MIAMI – Pipistrel announced on February 11, that the group’s conceptual studies suggest considerable business opportunities based on the technical and infrastructural viability found. Pipistrel says its “Miniliner will provide a leading solution that will allow safe, quick and cost-effective transport in commuter aircraft class.”

The Group had already started considering larger zero-emission aircraft as part of the MAHEPA project many years ago. Meanwhile, it is progressively pursuing an in-house conceptual design program. In addition, the firm is working with a number of universities within the scope of the EU-funded UNIFIER19 project.

In terms of technological advancement, several propulsion solutions are under examination at Pipistrel. However, the company says that advanced propulsion systems based on hydrogen will respond to sustainable aviation. That is to say, it fulfills non-negotiable zero-emission, silent, and efficient operational requirements.

Another aircraft from Pipistrel: PANTHERA, a unique 4-seater. Photo: Pipistrel

Miniliner: a Game Changer

According to a Press release by Pipistrel, the Miniliner is a modern category of zero-emission aircraft in the 20-seater class. It is capable of flying silently from runways shorter than 1 km, including grass airstrips at small aerodromes.

Therefore, the company says these aircraft can modernize aerial mobility, linking currently under-development communities in a range of 200 to 1,000 km while also catering for micro-feeder services from small airports to larger hubs.

In this category, current aircraft depend on 40-year-old designs powered by turboprop engines with some disadvantages. Such as fossil fuel-burning, noisy, and maintenance-intensive. 

With the launch of modern zero-emission propulsion, real-time emission control, Pipistrel’s Miniliners allow a Direct Operational Cost (DOC) reduction of 30 to 40 percent on a per-seat basis compared to today’s solutions. Moreover, emerging systems for automation of flight control. The latter would also allow single-pilot flights at the same time.

Pipistrel aims 2028-2030 for its Miniliner Entry Into Service. The company’s targets that its proposed ideas do not need significant investments in infrastructure.

Photo: Pipistrel

Together Towards Zero-Emmison

The press release emphasizes that Pipistrel favors surrounding itself with like-minded organizations. These collaborative will accomplish regulatory adaptations from unpaved runways to next-generation single-pilot cockpits and commuter operations. 

The firm involved the European Clean Aviation, SESAR, and EASA to address existing problems in the regulatory, organizational, and technical realms. Moreover, the firm has set up several sectors collaborating it its projects.

“Micro-feeder flights can speed up advancement in sophisticated air traffic management systems,” states the group. “This will pave the way to efficiently incorporate the Miniliners into the crowded airspaces surrounding large airports.”

With airports being multimodal zero-emission nodes, the company says hydrogen-powered zero-emission miniliners are closer to reality as driven by the EC Sustainability and Smart Mobility Plan, and will springboard the technologies to get Clean Aviation closer to metropolitan areas.

Photo: Pipistrel

Featured image: Pipistrel 19-seater Miniliner, a Zero-Emission Concept. Photo: Pipistrel