• Pipistrel Alpha Electro aircraft under construction. (Pipistrel)
    Pipistrel Alpha Electro aircraft under construction. (Pipistrel)

Slovenian manufacturer Pipistrel will open a new manufacturing plant in Jurong, Jiangsu, China to manufacture the Alpha Electro and Panthera Hybrid aircraft, and develop a major aviation hub.

Pipistrel Asia-Pacific General Aviation Technology Co. Ltd is partially owned by Pipistrel's Ivo Boscarol (51%) and financier Danny Wu Hao (49%), who will provide capital needed to develop the new site.

Parent company Pipistrel d.o.o. will sell the technology and the rights for production and sales for the two aircraft models to Pipistrel Asia-Pacific for a significant part of South-East Asia, comprising 11 countries in all.

During the course of the following two years, a new airport, aircraft factory, villa compound and a Department of Aviation university will be built in the Project Jurong centre. Pipistrel Asia-Pacific will also acquire the land to build and manage a 130-hectare airport complex.

The complex is located next to a highway which connects it to Jurong City and the international airport in Nanjing, from which a direct airline connection will be established to the Maribor airport in Slovenia in 2019.

The Alpha Electro is a two-seat electric training aircraft that has been optimised for circuit operations, which the company believes will cut training costs by 70%.

The Panthera Hybrid is a four-seater that Pipistrel claims will cruise at 200 KTAS for 1000 nm. It uses a 200 kW hybrid-electric engine.

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