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Thu, 24 March 2022

Textron to Acquire Electric Aircraft Company, Pipistrel

(24 Mar 2022, 11:53 +07)  Textron has entered into an agreement to purchase Pipistrel, a pioneer in electrically powered aircraft, based in Slovenia and Italy.

With Textron, Pipistrel will have access to greater resources, technical and regulatory expertise and a global aircraft sales and support network, enabling it to accelerate its development and certification of electric and hybrid electric aircraft.

Upon closing of the transaction, Textron plans to form a new business segment, Textron eAviation, focused on the development of sustainable aircraft, which will include Pipistrel.

In 2020, Pipistrel's Velis Electro became the world's first electric aircraft to receive full type-certification from EASA. Click to enlarge.
In 2020, Pipistrel's Velis Electro became the world's first electric aircraft to receive full type-certification from EASA.

Textron Aviation already owns the well known aircraft brands Beechcraft, Cessna and Hawker.

Pipistrel puts Textron in an uniquely strong position to develop technologies for the sustainable aviation market and develop a variety of new aircraft to meet a wide range of customer missions, said Textron Chairman and CEO, Scott Donnelly. Pipistrel has been celebrated as one of the worlds most important and successful manufacturers of electric aircraft. Textron is committed to maintaining Pipistrels brand, headquarters, research and development, and manufacturing in Slovenia and Italy, while making additional investments in Pipistrel for the development and production of future products.

In 2020, Pipistrels Velis Electro (pictured), a full-electric derivative of the proven Virus SW 121, became the worlds first electric aircraft to receive full type-certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

The two-seater, intended primarily for pilot training, is extremely quiet with noise levels of just 60 dBa. Its powertrain is entirely liquid-cooled, including the two batteries, and as it is entirely electric the aircraft does not produce any combustion gases at all.

One battery pack is located in the nose of the airplane and the second behind the cabin. This ensures redundancy of the power source. In case of battery failure, the malfunctioning battery would get automatically disconnected from the system. A single battery is capable of standalone operation and has enough power capability to support climbing and continuation of flight.

The Velis Electro was designed to cover typical flight school utilisation for local flying, and as such can fly for approximately 50 minutes with reserve available.

As a company, Pipistrel produces a family of gliders and light aircraft with both electric and combustion engines, and has delivered more than 2,500 light aircraft worldwide since its founding in 1989 and additionally has both hybrid and electric propulsion models under development.

Ivo Boscarol, Pipistrel Founder and CEO, will remain a minority shareholder as well as Chairman Emeritus, consulting on future product plans and strategies for a two-year period.

Under my 30-year leadership, Pipistrels team has achieved a unique prime position in personal, affordable, environmentally friendly and electric aviation. The trend and foundation for future projects has clearly been set, said Boscarol. To drive Pipistrels ambitious goals and to continue its story of success, the joining of Textron and Pipistrel provides deep expertise and resources which would otherwise be inaccessible to Pipistrel alone. With Textron, we are together geared to strive for future growth and look forward to announcing exciting new products and projects. I am delighted to continue witnessing my vision become a reality by being actively engaged with the company for the future.

The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals.

Details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

See also: Exclusive Travel Industry Interview with Kurt Ekert, President of Sabre.

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