In keeping with Pipistrel’s tradition of continuing evolution, quality, high tech manufacturing and now most importantly a fantastic price, Pipistrel is proud to announce the release of our new aircraft, the Pipistrel ALPHA TRAINER.
The name “Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer” describes the exact purpose of this exciting new aircraft designed for Light Sport Aircraft Flying Schools in markets and countries which have the FAA-LSA (or adaptation of ASTM rules) categories.
The aircraft has been designed with the “essence of training” as its primary design goal; training has to start somewhere, just like the modern alphabet starts with the letter “A” this new aircraft bears the name ALPHA, the ALPHA Trainer to be exact.
The Pipistrel ALPHA TRAINER aircraft has a new 13.2 gallon (50 l) fuel tank. 13.2 gallons does not sound like much when you are talking about conventional aircraft, but Pipistrel is not a conventional aircraft. In reality 13.2 gallons is more than enough for the ALPHA TRAINER. The fuel tank now has a large opening which means it can be filled directly from fast flow avgas pumps which are at the large majority of our airfields. (It is still however our recommendation to run ethanol-free auto fuel as per Rotax recommendations for the maximum engine life and the obvious cost savings.) The 13.2 gallon capacity will give the Pipistrel ALPHA TRAINER aircraft around 380 miles range with reserves at normal cruise speeds of just under 110 knots. In the training role doing circuits the aircraft will be using less than 2.5 gallons per hour, effectively giving you 5 hours endurance from just 13.2 gallons of fuel.
The Pipistrel ALPHA TRAINER is fitted with the ever reliable Rotax 80 hp engine. While some may question whether 80 hp is enough, those familiar with Pipistrel know that our designs maximize performance on minimum power. In fact until recently Pipistrel aircraft were only supplied with the Rotax 80 hp engine, this was enough for well over 1000 fpm climb rate at maximum weight and cruise speeds of 125 in the ALPHA’S sister aircraft the Pipistrel Virus. The Pipistrel ALPHA TRAINER has a slower cruise of 108 knots because it’s designed to fit in the LSA category but it will still achieve the same exciting climb rates.
The Rotax 80 hp engine is an ideal choice for a training aircraft, it is smooth and reliable, it is frugal with the fuel and the 2000 hour/15 year TBO is easily achievable. The Pipistrel ALPHA TRAINER is manufactured from state-of-the-art composites and has an empty weight 100 pounds less than most competitors’ aircraft. This is one of the reasons why the Pipistrel ALPHA TRAINER can offer such good performance and economy.
Can I do aerobatics, spins in the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer?
The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer design follows the strictest EASA CS-22, CS-VLA and CS-23 (sections) certification standards, as well as their FAA FAR counterparts and the ASTM standards for LSA aircraft.
More than six months of ground, structural and vibration tests went by without a glitch, followed by an extensive flight test program with more than 100 hours of cumulative tests. The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer aircraft was designed for the training market but still offers exceptional and sprightly performance. The aircraft is however not suitable for aerobatics, despite the +4 G, -2 G allowable loads.
Pipistrel cannot prevent people doing aerobatic maneuvers in the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer, but we do not approve it – the reason is in aerodynamics. The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer has so little drag that it picks up speed MUCH quicker than other aircraft with little drag. This can be dangerous in aerobatic maneuvers (also spins, which are completely recoverable) and an average pilot can very quickly overstress the airframe because of VNE in a steep dive in just 5 seconds!
If the customer approaches you because he wants an aircraft for aerobatics, you as the distributor/promoter can clearly say that this is not the aircraft he/she wants.
The paint used on the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is a special acrylic based pigment, which is applied to the molds during the manufacturing process. Pipistrel aeroplanes are not after-painted like many other aeroplanes – instead, paint is applied onto/into the structure while molding. This makes the paint much more durable and resistant to UV light and environmental contaminants. Recommendations for care and cleaning of the aircraft can be found in the Flight manual and Maintenance manual, section Handling and Maintenance, chapter, keeping your aircraft in perfect shape.
Standard wheels have large 4-ply tires, which are adequate for use on grass/gravel and light use on hard (asphalt, tarmac, etc.) runways. If you anticipate using the aircraft on asphalt only, consider ordering six or eight ply tires which will last much longer. Pipistrel offers tires with 4, 6, 8 or 10 ply’s, additionally, tires are available from companies like Aircraft Spruce who offer overnight US delivery at very reasonable pricing.
The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer aircraft is certified and approved in the LSA category (in the USA) the aircraft would also qualify for certification approvals in other countries.
The upholstery offered with the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is very durable fabric which has been offered by Pipistrel with all of their aircraft since 1995. This upholstery matches the seats, firewall, carpet and also wing spar cover which is now offered as a standard option.
Real life performance
True to Pipistrel performance, all data published for the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is accurate and acquired from flight testing. Please note that the data is published for the take-off mass of 550 kg and ISA Sea Level conditions.
Based on experience, you can for a hot summer day expect the cruise speed figures to be a maximum 10 km/h (5 kts) less than those in ISA Sea Level and take-off performance degraded by maximum 20%. Further information about aircraft performance in hot conditions and on grass runways is also included in the flight manual.
The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer contains a solid luggage compartment behind the seats which is easily accessible in the cockpit. The baggage allowance varies depending on the fuel quantity in the aircraft. The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer has not been designed as a touring aircraft but as a training aircraft, there is more than enough room however for an overnight bag, limited spares, tie downs etc. The recommended maximum full fuel weight in the luggage area is 22 pounds although the aircraft can carry up to 55 pounds with reduced fuel capacity. This baggage allowance is additional to the ballistic parachute which is installed as standard.
Is it possible to have Rotax 100 hp or 914 Turbo engine?
No. The Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer has been designed as a training aircraft and the 80 hp engine is more than adequate for operations at the maximum takeoff weight. Typically at maximum takeoff weight the aircraft will still climb at 800 fpm. 100 hp would be overpowered in the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer aircraft.
Can I have an in-flight adjustable or feathering propeller?
No, the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is only offered with a fixed pitch propeller, it is designed as a training aircraft and not as a glider.
Can I fit airbrakes or spoilers?
No, the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is not available with airbrakes as an option.
Can I get a larger fuel tank?
No, the fuel tank capacity is fixed.
Can I use fuel with ethanol?
Yes, the fuel tank and the fuel lines are protected for ethanol up to 10% which is the current limit set by Rotax.
Can I change the instruments?
No, to keep the cost of the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer as low as possible the aircraft is only available in a set instrument configuration.
What is the Pipistrel Alpha Trainer warranty?
The warranty on Pipistrel aircraft is 12 months or 100 hours whichever comes earlier. The airframe is covered by Pipistrel, the engine is covered by Rotax International warranty and individual warranties are carried by the instrument and avionics manufacturers. A full copy of the warranty conditions is available on request.
Wingspan and wing removal
The wingspan of the Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer is 34’ 6’’ (10.5 m) which is 18” (0.5 m) less than a Cessna 172. The wings can be removed in around 15 minutes
Specifications Pipistrel ALPHA Trainer – 550 kgs MTOM
|Engine||Rotax 912 UL2|
|Rated Power||80 hp at 5,800 rpm|
|Propeller||fixed pitch diameter 63’’ 1620 mm|
|Wing Span||34′ 6″||10.6m|
|Wing Surface Area|
|Vertical Fin Surface Area|
|Rudder Surface Area|
|Horizontal Stabilizer and Elevator Surface Area|
|MTOW||1212 lbs||550 kg|
|Maximum Weight Landing||1212 lbs||550 kg|
|Standard Empty Weight||615 lbs||279 kg|
|Typical Empty Weight, Ready to Fly||634 lbs||287.7 kg|
|Payload Without Fuel||597 lbs||271 kg|
|Payload with Full Fuel||518 lbs||235 kg|
|Minimum Combined Cockpit Crew Weight||121 lbs||55 kg|
|Maximum Baggage Allowance||55 lbs||25 kg|
|Full Fuel Baggage Allowance||22 lbs||10 kg|
|stall speed (flaps extended)||37||39|
|stall speed (flaps retracted)||43||41|
|cruise speed 75% (5300 RPM)||108||124|
|maximum horizontal speed at sea level||120||138|
|max speed with flaps down||70||80|
|turbulence penetration speed||108||124|
|best climb speed||76||88|
|max climb speed Vx||52||59|
|max climb rate||1220 fpm||6.2 m/sec|
|min sink rate||440 fpm||2.2 m/sec|
|min sink speed||58||67|
|best glide ratio||17:1|
|best glide ratio speed||64||74|
|takeoff – ground roll – at MTOM||459 ft||140 m|
|takeoff total distance over 50 ft obst. at MTOM||738 ft||225 m|
|landing distance over 50 ft obst.||1510 ft||460 m|
|absolute ceiling at MTOM||18,000 ft||5500 m|
|flap settings||0°, 15°, 25°|
|load factor permitted||+4, -2 g|
|load factor tested||+/- 7.5 g|
|designed safety factors||1.875|
|45° to 45° roll time||2.6 sec|
|center of gravity (MAC)||25%-38%|
|Standard fuel capacity, total||13.2 gal||50 ltr|
|Standard fuel capacity, usable||12.7 gal||48 ltr|
|Standard fuel weight full||79.4 lbs||36 kg|
|Fuel flow at cruise speed 108 knots (typical)||3.6 g/h||13.6 l/h|
|Endurance at cruise 108 knots (no 30 min reserve)||3.0 hr||180 min|
|Range at cruise speed 108 knots (no 30 min reserve)||324 NM||600 km|
|Best speed for max cruise endurance||90 kts @||4900-5000 rpm|
|Max cruise endurance 90 KIAS||3.6 hrs||+30 min res|