AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 56

knots, with an 11.5-gph fuel burn at 8,500
feet. Chan said under ideal conditions you
could cruise as high as 194 to 198 knots, but
that fuel burn would reach the 14 to 16 gph
range. Even so, Pipistrel itself touts a maximum speed of 203 KTAS.
Whether it's 187, 194, or 198 knots,
the issue is that the Panthera's VNO is 175
knots, and its VNE is 205 knots indicated.
So powered up, that slippery airplane
can quickly pick up speed with even
slight nose-down pitch. It happened to
me. While cruising at 160 knots, I nosed
over to recapture a target altitude and the
Panthera headed deep into the yellow arc.
Redline was only seconds away. This airplane doesn't have speed brakes, but it
certainly needs them.
All this means that descent and
approach planning should be done well
before reaching the terminal area or airport pattern. Chan said that those 11 gear
doors serve as good stand-ins for speed
brakes, and extending the landing gear (it
takes 10 seconds)-as well as extending the
flaps-can help scrub off speed. Quite true,
but there's a complication: Both VLE and
VFE are 106 knots. Depending on your airspeed, it could take a while for the airplane
to slow to those limits using engine power
alone. The Panthera builds speed quickly
and is reluctant to shed it.

56 | AOPA PILOT February 2021

That said, on final approach, with 18
inches of manifold pressure, gear down,
and flaps at their max 45-degree deflection, you'll realize the recommended
reference airspeed of 75 to 85 knots.
Hold it off, wait for the chirp, let the trailing-link landing gear do their magic, and
you're down in style.
The story goes that the airplane was
designed at Pipistrel founder and CEO Ivo
Boscarol's request. He wanted a four-seat,
200-knot airplane that could carry four
people 1,000 nm, nonstop. It appears that
U.S. pilots want the same kind of performance, and with the added attraction of a
price that's hundreds of thousands of dollars less than those for new Cirrus and
Bonanza airplanes. Order an experimental-exhibition version right now and you'll
wait a year for delivery. For a Part 23-certified Panthera ($800,000) deliveries should
begin in 2022. Extras like long-range fuel
tanks ($60,000), oxygen, air conditioning,
and other options will drive prices up, and
the euro's performance against the dollar
is another factor.
Pipistrel has earned a stellar reputation as a manufacturer with a heavy
emphasis on light singles focusing on the
training and recreational markets. In keeping with its commitment to ecologically
friendly designs, some of them were the

CLOCKWISE FROM RIGHT: The IO-540's air

plenum keeps CHTs under control; the
airplane's 11 gear doors, and the fixed
wingwalk that remains in place even with
flaps extended; the emergency gear
extension crank (under the armrest) has
a medieval look to it, and is perhaps the
only " unsleek " part of the airplane; three
large doors allow easy access to those
comfy seats.

first electrically powered trainers brought
to market. One branch of the company,
Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, is working on
an eVTOL cargo-hauler, the Nuuva.
So yes, Pipistrel is even planning a
hybrid-electric variant of the Panthera,
one that pairs a Rotax 915iS with an electric motor, will do 212 knots, and have a
price starting at $800,000. Yet another
Panthera concept would use electric and
hydrogen power.
A small, 250-employee company
tucked away in a small town in a chunk of
the former Yugoslavia seems to be busting
out of its niche and setting a new trajectory
for general aviation.
AOPA
EMAIL tom.horne@aopa.org



AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Intro
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 4
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 5
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 6
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 7
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 8
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 9
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 10
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 11
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 12
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 13
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 14
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 15
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 16
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 17
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 18
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 19
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 20
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 21
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 22
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 23
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 24
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 25
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 26
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 27
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 28
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 29
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 30
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 31
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 32
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 33
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 34
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 35
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 36
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 37
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 38
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 39
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 40
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 41
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 42
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 43
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 44
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 45
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 46
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 47
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 48
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 49
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 50
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 51
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 52
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 53
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 54
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 55
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 56
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 57
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 58
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 59
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 60
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 61
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 62
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 63
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 64
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 65
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 66
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 67
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 68
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 69
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 70
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 71
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 72
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 73
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 74
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 75
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 76
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 77
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 78
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 79
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 80
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 81
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 83
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 84
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 89
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 90
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 91
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 92
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 93
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 94
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 96
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 97
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 99
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 100
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 101
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 103
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 110
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 111
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - 112
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - February 2021 - Cover4
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