It took Pipistrel two years in the preparation and development and another four months to build the Taurus G4. But it was definitely worth the time and effort; the Slovenian light aircraft manufacturer has managed to build up the world’s most powerful electric aircraft.
With an empty weight of 2348 pounds, the aircraft’s electric battery itself consumes nearly half that. The aircraft can carry a maximum passenger weight of 3300 pounds. In other words, it is guaranteed to hold four people along with their extra baggage.
The advantages of the concept aircraft Taurus G4 include many originating in the microlight world. The light weight carbon fiber in the aircraft and its Kevlar construction give this one many attributes of a glider. Then there is a 1036 lb. lithium polymer battery pack combined with a powerful electric propulsion drivetrain, which enhances its efficiency.
Its uniquely aerodynamic design connects two Taurus G2 light weight gliders with a 15 ft. wide electric engine.
The Taurus G4 will compete for $1.65 million at the NASA’s 2011 Green Flight Challenge, beginning on September 25, against about 13 other teams. The entrants are expected to fly 200 miles in less than two hours using the energy equivalent to less than one gallon of gasoline per occupant.
Taurus G4 is a prototype that will never be available in the commercial market, unlike its predecessor Taurus Electro G2, which saw some success in that arena. Instead, this will be used in the development of motor, battery and power management system for a hybrid and electric version of Panthera, Pipistrel’s eco-plane range.