What is new with the new generation Apis ?
The current model of the Apis by Pipistrel is the second generation of Apis. This section will provide an insight of the major improvements over the previous version.
Retractable gear, Stearable tailwheel
Immediately noticeable from the outside, the tailwheel is recessed and stearable through the rudder pedals. This makes taxiing like a dream! Further, the main landing gear is retractable (optional equipment) by manual mechanical installation. The force on the handle is super-low, even lower than on the Taurus and the reliability is much better than electrically retractable landing gear with other designs. Both these improvements of course improve gliding and climb performance!
Ballistic rescue system
The Apis is now be equipped with a ballistic total rescue system. It is no longer necessary to wear a backpack parachute, which is great benefit for the larger pilots. With the ballistic rescue system, the safety is always with you. The activation handle is a pull type and located at the right hand side of the main instrument column.
Much larger cockpit
The new seat shape and back allow much more room now. Further, thanks to the ballistic rescue system option and different system of cushions, the cockpit room has been improved by a considerable margin. Of course, the pedals remain adjustable in-flight as standard. The headrest is now standard, it is an addition with a similar fully adjustable design from the Taurus.
Lighter engine, redesigned performance propeller
The engine selected for the Apis – the Hirth F33BS is renowned for reliability and excellent power-to-weight ratio. We have designed an all new propeller and the result is a 15% performance in both take-off and climb segments. Apis now climbs in excess of 600 fpm, which is more than most self-launching gliders and more than a glider tow.
Less vibration, better cooling
We are now using double shock absorbers sets on the engine attachment points to reduce the overall vibration. The engine cylinder head is a different and a new model which improves the cooling.
Larger 5.2 gallon fuel tank now standard in the wing
For safety and convenience reasons, the fuel tank has been moved from the fuselage into the wing. This allows for a much bigger fuel tank 5.2 gal instead of 2 gal and of course much more autonomy and freedom of flight. Having all the fuel in the wing is a great safety improvement as well! When assembling the Apis/Bee, you connect the fuel using the fast-click-on connector, and you are ready to go.
New instrument column
The instrument column is now lower and wider at the top row, while providing more legroom. Now, the instrument panel can also fit the modern gliding computers, such as the color-screen LX8000! Because of the lower profile of the instrument panel, forward visibility is improved during take-off and landing.
New ergonomics of cockpit controls
The cockpit handles and their positioning has been updated for better ergonomics for both small and large pilots. The handles resemble the positioning in the Taurus, for easier type training.
Engine management system from Taurus
Our praised (Klaus Ohlmann says it is the best!) engine management system Ibis II from the Taurus is now standard in the Apis too. The pilot must only select the position of the engine (up/down) and the system will take care of the rest. Also, you can use the Taurus to train Apis pilots for a reduced learning curve and no problems with transitioning to the single seater.
Rebalanced and lighter control feel
Primary flight controls (ailerons, elevator and rudder) have been harmonised to give the best possible pilot-feel at all speeds. The ailerons is no longer hard and the Apis now handles as lightly as the Taurus. The rudder pedals and control cables have been redesigned for smoother travel as well. All control surfaces now feature different high performance leak-free gaskets, which also contribute to a more direct and lighter control feel, while at the same time improving the overall performance.
Optional 5.00×5 wheel
As an option, it is possible to have the bigger 5.00 x 5 wheel/tyre. Standard is the 4.00 x 6. The bigger 5.00 x 5 wheel can be installed both as fixed and retractable! Very suitable for grass and rugged terrain.
People often ask – is the leather upholstery offered as optional equipment truly leather? Yes, we use 100% genuine NAPA leather with bovine texture in choice of colors which are published on our website. The customer can choose the color of the seats and surrounding upholstery in a single color.
Solar panels can be installed as an option, they cover for all electrical consumption during gliding. They will recharge the battery on ground as well.
An engine unit which can be removed in minutes
The complete engine unit is now modular, including all of the connections (fuel, electricity, sensors, etc.) which are now done with fast connectors. For maintenance, you can not dismount the whole engine unit in minutes!
Much faster engine extension/retraction
The engine extension/retraction (engine up/down movement) now only takes 6 seconds. This is much quicker than before and improves both performance and safety.
Better cockpit ventilation and plexy defogging
Now more fresh air will be entering the cockpit then ever before. It is also strategically distributed over the canopy to prevent fogging when flying below the cloudbase.
A major addition is also the safety firewall between the cockpit and the engine compartment. It improves safety and cancels a lot of the engine noise which would otherwise be entering the cockpit.
These are just the major features, there are another 116 little improvements!
Which contribute to a lighter, safer structure, easier operation and better performance.
Is the name of the aircraft Apis or Bee?
In some countries, the name “Apis” is trademarked, so we are unable to use it. These countries are, as far as we know, the following: Germany, Austria, Switzerland and some Scandinavian countries. There, the aircraft is marketed as “Bee”. We chose this because Apis, in Latin, is a bee.
The paint used is a special acrylic based pigment, which is applied already during the molding process. Pipistrel aeroplanes are not after-painted like most other aeroplanes – instead, paint is applied onto/into the structure while molding. This makes the paint much more durable and resistant to UV light and environmental contaminants. Recommendations for care and cleaning of the aircraft can be found in the Flight manual and Maintenance manual, section Handling and Maintenance, chapter Keeping your aircraft in perfect shape.
What World Records did Apis claim?
Apis-Bee truly is a top performer and in fact holds several World Records in its class:
Free out and return distance – 310km, (Tanja Pristavec, DU feminine)
Free distance using up to 3 turn points – 347.6km (Tanja Pristavec, DU feminine)
Free distance – 154km (Tanja Pristavec, DU feminine)
Free distance using up to 3 turn points – 808.9km (Boštjan Pristavec)
Speed over a triangular course of 100 km: 76.9km/h – (Tanja Pristavec, DU feminine)
Out-and-return distance: 501km – (Andrej Kolar, DU general)
Speed over an out-and-return course of 500km: 82.1km/h – (Andrej Kolar, DU general)
Free Three Turn Points Distance: 619.7km – (Andrej Kolar, DU general)
Free out-and-return distance: 511.6kmb – (Andrej Kolar, DU general)
Speed record over a triangular course: 118.2 km/h (Boštjan Pristavec)