Pipistrel’s Taurus

Here are more photos of last Saturday’s visiting motorglider.

While it was parked at the Soaring Club of Houston, our Field Operations Officer of the day pondered it….

In fact it attracted a crowd. 

SCOH and the Greater Houston Soaring Association have a traveling trophy that can be collected from either club from by a pilot from the other club – presuming they arrive in a glider that made the trip as a glider.  The Pipistrel motorglider was flown from GHSA without use of the propeller.   Conditions were weakening, though, as attested by SCOH having two landouts later in the afternoon.  The GHSA pilot elected to extend the propeller for the purpose of getting home.

The takeoff  was remarkable.  Motorgliders with propellers in this position look improbable anyway, and this one leaped into the sky like the proverbial homesick angel.

Pipistrel is a light aircraft manufacturer in Slovenia.   This model of theirs is called a Taurus, and among other unusual features, it has side by side seating and a parachute for the whole aircraft in the event of emergency.

Pipistrel’s logo is a bat.  Pipistrel/pipistrelle is indeed a kind of bat.  Come to think of it, I saw a Western Pipistrelle last fall in Longhorn Cavern State park – a tiny bat that looked like nothing so much as a Chicken McNugget.  Pipistrel bats in Eastern Europe may be a little bigger and more dashing as bats go.  Anyway, as gliders go, the Pipistrel Taurus goes with style.

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