Textron, which owns the famous brands Cessna, Beechcraft and Bell, confirmed on Thursday an agreement to acquire Pipistrel, a manufacturer based in Slovenia and Italy known for producing electric planes.
In a statement, Textron said that, upon completion of the transaction, it plans to form a new business segment, Textron eAviation, focused on sustainable aircraft projects, which will have the participation of Pipistrel.
“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,” said Textron President and CEO Scott Donnely.
“Textron is committed to maintaining Pipistrel’s brand, headquarters, research and development, and manufacturing in Slovenia and Italy, while making additional investments in Pipistrel for the development and production of future products,” the executive added.
Founder and CEO of Pipistrel, Ivo Boscarol, will remain as a minority shareholder and also as president emeritus, advising on product plans and strategies for a period of two years.
Under my 30-year leadership, Pipistrel’s team has achieved a unique prime position in personal, affordable, environmentally friendly and electric aviation. The trend and foundation for future projects has clearly been set,” said Boscarol.
With Textron, we are together geared to strive for future growth and look forward to announcing exciting new products and projects.”
Electrified aviation pioneer
Founded in 1989 in Slovenia, Pipistrel is now known for its line of small planes and gliders, including models with electric propulsion. Since its market debut, the manufacturer has delivered more than 2,500 aircraft.
In 2020, Pipistrel achieved full type certification from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for the Velis Electro, the world’s first and currently only electric aircraft approved for services such as basic pilot training.
Among the electric aircraft offered by the Slovenian manufacturer are the experimental models Alpha Electro and Alpha Electro LC and the Taurus Electro powered glider.