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Pipistrel rolls out first prototype Panthera

Pipistrel rolled out the first prototype Panthera light general aviation aircraft on 28 March at its factory in Ajdovscina, Slovenia.

The company says its engineers and technician started-up the aircraft's 210hp (157kW) Lycoming engine and conducted ground runs. Pipistrel will continue working on functional ground tests in preparation for first flight, it says.

"It is very exciting to witness the tests and see the aeroplane come to life for the very first time," Ivo Boscarol, Pipistrel's chief executive officer says. "This is definitely a very important milestone in the development of Panthera. We look forward to the continuation of tests and the first flight soon!"

Pipistrel says the Panthera is a four-seat aircraft capable of flying 1,000nm (1,852km), cruising at 200kt (370km/h), while burning 10gal (37.9l) per hour. It can be equipped with a conventional, hybrid, or an all-electric propulsion system, Pipistrel says.