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Pipistrel channel crossing attempt thwarted by Airbus

According to Pipistrel, who were planning to complete the first crossing of the channel and back on one charge by an electric aircraft, Airbus have thrown their weight around in order to get Siemens to prevent Pipistrel from using their motors in flight over water.

Airbus will be attempting the same flight in their “E-Fan”, which is powered by a Siemens motor.

United Kingdom

The first, intriguing comment:

“Pipistrel Macedonia ยท Works at Pipistrel

I will be very pleased if it should prove to be true.

Last Edited by kwlf at 10 Jul 02:19

The positive outcome from what appears to be disgraceful behaviour by certain players is that Pipistrel now know who can and cannot be trusted and it has not cost them much to find this out. A bit like a girl you met 2 days ago shagging your best mate (with him announcing it on Facebook in the usual way)

Making 3 phase brushless motors is not rocket science. They are widely used in electric vehicles so there must be other suitable products. Pipistrel should dump Siemens, before they invest serious money in aircraft production and risk getting dropped in the ***t later when there is much more at stake.

Thielert’s adventures came fairly close to bankrupting Diamond…

The limiting factor must currently be the battery technology, not the motor.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

That’s brilliant news!

EIKH Kilrush

Duwal already had a permit to fly his Cri Cri, and needed only a flight plan to cross the channel, but soon after the announcement, an order blocking his flight was issued, an order Duwal elected not to respect.

Who issued the disrespected blocking order?

Pipistrel should dump Siemens

Having have some deals with (probably another department of) Siemens, I can only agree. They are the typical big company that relies on its size and on good relations to score, rather than on ability or quality.

EBZH Kiewit, Belgium

I don’t think there is any choice. By what I’ve read, Siemens have withdrawn their engine, not just for this flight, but for the program. So no sales with Siemens engines for this aircraft.

I too wondered about the “blocking order”. Is it just a “missing flight plan”?

EIKH Kilrush

To be fair, in case of an accident, we would have read statements from Pipistrel like

“We chose Siemens for its reputation and experience in electric motor design and had no doubts that such a respected company would deliver a safe and reliable product. We are shocked about the accident caused by a design/manufacturing defect of the Siemens engine.

If they didn’t have the right to use the engine, then they shouldn’t complain. Maybe Airbus signed an agreement with Siemens that gave them the right for the first flight? Not a nice move but legal. Pipistrel did not do itself a favor by going public and shitting on Siemens. It’s a sign to all market players that the company is run by hot headed people and not by professionals.

What I am missing in this discussion is some kind of proof that Airbus is behind all this. All I read in the articles behind the links supplied is guesswork and accusations without the least evidence. Siemens withdraw their permission that Pipstrel uses their engines for the flight. That seems to be true. We don’t know the conditions of the contract between Siemens and Pipistel, so we can’t know what the base for that withdrawal was.

EDDS - Stuttgart

Indeed. But in such a case you’ll never find proof, at least not without some sort of official investigation, which won’t happen.

What I do find interesting is that when asked to comment on it, Airbus didn’t deny any involvement, but avoided the question and spoke about the safety needed for such an attempt. If they had nothing to do with it, I would have expected a strong denial and threats of legal action at the first available opportunity. It’s strange that that didn’t come.

EIKH Kilrush
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