After the Aeroscraft ML866 and Terrafugia Transition flying car, our bunch aviation enthusiasts were actually waiting for something in the personal aircraft space, which would strike a chord with something in the luxury segment. Though it doesn’t cater to those who fly around in customized luxury jets, the Pipistrel Panthera 4-seater aircraft finally sees the light of day, and ready to show its prowess in skies for aviation enthusiasts. Unveiled at the Aero Expo in Freidrichshafen, Germany, this plane is just what one would want in the garage, with its compact design, higher fuel efficiency, and a performance based engine.
When we first looked at this compact aircraft, we were not expecting the kind of engine proficiency that it now sports. Fitted with Lycoming IO-390 engine, this plane can zoom in the skies at 200 knots of speed, but consuming 41% less fuel as compared to anything within the competing league. This means, that an hour of flying will take up only 10 gallons, instead of the average 17 gallons as seen in other smaller aircrafts.
In terms of ergonomics, the interiors have been given a state of the art look, and all amenities are truly modernized. Entry is just as easy will the Gullwing style side doors, and the instrument panel on the front displays all functionalities and their controls in complete glory. The LED based touch-screens make it rather easy to control the aircraft with high efficiency.
The interiors have also been the sporty, yet very high-end feel with the dual toned tan and white seating arrangement for 4 adults. The rear seat is extra wide, which gives passengers an ideal setting for comfort while on their journey in the sky. There is cargo space located behind the seats; one can have plenty of space for any luggage or equipment they wish to carry, without compromising on the comfort and space factor within the cabin.
Safety has also been looked with detailing. The airplane sports a full air-frame parachute system which which operates at varying heights and speeds, and hence totally utility based for emergency situations. Also, the seat belts and cabin design cater to the FAR-23 certification standards, which keep the occupants inside completely safe, yet ensuring a lightweight body for high efficient flying. In short, the rendered prototype as seen here should have aviation enthusiasts, and budding pilots harking for their banks to finance their edition of the Pipistrel Panthera.
Besides the Pipistrel Panthera, the company is also working on two other futuristic aircrafts: Panthera Hybrid for those who are concerned about the environment, and wouldn’t appreciate a large carbon footprint. Virtually noiseless and eco-friendly, It sports a 145KW electric engine.
The Panthera Electro edition however, is pure electric based power-train, which can cover a distance of 400 km on a single charge and is supported by the state-of-the-art battery system for the environmentally conscious high-flyers.