US company Textron Inc. home to aviation brands like Cessna, Bell, and Beechcraft, has just agreed to buy award-winning Italian /Slovenian company Pipistrel, a pioneer in electrically powered aircraft.
Pipistrel makes gliders and light aircraft and has been working on electrical propulsion since 2000. In 2020 their Velis Electro was the first, and to date only, electric aircraft to be fully certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). The company has won many awards for its pioneering work and is considered “one of the world’s most important and successful manufacturers of light aircraft,” says Textron Chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly.
The sale enable Pipistrel to accelerate its certification of electric and hybrid aircraft thanks to Textron’s greater resources, technical expertise, and global sales team.
Meanwhile Pipistrel’s innovative approach and proven success will make it the centrepiece of a new business segment: Textron eAviation, which will focus on sustainable aircraft development.
Founder and CEO of Pipistrel, Ivo Boscarol, says “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.” Boscarol will remain a minority shareholder as well as Chairman Emeritus.
“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,” adds Donnelly. “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.”
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to the usual closing conditions.