Pipistrel (a Designer for NASA and Siemens) Unveils Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing Aircraft Concept For Uber Elevate

May 13th, 2018 by   Hot on the latest Uber Elevate summit this month in Los Angeles, Pipistrel planned the unveiling of its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft concept to the public.

Pipistrel eVTOL Concept — Faster & Further

Pipistrel eVTOL Concept

The race to design what could essentially transport us from place to place through the air in city limits — that is, electric VTOLs — is red hot.

Aurora Flight Sciences, Bell, Embraer, and NASA are all working toward the design of a more efficient, quieter, safer, more affordable, and more environmentally friendly alternative to a traditional helicopter. Pipistrel’s new eVTOL concept is how the company sees the future.

The Pipistrel eVTOL uses dedicated propulsion systems for cruising and vertical lift, amongst a few other noticeable differences with other VTOLs. It is also part of a proposed family of aircraft capable of carrying between 2 and 6 people that will constitute Uber’s future Elevate eVTOL platform.

In a nutshell, the Pipistrel eVTOL concept is designed to travel longer and at higher speeds than previous models by making use of an integrated new vertical lift system. Pipistrel focused on scalability, low operating costs, and an upgraded rider experience. Essentially, Pipistrel says it is pairing an integrated vertical lift system with a highly aerodynamic wing. The company believes this makes the concept a new class of eVTOL.

According to Ivo Boscarol, Pipistrel’s founder and general manager, “Pipistrel is not trying to reinvent the helicopter by giving the vehicle many rotors, but is rather embracing dedicated propulsion solutions for cruise and vertical lift with built-in scaling capability.”

Pipistrel eVTOL Concept, Up & Away On Uber’s Elevate

It has formed a strategic partnership with Elan, a company that produces composite materials and structures and has over 50 years of experience. Pipistrel is right in designing from the get-go a structure that is easily upgradable, modular, and scalable by building it with the use of automation, digital manufacturing, and high-speed RTM composite construction.

If you don’t follow CleanTechnica or the electric aviation industry super closely, you may be scratching your head right now about what’s going on and who Pipistrel is. Well, the company itself is probably best positioned to explain what it does and what it offers.

“Pipistrel is a world leading small aircraft designer and producer, specialized in electric-powered aircraft. With almost 30 years of experience Pipistrel has gained significant international reputation and delivered unique, innovative products to passionate customers on all continents. First to fly an electric two-seater in 2007 and first-to-fly an electric four-seat airplane which went on to win the NASA Green Flight Challenge in 2011, Pipistrel has produced more than 1,500 aircraft to-date. The Pipistrel Vertical Solutions team has designed eight different electric aircraft since 2007 and have developed aircraft propulsion systems for NASA and Siemens’s aircraft. The company holds an EASA Design Organisation Approval and has the capability of bringing a new aircraft design concept from a basic idea into a certified design, ready for production.”

Related: Electric Aviation Is The Next Big Thing