Pipistrel's new Panthera completed its maiden flight on 4 April, 2013. The very successful first flight lasted 54 minutes.
Having completed ground functional and taxi tests at Pipistrel's Headquarters at Ajdovscina, Slovenia, the Panthera relocated to the Airport of Cerklje ob Krki, where Slovenian Armed Forces are providing us invaluable logistics support.
Following high-speed taxi runs and jumps above the runway, test pilot Mirko Anžel and co-pilot Sašo Knez lifted off the runway at 14:15 local time and spent 54 minutes in the air, evaluating Panthera's behaviour and performing system checks.
Both pilots agreed the handling was straight-forward and pilot friendly, with parameters exactly as predicted - a true statement to skill of the development team and reassurance that all target performance goals will be met. Panthera so far completed several hours of flying with undercarriage both out and retracted.
Ivo Boscarol, CEO of Pipistrel says: »This is Pipistrel's first entry into the world of General Aviation. We knew for a long time that we were capable of developing and producing aircraft larger and more capable than ultralights/LSAs. Panthera is proof that Pipistrel's team can indeed compete with the most eminent global general aviation producers. Also, Panthera is Slovenia's first ever 4-seat aeroplane design headed for production."
Our thanks to the Slovenian Armed Forces, Slovenian CAA and each and every individual who contributed to this historic achievement.
Special thanks go out to the Panthera customers, valued individuals who we call "Panthera global family", who believed in us and placed their orders when the aeroplane was still on the drawing board. Without all of you, this would not be possible. Thank you!”