The Panthera

Panthera

"The Panthera has the surfaces of a glider, the design of a modern and upmarket car, the fun at the controls of a LSA and the cockpit atmosphere of a Very Light Jet."

The sky has opened-up like never before and borders are falling every day. The need of traveling long distance, quickly and efficiently has never been greater. Yet, who likes to be stuck at a big airport, going through long lines of security check to board the aeroplane to the point of call? Imagine a fast yet extremely economic aeroplane, which can take you and your friends, colleagues or business partners anywhere you want, whenever you want. Imagine an aeroplane, that can fully take advantage of small, short-runway airfields that bring you closer than ever to your destination and open a whole new world of opportunities. An aeroplane, designed meticulously to keep you safe, comfortable, is quiet and friendly to the environment. An innovative aeroplane, which instantly catches attention. Your quiet, high performance bubble of safety, your personal time machine.
Panthera.

Project story

Years ago, people said it is impossible to produce an aircraft light and streamlined enough to be safe and efficient. We did it.
People said it is impossible to fly around the World in a small aeroplane without assistance. We did it.
People also said it is impossible to produce an aircraft fast enough and efficient enough to be successful at the NASA Centennial Challenges. We went ahead and did what nobody did before – we won the NASA Challenges twice.
Now they say it is impossible to make a practical electric-powered aircraft presently. We did it already back in 2007 with the first electric two-seater in the World. Clearly we see and do things differently and have a pioneering vision.

We do not imitate, we innovate!

Now, with a quarter of a century of experience, we are presenting a fast, safe, quiet and comfortable aeroplane, which can use runways shorter than ever before and go the full distance with four people aboard. An aeroplane, which is ready for the future and consumes 40% less fuel while going faster, further. This is our idea how a modern, four seat CS/FAR-23 certified aeroplane should be like. Panthera is making it a reality.

Panthera

Innovation

Panthera is designed by applying the most modern design and construction techniques, on top of 25 years of knowledge, experience and excellence in building aircraft.
Panthera's organic curves are a product of optimisation through advanced, in-house developed computer tools, where each detail is designed to ensure minimum drag and maximum efficiency. This allowed for the Panthera to be designed and flown in a virtual environment with great degree of accuracy even before the first component was produced.
Using state of the art CAD tools, all the aircraft components were packaged into a minimum and therefore highly efficient shape, while keeping the passenger cabin spacious and comfortable. It is the first aircraft in its class to be designed to be comfortable for four passengers of any body type.
Realizing the complex shapes and structures of Panthera was possible only by using modern rapid prototyping/milling techniques. By directly translating the CAD models into complex shapes it is ensured that the predicted aerodynamic properties of the aircraft are realized, and that the structural integrity matches the results of the finite element predictions.

Attention to details is visible also when it comes to airframe components and equipment. The propeller and exhaust system, for example, are specially optimized to ensure minimum noise and maximum performance, reducing the aircraft's environmental footprint and increasing cabin comfort. Panthera also features all electric systems for component actuation. Its titanium trailing-link undercarriage, flaps and trim are all electrically operated, resulting in low weight and maximum reliability by removing the need for complex and heavy hydraulic systems. All internal and external lighting is realized using state-of-the-art LED technology, providing for better clarity, recognition and feel.

Performance

Panthera achieves unprecedented efficiency through careful aerodynamic shaping, retractable titanium undercarriage, lightweight advanced composite structure, a tailor made propeller and a dedicated performance exhaust system. Efficiency does not only reflect itself in a low fuel consumption of just 10 gallons per hour at 200 kts, but is translated directly into more speed for the same power. No other four seat aircraft exists that flies this fast on the same engine! For the owner/operator this represents significantly lower operating costs and simplified maintenance.

The 1000 NM range is available with any payload, something which pilots of four seat aeroplanes have been wishing for. Robust design of the undercarriage and low overall weight allows for operations from short grass strips, taking you as close as possible to your desired destination. The engine is ready for the future, able to accept unleaded fuels and meeting the future environmental requirements. Hybrid and electric models further reduce the take-off noise footprint by taking advantage of the pure-electric take-off.

Configurations

Panthera

Powered by the modern, yet proven and reliable Lycoming IO-390 engine, Panthera is the statement of efficiency – cruising at 200 kts with a fuel consumption of only 10 gallons per hour instead of the »usual« 17 gallons of the competition. The powerful, yet lightweight engine can run on unleaded fuel and is ready for the future! With its titanium trailing-link retractable undercarriage, Pantera is designed to take advantage of short, grass runways and maximise the comfort of operation on longer, hard surfaces. Payload and range is never compromised – with four people aboard, Panthera will easily reach destinations more than 1000 NM away!

The first choice of engine was the Lycoming IO-390, but we received the news that it will never be certified for Mogas. Due to this and the fact that Pipistrel had made the decision to use Mogas (automotive gasoline) as it is lower prices and pollutes less (no lead), we were forced to switch to IO-540-V, which is already certified also for the Mogas, even though the Panthera does not need a stronger engine. Since it doesn't need this additional power, it will fly at very low power settings and consumption will consequentially stay more or less the same as with the IO-390 model, but the IO-540 260 hp option will provide a significant performance improvement. See all the data below.

Panthera Hybrid

The 145 kW hybrid-electric powertrain, supported by the state-of-the-art battery system and range-extender generator unit, which is a special in-house development for the Panthera is a true revolution in aviation! The ability of noiseless, pure-electric take-offs and landings is coupled with uncompromised range characteristics. Short-field, powerful climb, extreme aeroefficiency and long-range, which are signature to Panthera are further enhanced with the revolutionary hybrid powertrain. Panthera Hybrid represents a quantum leap forward in thinking and will pave the way for the future of aviation!

Panthera Electro

This version of Panthera with its pure-electric 145 kW powertrain is a treat for the high-tech enthusiasts and those to whom the environment matters. The goal is to demonstrate the ability of covering 400 km (215 NM), quietly, efficiently, with absolutely zero emissions and for a fraction of cost. The platform is open and ready to accept future generations of battery technologies, which will increase the operating range. Electric flight is ready and Panthera Electro will hopefully shift the authorities to rightfully accept electric flight and enable clean, quiet and cheap flight.

Cabin comfort

One of the major design points of Panthera is the state-of-the art ergonomic cabin. All features provide superior comfort and usability for people of all sizes. Access is easy via three large gull-wing style doors, two in the front for pilot and co-pilot and one for the back row of seats. Pilot and co-pilot seats are adjustable, as are the rudder pedals. The central stick is ergonomic and provides the sporty feel signature to Panthera. Back seats are very wide and feature a 2+1 seating arrangement. There is a supersized – standard cabin luggage sized – cargo door, but the cargo can also be accessed from the cockpit during the flight! The interior is furnished with highest quality leather and LED lighting for exclusive feel and functionality. Climate is controlled thanks to the on-board air-condition with automatic ventilation (optional). It will keep you cool during the summer and warm during the winter. Also special is the solar-powered ventilation which keeps the cabin cool when Panthera is parked outside in the sun!

Instruments

The instrument panel is designed to embrace the pilot and provide ultimate sensation and outside visibility. The view from the cockpit is completely redefined by a using a single pillar between the pilots – in this way the visibility forward and sideward is free of obstacles, greatly increasing the safety of flight.
There are three functional areas on the full IFR panel, the upper back-up/annunciator area, the PFD/MFD area and the communication stack. The avionics are gathered around a Garmin G500 series PFD/MFD synthetic vision screen and the new state of the art Garmin GTN series touch-screen Flight Management Systems. The ease of use and reliability of Garmin avionics is second to none, but the cockpit environment of the Panthera further enhances the experience. The GTN 750 and 635 dual COM/NAV feature full touch screen controls, which maximise screen size and allow for simplified navigation and graphical flight planning. Draw a path on the navigation screen with your finger and Panthera's full featured autopilot can follow it. It's magic! In addition, the fully integrated modular cockpit provides all terrain, traffic and weather alerts (in areas where applicable). Transponder and 3D audio-panel are integrated and courtesy of the Garmin GTN 750.

Materials and technology

Each detail of Panthera's graceful lines has been thoroughly aerodynamically optimized using customized, state of the art computational fluid dynamics software, resulting in a smooth and clean shape. The specially designed wing airfoils are optimized for cruise efficiency and therefore speed, while at the same time ensuring high maximum lift and docile stall characteristics. Its instantly recognizable T-tail ensures low interference drag and helps improve spin characteristics by preventing the horizontal stabilizer from shadowing the rudder at high angles of attack.

Realizing Panthera's aerodynamic shape while still ensuring maximum safety and keeping the weight low would be impossible without the use of advanced next-gen materials. The majority of the structure of the aircraft is made from carbon-fibre composites, with antistatic materials and Kevlar used in areas where it matters. The retractable trailing-link undercarriage is built from titanium, giving it superior strength and energy absorption properties at minimum system weight. All actuation systems on the aircraft are fully electric, avoiding the need for complex and heavy hydraulics.

Safety

Panthera is your personal high performance bubble of safety! As part of the rich serial equipment, Panthera features a full-airframe parachute rescue system, which was specially developed so it can be deployed at both low- and high speeds as well as low altitudes.
The cabin has been engineered as a safety cell/roll bar with built-in energy absorption zones, providing superior safety to the occupants in the event of an accident. The seats and safety belts are engineered to latest +26G CS/FAR-23 certification standards. Immediately noticeable is the incredible view from the cockpit. By having just one central pillar, the pilot's view forward and sideward is virtually unobstructed, thus greatly improving the safety of flight. The ergonomic cockpit comes with special annunciation panels, improving situational awareness when it comes to different audio and visual alarms (terrain, stall, overspeed, engine issues, etc.).
Panthera's performance also contributes to safety – the lightweight structure, powered by powerful engines means that you will reach safe speeds and altitudes much quicker than usual, reducing time spent in the »critical zones«. Special attention has been paid to realise the aerodynamic shape, which gives Panthera excellent handling at low speeds and superior stall/post-stall characteristics. Also important are tailored solutions to simplify maintenance, thus reducing the probability of mistakes occurring during the check-ups.

The development of the Panthera is a part of the HYPSTAIR project.

Development and validation of hybrid propulsion system components and sub-systems for electrical aircraft

PARTNERS:
Pipistrel (Slovenia)
Siemens AG (Germany)
University of Maribor (Slovenia)
University of Pisa (Italy)
M.B. Vision (Italy)

The HYPSTAIR project deals with components design of a serial hybrid propulsion system for a small aircraft. A serial hybrid aircraft concept currently presents the best efficiency versus range compromise in the light aviation segment. It can be considered as an electrically powered aircraft, with an on board generator used for extending the range when necessary.

The project will involve conceptual design of the hybrid propulsion system components, namely the generator, motor, inverter, batteries and control unit. The components will be sized and designed considering the performance and energy efficiency of the complete airframe-propulsion system, and will be tested in a laboratory environment. Designed dedicated human-machine interface will allow simple operation of a complex hybrid system. Together with the reliability of electric motors and the use of dual energy sources, safety of flying as provided by a system built upon these components will be improved.

All the components will be designed in a way that they will meet the relevant safety and certification standards. As there currently exist no regulations for aviation hybrid drive systems, defining these in collaboration with the authorities will be an important contribution of the project, paving the way for hybrid and electric technologies to be introduced to the market. These efforts will help to create a competitive supply chain for hybrid drive components and reduce the time to market of such innovations.

More information is available at www.hypstair.eu

Pricing and availability (valid from September 2016)

The Panthera can be ordered now for delivery in 2017/2018 (please check with us for details, a number of aircrafts are already in order for delivery in 2017). It is available in experimental class and later in a fully certified version.

The first build aircraft (with the IO-390) has flown all the tests to validate performance and security. The second build is being used for more tests with other propulsion systems (IO-540, electric and later hybrid).
Serial production of the Panthera is planned to start later this year in the new Pipistrel factory in Gorizia, Italy (just over the border from Slovenia and just some 60 km from the current factory).

Pricing for the IO-390 exp version is Euro 390.000,- and the IO-540 version at Euro 425.000,- (all prices are excl. VAT/IGI and ex. delivery etc.). This is just to give you an idea where we are at for this fantastic aircraft. Please contact us for more information.

Panthera technical data

Panthera

Panthera exp

Panthera exp & cert

Panthera Hybrid exp

Panthera Electro exp

Category Utility (+4.4 g, -1.76 g) Utility (+4.4 g, -1.76 g) Utility (+4.4 g, -1.76 g) Utility (+4.4 g, -1.76 g)
Powerplant Lycoming IO-390 Lycoming IO-540V Hybrid 200 kW take-off power Electric 200 kW take-off power
Rated power 210 HP 260 HP 200 kW (150 kW continuous)
Maximum cruise power 100 kW
200 kW (150 kW continuous)

Weight and Dimensions

MTOM 1315 kg / 2900 lbs 1315 kg / 2900 lbs 1315 kg / 2900 lbs 1315 kg / 2900 lbs
Useful payload 545 kg / 1200 lbs 500 kg / 1100 lbs 415 kg / 915 lbs TBD
Total useable fuel 2x 105 l / 2x 27.7 gal 2x 105 l / 2x 27.7 gal 2x 105 l / 2x 27.7 gal n/a
Full fuel payload 395 kg / 870 lbs 350 kg / 770 lbs 265 kg / 585 lbs n/a
Wing span 10.86 m / 35 ft 8 in 10.86 m / 35 ft 8 in 10.86 m / 35 ft 8 in 10.86 m / 35 ft 8 in
Length 8.07 m / 26 ft 6 in 8.07 m / 26 ft 6 in 8.07 m / 26 ft 6 in 8.07 m / 26 ft 6 in
Height 2.19 m / 7 ft 2 in 2.19 m / 7 ft 2 in 2.19 m / 7 ft 2 in 2.19 m / 7 ft 2 in
Wing area 11.2 m2/ 121 sqft 11.2 m2/ 121 sqft 11.2 m2/ 121 sqft 11.2 m2/ 121 sqft

Performance (MTOM)

Stall speed (flaps extended) 60 KIAS 60 KIAS 60 KIAS 60 KIAS
Stall speed (flaps retracted) 65 KIAS 65 KIAS 65 KIAS 65 KIAS
Rotation speed at MTOM 60 KIAS 60 KIAS 60 KIAS 60 KIAS
Maneuvering speed Va 143 KIAS 143 KIAS 143 KIAS 143 KIAS
Maximum structural cruise speed Vc 175 KIAS 175 KIAS 175 KIAS 175 KIAS
Never exceed speed Vne 220 KIAS 220 KIAS 220 KIAS 220 KIAS
Maximum horizontal speed 187 KTAS 203 KTAS 212 KTAS, FL 150 212 KTAS, FL 150
Performance cruise speed at 75% power 181 KTAS, FL 80 198 KTAS, FL 80 177 KTAS, FL 150 (full generator power) TBD
Economy cruise speed at 65% power 173 KTAS, FL 120 193 KTAS, FL 120 n/a TBD
Climb rate at MTOM and 105 KIAS 6.1 m/s / 1200 fpm 7.9 m/s / 1550 fpm 5.8 m/s / 1150 fpm 5.8 m/s / 1150 fpm
Take off run 365 m 295 m 290 m 290 m
Take-off distance (50 ft obst.) 670 m 540 m 530 m 530 m
Approach speed 80 KTAS 80 KTAS 80 KTAS 80 KTAS
Landing distance (50 ft obst.) 570 m 570 m 570 m 570 m
Consumption at Performance cruise speed 46 l/hour 56 l/hour TBD TBD
Consumption at Economy cruise speed 35 l/hour 46 l/hour TBD TBD
Range with 45 min reserve > 1000 nm, 155 KTAS, FL 120,
4 people aboard (4x 86 kg)
> 1000 nm, 155 KTAS, FL 120,
4 people aboard (4x 86 kg)
> 1000 nm, 155 KTAS, FL 120 TBD
Ceiling 6100 m / FL 200 7600 m / FL 250 6100 m / FL 200 TBD