Can amateur built aircraft be used for (professional) aerial photography with only the pilot on board?

Yes – this activity is not a commercial service based on CAR 702.01.

Can amateur built aircraft be used for (professional) aerial photography with only the pilot on board?

Yes – this activity is not a commercial service based on CAR 702.01

Why are your aircraft so expensive?

When comparing Pipistrel aircraft with other NEW aircraft of the same class, Pipistrel is in many cases less expensive.
When you factor in the single most expensive operating cost of a frequently flown aircraft, Fuel, and the limited range that the average aircraft can travel on a single tank, Pipistrel is the most economically attractive aircraft you will find, anywhere.

Many pilots that purchase a Pipistrel aircraft fly an average of 300 hours / year, for fun.

300 hours in a Virus SW will cost about $7500 in fuel ($25/hour average mogas).

300 hours in a Cessna 172 will cost you about $19,500 ($65/hour AVGAS)

These numbers are completely dependant on the price of fuel at any given time, but the ratio of savings will stay constant.

You are also going almost 40 knots faster than the 172, which adds a whole lot more value to your flight time.
You can see how quickly the "Expensive" aircraft can pay for itself if you are an active pilot.

What is the Difference between Amateur-Built and Advanced Ultralight aircraft?

The only model we currently have that can be registered as either Amateur-Built or Advanced Ultralight is the Pipistrel Virus Short Wing.
You can see a fairly in depth chart of the differences here

Why can the Pipistrel Virus Short Wing be registered as either Amateur Built (AKA homebuilt or experimental) or Advanced Ultralight?

The definition of a Canadian Advanced Ultralight is an aeroplane that has a stall speed of 45mph or less, and a maximum takeoff weight of 1232 Lbs (560kg). There is a stipulation that it must not be built for the purpose of gliding. (this is why all to the longer wing Pipistrel aircraft are not allowed in the Advanced ultralight category)
The Virus Sw falls into this slow stall speed and lightweight category, even though it's cruise speed is much faster than many heavier certified aircraft.

You can purchase the Virus SW completed from the factory and register it as Advanced Ultralight, or as a kit and build it yourself and register it as Advanced Ultralight.

You can also purchase the Virus SW and go the slightly more complicated, but more flexible Amateur Built route. See Amateur Built v.s. Advanced Ultralight for the differences.

Can your aircraft be registered as LSA?

No. In Canada, there is no such category. One day, maybe, but for now, and probably the next 5 to10 years, No.

How do I avoid the 120 Knot speed restriction limit for the Virus SW

You don't need to. Both Advanced Ultralight and Amateur-Built registered aircraft have no speed restriction of 120 knots.
The real top speed limit, or Never Exceed Velocity (VNE) for the Virus SW is a very respectable 163 Knots. (302km/hour). Not to be confused with the actual cruise speed of 147 knots, which is what you will cruise at in level flight under standard atmospheric conditions.
This 120 knot LSA limit you may have read about on other websites in different countries does not apply to our Canadian aircraft.

What category can the Taurus, Sinus, Virus, Virus SW, Alpha trainer, Apis or Panthera be registered in?

The Panthera is to be ordered and registered as either Certified, or Amateur Built (Factory Assist)

The Virus SW can be either supplied as a kit for Amateur Built or Advanced Ultralight.
or Factory complete to be registered as Advanced Ultralight.

The Virus Classic and Sinus can be either supplied as a kit for Amateur Built
or Factory complete to be registered under a special certificate of airworthiness-glider

The Taurus and Apis are only Factory completed (no kit available), to be registered under a special certificate of airworthiness-glider

The Alpha Trainer is only Factory completed (no kit available), to be registered only as Advanced Ultralight

Where do I send my Deposit?

All Funds are send to Pipistrel Aircraft Canada Inc. in Whitecourt Alberta.
Heres a more detailed description of the purchase process.

I can't decide on all of the options, but I really want an airplane as soon as possible! Can I send a deposit now and pick the options later?

Yes, it is possible. But, it is best if you choose all of the major structural differences before placing the deposit to avoid any unnecessary delays. (i.e. tailwheel vs. nose wheel, wing mounted camera gimbal system, heated pitot wiring, antenna hidden in rudder, wingtip lighting...)
Once the aircraft hits the assembly line, there are no changes allowed.

How much does it cost for shipping?

The average price for shipping is $6500 CAD. This is to bring the aircraft from the factory in Europe to Canada via Shipping Container overseas to either your location or one of our dealerships.
Prices vary from day to day so if you need a quote months before the ship date, we would be forced to quote high.

Can you put the Virus SW / Alpha Trainer/ Virus/ Sinus on floats or Skis?

Yes, but we have not yet had a chance to do so. We are planning to do both in Canada.
One Sinus owner is successfully using skis in Sweden.

What is the payload of the Virus Sw?

It depends on how heavily loaded your plane is with avionics and other options.
Also which category you register it in.
An average payload with full fuel will be over 600 LBS in the Amateur Built category.
An average payload with full fuel will be 500 lbs or slightly under in the Advanced Ultralight category.

Is the rescue parachute really necessary?

No. There have however been some cases in the world where the pilot owes his life to a rescue parachute.
Not many of these instances have been caught on camera, but you can watch these videos to decide for yourself if the pilot thought it was necessary.
one two

I'm really tall/short, will I fit?

People up to 6'4" have happily flown for hours, and other's who are only 6'1" have needed to modify the seat cushion to fit.
It depends on how high your upper torso is.
If you sit flat on a wooden chair, and measure from the seat to the top of your head, and are less than 38 inches, you will have no problem. Any taller than that and you will want to try one out before you purchase.

If you are really short, that is no problem. A simple cushion under the seat will allow you to see over the panel, and the pedals are adjustable so even a small child can reach them.

Where can I find other ownership partners for a Pipistrel Aircraft?

We have started a group to help connect potential owners.
Sign up with the Pipistrel shared ownership group to let other pilots in your area know you are willing to share the cost of ownership. It isn’t always easy to convince the wife an aircraft is affordable and what you really need. Sharing the purchase, maintenance, and storage costs with one or more owners can help convince her!
Once you have signed up, post a message to let others know where you are, and announce the aircraft model you are planning to purchase.

Where are Pipistrel Aircraft Manufactured?

Slovenia for most models, Italy for the Panthera.
Factory Tours are Welcomed.


View Pipistrel Aircraft Locations in a larger map