New Virus SW121A EXPLORER, the most advanced 2-seat EASA Type-certified small aircraft on the market!

The well known Virus SW121 (now Legacy) is replaced by the Virus SW121A, also known as the Explorer. Not only is it the most advanced aircraft in its category, it's also the result of over 30 years of Pipistrel’s experience in designing energy-efficient motor-planes. Clean shapes, lowest fuel consumption, minimum noise and power for an outstanding performance. Featuring advanced bizjet touchscreen glass cockpit technology & approved for intentional spins and Night VFR. The Explorer is simply the pearl of them all !

One step ahead of the award winning Virus SW121. The new Virus SW 121A Explorer is the best-equipped, affordable and comfortable 2-seat EASA Type-certified airplane in it’s category. The Virus SW 121A Explorer is IFR-ready with its dual-touchscreen glass cockpit, advanced autopilot, dual COM and even more best-in-class technology! That makes this aircraft a proud achievement for Pipistrel.

Ideal for Flight Schools

If flight schools need one aircraft for basic training, another for advanced training and maybe even another for Night VFR or Intentional spins, the new Pipistrel Virus SW121A Explorer does it all ! By combining such capabilities into a single airplane you can use the Virus SW121A Explorer for both PPL and CPL training. Furthermore, as it has a glider towing hook, it’s also very useful for the glider community!

So not only can it be a great asset, it's also the most economic aircraft in the CS-LSA category! Using the EASA certified Rotax 912 S3 engine, and running on regular automotive fuel, the Virus SW121A Explorer uses an average of 18.4 liters/hour. So not only is the fuel easy to find, the low fuel consumption and the Rotax engine makes this aircraft both cheap to use and maintain!

A study shows that the average fuel costs per hour is 19€(excl VAT), the total operating costs per hour is 48€(excl VAT) and the direct operating costs per hour is 42€(excl VAT), this includes fuel, maintenance and overhaul!
(Cost may vary depending on the countries)

Ideal for Private Use, Exploring & Business trips

As the name suggests, the Virus SW121A Explorer is a great aircraft for traveling as it has the capacity to go up to 163 Kts (300km/h) and has two 50L fuel tanks. Having a range up to 4,500km, an altitude up to 30,000ft, and an endurance up to 20hours the Virus SW121A Explorer is ideal for extreme cross-continent and around-the-world flights.

With options like All terrain wheels, Skis & only 160m take-off distance (at SL), your SW121A Explorer can land almost everywhere.

Comfortable, Spacious and Luxurious cabin

With adjustable pedals, headrests, the luxurious leather ergonomic interior with optional customization of the colors of seats and outside livery, the Explorer gives you the comfort you need.

The well loved high-wing design of the SW121 series permits to have large transparent surfaces that offer outstanding visibility. This is ideal for aerial surveillance or to give you the pleasure of admiring the landscape and scenery! The SW121A Explorer will keep you both comfortable and safe on long and short flights.

Bizjet’ Cockpit Functionality

Virus SW121A Explorer cockpit 3

The glass cockpit with double touch screen is not only appealing, it is also a real time saver. The rotary buttons may be useful, but it still takes time to go in and out of menus on the instruments. Now, with the new design, we offer you a much smoother experience making planning trips and changing settings during flight so much easier !

The Virus SW121A comes with an excellent setup:

  • Garmin G3X Touch System
  • COM1/GPS Garmin GNC 355A
  • COM2/NAV Garmin GNC 255(COM/NAV-VOR including Antenna)
  • Audio panel Garmin GMA 245R
  • Pipistrel “Smart Dim” cockpit panel brightness control
  • Autopilot Garmin GMC507 + Servos GSA 28
  • Air Speed indicator 80mm (0-200kts) TSO
  • Altimeter diameter 80mm (0-20.000ft) TSO
  • Transponder GTX 345 Mode-S with ADS-B IN & OUT
  • ELT Artex 345 (406 Mhz)
  • Pipistrel “Haptic small Warming Device” HSWD, AOA based, aural and tactile stall-warming.
  • Air Traffic system AirAvionics AT-1 (XPDR, ADS-B, FLARM) (optional)

Glider and Banner Towing

The Virus SW 121A can be equipped with a tow hook for glider and banner towing. It is approved for towing gliders of up to 600 kg. With gliders up to 600 kg it only needs 500 meters take off distance (over a 15 m obstacle).

The feedback from the use of the Virus SW 121 for glider towing is that even with its relatively small engine, it outperforms most other tow aircraft. The climb rate when airborne is higher. This is due to the better aerodynamics of the Virus SW 121 (it has a glide ratio of 17:1).

Better climb rate means faster aero tows and when you add the low fuel consumption and the use of normal MOGAS instead of AVGAS, then the operating costs per aero tow is considerably lower than with other aircraft.

The entire SW 121 aircraft family (of which the Explorer is a member) has proven itself as the tow airplanes in many marketing campaigns, championships and flight clubs, towing all types of banners and gliders of all weights, among others as the official towplane of the junior world gliding championship!

Night VFR

The Night VFR package now comes as standard on all new Pipistrel Virus SW121 aircraft. This means the Explorer (Virus SW 121A) is also certified for night VFR, perfect for training or long distance travel in your new Virus SW121.


The new Virus SW 121A Explorer is the fastest, most capable and the most economic aircraft in the CS-LSA category. With a turbulence penetration speed (green arc) of 220 km/h (120 kts) and the VNE of 302 km/h (163 kts), you can take advantage of high-speed cruise even in strong turbulence. The cockpit remains quiet and comfortable throughout the flight! The Virus SW 121A Explorer has the largest flight safety margins in its category.

The Virus SW 121A Explorer comes standard equipped with a total rescue system, deployable even at maximum speeds and close to the terrain. It has already saved several lives !


The Virus SW 121 was already great, but the new Virus SW 121A Explorer is even better! The proud accomplishment of our long-time philosophy that you can achieve remarkable feats without wasting energy and polluting the environment. Every aircraft is designed, manufactured and perfected in our state-of-the-art, energetically self-sufficient facility at Ajdovscina, Slovenia. Using geothermal and solar energy to power the whole production process, we are able to spare the environment 180.000 kilograms of CO2 emissions every year. By owning the new Virus SW 121A Explorer you will contribute to a better and cleaner World! Our Ecolution campaign represents Pipistrel's mission to show the World that eco-friendly, high-technology products are in fact possible and available today!

Virus SW121A Explorer front 2

Pricing for the Virus SW 121A Explorer EASA CS-LSA Type Certified (Updated 19/09/2023)

Price Euro 210,000€ - excl. VAT, ex. delivery and registration.

Virus SW 121A Explorer technical data

Virus SW 121A Type Certified

CS-LSA (600kg)

ENGINE ROTAX Rotax EASA certified engine 912S3 100hp
max power 100 hp, 73,5 kW at 5800 RPM
PROPELLER 2 blade Hydraulic CS MTV-33-1-A/170-200 EASA certified
wing span 10,70 m
length 6,45 m
height 1.90 m
wing area 9,51 m2
mean wing chord 0,898 m
vertical tail area 1,24 m2
horizontal tail area 1,02 m2
aspect ratio 12.04
positive flaps 0 deg, +9.5 deg, +20 deg
negative flaps -5 deg
center of gravity 25% - 33% MAC
design empty weight 371 kg (818 lbs)
max takeoff weight (MTOW) 600 kg (1323 lbs)
design useful load 229 kg (505 lbs)
max baggage weight 25 kg (55 lbs)
fuel tanks capacity 2 x 50 l
usable fuel 2 x 49.5 l
Vne (Never Exceed Speed) 302 km/h (163 KTAS)
Vno (max structural cruising speed, rough air) 222 km/h (120 KIAS)
Va (max maneuvering speed) 185 km/h (100 KIAS)
Vfe (max flaps extended speed) 150 km/h (81 KIAS)
Vae (max air brakes extended speed) 185 km/h (100 KIAS)
stall without flaps
98 km/h (53 KCAS)
towing limitations
gliders up to 600 kg (to meet 500 m total take off distance over 15 m obstacle)
best climb speed 148 km/h (78 KIAS)
max climb rate 5.3 m/sec (1050 ft/min)
take off run at SL
160 m
take off distance over 15 m obstacle at SL 320 m
maximum take-off altitude 3048m (10.000 ft). MSL
maximum operating altitude 5486m (18.000 ft). MSL
permitted fuel
AVGAS, MOGAS or car fuel (min RON 95; EN228 Premium or Premium plus with max. 10% Ethanol)
fuel consum. at 2000 ft 75% power, cruise speed 18.4 l/hour
endurance at 4000 ft, 65% power 5h 33 min (+ 30 min reserver)
range distance (+30 min reserve, at 4000 ft, 65% power) 1189 km / 642 nm
noise level (ICAO Annex 16, Chapter 10) 70 dB(A) (measured)
Flight Load Factor Limits +4.0 g, -2.0 g

Pipistrel reserves the right to revise the above data whenever occasioned by product improvement, government/authority regulations or other good cause.
The design basis follows the strictest EASA CS-22, CS-VLA and CS-23 (sections), as well as rules applicable to ASTM-LSA and EASA LSA standards.

If you would like any more information, please feel free to contact us !