Electric

2021 Engine Buyer’s Guide

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Aircraft Engine Buyer's Guide 2021

Pipistrel

While Pipistrel is not actively engaged with the amateur-built hobby but is dealing with airframe manufacturers, we’re listing four of its electric power systems for intrepid Experimental builders looking for a completely new challenge.

And make no mistake, electric propulsion is completely different from our usual 100LL and Jet A engines. It’s best to have a thorough understanding of which wire typically goes where in electrical systems before attempting to install such e-motivation in your homebuilt. That’s because these are high-amperage, high-voltage electrics that demand the utmost in respect. That said, the potential for petroleum-free aviating is strong for aircraft that stay relatively close to the airport. Training is where electric airplanes are gaining their toehold in the market. And a fun little electrically powered flyer for those sunset flights, pattern work or relatively close-by pancake chasing has appeal.

Pipistrel’s offerings are electric propulsion kits designed for airframers. They include the motor and batteries, along with the battery charger, battery management system, motor controller and even a propeller if necessary. Pipistrel also has the trapeze and controls for a retractable arm should you be designing a motorglider.

Engine Model Drive Type Power Weight Price
Pipistrel Aircraft
20 Ah 4.75 kWh
Electric Propulsion System
direct 40 kW takeoff, 30 kW climb 130 lb w/ batteries, motor,
and controls
TBD
30 Ah 7.10 kWh
Electric Propulsion System
direct 40 kW takeoff, 30 kW climb 165 lb w/ batteries, motor,
and controls
$25,000
40 Ah 9.70 kWh
Electric Propulsion System
direct 40 kW takeoff, 30 kW climb 200 lb w/ batteries, motor,
and controls
$29,200
80 Ah 24.25 kWh
Electric Propulsion System
direct 60 kW takeoff, 50 kW continuous 441 lb w/batteries, motor,
and controls
$66,500
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Tom Wilson
Pumping avgas and waxing flight school airplanes got Tom into general aviation in 1973, but the lure of racing cars and motorcycles sent him down a motor journalism career heavy on engines and racing. Today he still writes for peanuts and flies for fun.

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