partner setting up production for the Alpha Electro electric trainer and the super-sleek Panthera Hybrid (engine depicted below). The deal is to acquire some 30 hecares (74 acres) of land near Nanjing to build an airport, production facilities and guest hostel.
China already has at least one competing electric airplane, the RX1E, but Pipistrel appears to be further along in development. In Europe, Avinor, company that operates Norway's airports just place an order for their first Alpha Electro as part of plan to offer lower cost pilot training at its various flight training facilities.
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