Newsletter 47 – June 2009

Pipistrel are proud to re-release the new APIS


  •  14.97 m (49′ 1.5″) wingspan
  • Glide ratio 40:1
  • Hirth F33BS Engine
  • 20 Litres Fuel Capacity
  • 120 kgs Payload !
  • Engine on climb > 600fpm
  • Min sink speed 45kts
  • Min sink rate 120 fpm
  • Retractable undercarriage option
  •  Stearable tail wheel
  • Fast delivery
  • Competitive pricing

The New APIS

Information following applies to the new Apis equipped with the Hirth F33BS engine. The Apis is a pre-molded, composite build, single seat, single engine, mid-wing, classic, fixed or retractable undercarriage, high performance, self-launching glider. By concept, it is single-seat version of the Pipistrel Taurus. The Apis was originally designed by Pipistrel but was given to another company to produce, now the project is back with Pipistrel and after 12 months of development and with around 130 improvements the Apis has just been re-released to world markets.

Please take your time to browse through the information below and as always if you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact me immediately.

Quick questions and answers

How much does a Pipistrel APIS cost ?

Answer..  Well….    It depends on the model

Pure Glider Version is Euro 41,000
(plus delivery and taxes) which roughly equates to…
US dollars US$57,000,
Australian dollars AU$73,000,
New Zealand dollars NZ$93,000

Petrol Engine Version is Euro 54,000
(plus delivery and taxes) which roughly equates to…
US dollars US$75,000,
Australian dollars AU$96,000,
New Zealand dollars NZ$122,000

Electric Engine Version is Euro 77,000
(plus delivery and taxes) which roughly equates to…
US dollars US$107,000,
Australian dollars AU$137,000,
New Zealand dollars NZ$175,000

What is the current delivery time from placement of order ?
Answer..  Approximately 6 months
Is a trailer available for the Apis ?
Answer..  Yes, from a number of manufacturers
What is the warranty ?
Answer.. 12 months or 100 hours on airframe and engine
Why is the name Apis and Bee used ?
Answer.. Apis is trademarked in some countries and cant be used, APIS is Latin for the word Bee
You will see the plane advertised as the Apis or the Bee, but they are the same plane.
Basic Information
APIS Engine. Hirth F33BS
Wing Span 14.97 m (49.10 ft)
Length 6.22 m (20.4 ft)
Wing Area 12.24 m2 (131.75 ft2)
Aspect Ratio 18.35
positive flap deflection (down) 0, +5, +10 degrees
negative flap deflection (up) -5, -7 degrees
centre of gravity (MAC) 29 % – 42 %

Weights and centre of gravity

The design weight for the new Apis is 350 kg (1212 lbs)  with more than 120 kg (264 lbs) useful load and the fuel capacity of 20 liters (5.3 gallons).

APIS Engine. Hirth F33BS
Empty weight 215 kg
Max. take-off mass (MTOM) 322.5 kg / 350 kg (710 lbs/770 lbs)
Fuel capacity 1 x 20 L (1 x 5.3 US gal)
Useful fuel (in flight attitudes) 1 x 20 L (1 x 5.3 US gal)
Baggage load (typical, depends on actual aircraft configuration, instruments etc.) Apis is a glider and there is no dedicated baggage space. Small items can be carried in the side pockets and at the seat sides.
Centre of gravity (MAC) 29% – 42%


Design loads

+5.3 G, -2.65 G at Va

+4.0 G, -2.0   G at VNE

Typical CS-22 manoeuvre envelope.

Design and tested safety factory minimum 1.875!


3 View Drawing and Dimensions

Data published here is for take-off mass of 322.5 kg, ISA conditions, sea level.

APIS Engine. Hirth F33BS
VS0 (stall with full flaps) 57 km/h (31 kts)
VS1 (stall in clean configuration) 61 km/h (33 kts)
Max. speed for spoiler extension 220 km/h (119 kts)
VFE +5 degrees 117 km/h (63 kts)
VFE +10 degrees 100 km/h (54 kts)
Manoeuvring velocity Va 144 km/h (78 kts)
Rough air speed Vb (gusts 15 m/s) 144 km/h (78 kts)
Max. speed in aerotow 131 km/h (71 kts)
Vx – speed for best angle of climb 80 km/h (42 kts)
Vy – speed for best climb rate 85 km/h (45 kts)
Max. climb rate MTOM 3.3 m/s (660 fpm)
Minimum sink speed 84 km/h (45 kts)
Minimum sink rate 0.59 m/s (120 fpm)
Max. sink with spoilers extended 4.6 m/s (920 fpm)
Best L/D speed 94 km/h (51 kts)
Best L/D ratio 40:1
Glide ratio at 150 km/h (80 kts) 27:1
Takeoff runway length at MTOM 137 m (450 ft)
Takeoff length over 15 m obstacle 243 m (800 ft)
45 – 45 degree roll time 3.5 seconds 100 km/h (54 kts)

APIS Polar

So… What is new?

This model of the Apis manufactured by Pipistrel is the second generation of Apis and a huge improvement over the original aircraft.

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 can now be equipped with a ballistic total rescue system (option)). It is no longer necessary to wear a backpack parachute, which is great benefit for 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 than the previous aircraft. Further, thanks to the ballistic rescue system option and different seat 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. Apis now climbs in excess of 3 m/s (600 fpm), which is more than most self-launching gliders and more than a glider tow.

Less vibration, better cooling
Now used are double shock absorbers sets on the engine attachment points to reduce the overall vibration. The engine cylinder head is a different, new model which improves the cooling.

Larger 20 litre 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 (20 litres instead of 8 litres) 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 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 whilst providing more legroom. 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 have 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. 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 are no longer hard and the Apis now handles as lightly as the Taurus. The Rudder pedals and wire ropes 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 x 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.

Leather interior
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. The customer can choose the color of the seats and surrounding upholstery in a single color.

Solar Panels
Solar panels can be installed as an option, they cover all electrical consumption during gliding. They will recharge the battery on ground as well.

The engine unit which can be dismounted in minutes
The complete engine unit is now modular, including all of the connections (fuel, electricity, sensors, etc.) which are now done with 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.

Safety Firewall
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.

And 116 other little improvements! which contribute to a lighter, safer structure, easier operation and better performance.

Finally, Proven Pedigree and Performance

The Apis is truly is a top performer and 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)