|For an additional $5,200 Pipistrel delivers its Sinus with the FLEX option: two wingtip sets to convert the Sinus from motorglider to sporty cruiser -in minutes. (photo by Marino Boric)
By Marino Boric, EAA European Correspondent
July 28, 2013 - Pipistrel is debuting the first of the new Sinus FLEX aircraft in the U.S. market at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.
The Sinus FLEX is based on the standard Pipistrel Sinus aircraft with its 50-foot wingspan, but the variant provides the option of removing the 5-foot outer portions of each wing and replacing them with winglet-like tips just a few inches long. The change transforms the Sinus into the 40-foot-span Virus aircraft.
This basically gives the Sinus FLEX owner two aircraft in one; after thermal soaring with the 50-foot motorglider, the pilot can convert it into a 40-foot cruiser aircraft in about 10 minutes.
A normal Allen wrench is all that's needed for the swap; the tips slide into the wing and unlock the spar with about 10 turns, then the wingtip slides out.
The ability to "shorten" the wingspan by 10 feet also makes the aircraft easier to store in most standard T hangars. The new Sinus FLEX is available now with the first aircraft arriving in the U.S. in less than four weeks. The FLEX option, with both the short- and long-span panels, is an additional $5,200 to the base price of the Sinus aircraft.
Treat your seat
Beyond the Sinus FLEX, Pipistrel is releasing to the U.S. market the latest cockpit upgrade for its LSA, based on knowledge gained during the development of the four-seat Pipistrel Panthera aircraft. The Slovenian manufacturer transferred the new seat technology and developed a completely new seat design for its LSA.
Featuring Grade 1 bovine leather, the new seats offer a level of comfort usually found in luxury motor vehicles. That fits, since they are manufactured by the same company that makes seats for Audi automobiles.
The all-new seats install in any Pipistrel in about 30 seconds. They have a carbon fiber back, giving the seats a firmer feel. They also improve access to the luggage area as the seats simply fold forward.
The option is available for any existing Pipistrel aircraft for an additional $350 to the cost of the standard leather seat.
More information and a demonstration can be found at Pipistrel USA exhibits 374 and 375, located opposite the Theater in the Woods.