Pipistrel Alpha Trainer Aircraft, Slovakia
Alpha trainer is a two-seat aircraft designed and developed by Pipistrel, for flying schools. The aircraft was first launched in May 2012 and received the German certification by DULV in April 2016.
It is the first ultralight aircraft to receive certification for night flight in Europe in April 2016. The aircraft also received type certifications from Canada, Finland, France, Austria, Belgium, and Bulgaria.
Alpha trainer aircraft design and features
The Alpha trainer aircraft is constructed with lightweight composite materials, which offer good performance and economic prices. The aircraft includes a main undercarriage made of composite material, which helps to withstand hard landings, it also comes with a fixed composite landing gear and a steerable nose wheel.
The aircraft features a new wing design based on the Virus SW aircraft, also manufactured by Pipestrel. The new wing design does not need airbrakes for landing. The wings also feature redesigned flaperons to enable short field landings.
The aircraft also includes a ballistic parachute, noise reducing firewall and features redesigned brake, which is useful on short airfields.
The electric system fitted on the aircraft includes an electric starter, high-capacity, easy-to-replace dry-type 12V battery, and modular electric panel system with fuses on primary and secondary circuits.
The external dimensions of the aircraft include length of 6.5m, height of 2.05m and wingspan of 10.5m. The wing area is 9.51m², rudder area is 1.1m² and tail area is 1.08m².
Cockpit and avionics
The aircraft is fitted with LX instrument suite, which includes an EMSIS AHRS 80mm unit with artificial horizon and air data source, DAQU engine monitoring box, LX cluster engine data display, 80mm IAS indicator, 80mm altimeter, and 57mm variometer. It also includes a 57mm RPM and hour meter.
The avionics further include an electronic altitude indicator, a Garmin 500 portable global positioning system (GPS), a Garmin GTX 327 transponder and a 406 MHz ELT. It also features dual control sticks and dual rudder pedals, elevator trim, ultraviolet (UV)-protected, scratch-resistant Lexan windshield, and a three-point door locking system.
The aircraft features cabin ventilation with adjustable intake on left door. It includes two ergonomic seats with adjustable head rests. It also has a luggage compartment for storing tie downs and ropes, water bottles, first aid kits and other accessories, which can be accessed by folding the cockpit seats forward.
Alpha trainer aircraft engine and performance details
The trainer aircraft is powered by a ROTAX 912 UL engine, which generates a maximum power of 80hp at the rate of 5,800rpm. The engine is driven by a fixed-pitch, wooden, 63in diameter propeller with protected leading edge. The fuel tank capacity is 50l, the fuel consumption is 13.6lph.
The aircraft has a cruising speed of 108kt, maximum horizontal speed of 120kt, never-exceed speed of 135kt and endurance of 3.1 hours. Its stall speed is 37kt with flaps and 43kt without flaps, best climb speed is 75kt, and manoeuvring speed is 86kt.
The empty weight of the aircraft is 279kg, maximum take-off weight is 550kg and payload capacity is up to 230kg with full fuel. The aircraft has a maximum range of 324nm (600km), service ceiling of 18,000ft and maximum climb rate of 1,220fpm. It requires a distance of 459ft for take-off.