Textron to buy electric aircraft maker Pipistrel


Textron is to acquire Slovenia-based electric aircraft company Pipistrel.

Pipistrel makes the Velis Electro, a two-seat trainer aircraft,which became the first all-electric aircraft to be type certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) last June.

The company, which also has a site in Italy, employs around 250 people. As well as the Velis, it produces a number of small conventionally-powered aircraft and has recently begun developing a range of unmanned drones and a hydrogen-fueled regional aircraft.

US aviation and industrial conglomerate Textron, which already owns the Cessna, Beechcraft, and Bell Aviation brands plans to complete the Pipistrel deal before July. After the acquisition Textron plans to create a new division called eAviation that will focus on developing sustainable aircraft, including Pipistrel’s.

Textron chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly said, “Pipistrel puts Textron in a uniquely strong position to develop technologies for the sustainable aviation market and develop a variety of new aircraft to meet a wide range of customer missions.

“Today’s announcement supports Textron’s long-term strategy to offer a family of sustainable aircraft for urban air mobility, general aviation, cargo and special mission roles.”

“Textron is committed to maintaining Pipistrel’s brand, headquarters, R&D and manufacturing in Slovenia and Italy, while making additional investments in Pipistrel for the development and production of future products.”

Pipistrel founder and CEO Ivo Boscarol will remain a minority shareholder as well as chairman emeritus, consulting on future product plans and strategies for a two-year period.

“The joining of Textron and Pipistrel provides deep expertise and resources which would otherwise be inaccessible to Pipistrel alone. With Textron, we are together geared to strive for future growth and look forward to announcing exciting new products and projects. I am delighted to continue witnessing my vision become a reality by being actively engaged with the company for the future.”

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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