World’s first ultralight flight simulator using VR technology
It was developed for Pipistrel’s airplanes ALPHA Trainer and ALPHA Electro. The simulator consists of several elements that, combined together, offer a unique experience of flying.
The first element you notice is X-Alpha’s physical cabin, identical to the cabin of a real ALPHA Trainer or ALPHA Electro airplane. It has two seats with the pilot seat on the left side. The pilot has all of the controls needed to fly a real airplane: joystick that controls roll and pitch, pedals that control yaw, flaps, throttle and brake levers and elevator trim control plate. The controls are fully operational and are connected to sensors that read their input and transfer it to the computer.
X-Alpha relies on versatile software, both developed in house and from third party developers, that runs the physical simulation of the airplane, reads the inputs from the sensors on the controls and draws the airplane and its surroundings on the monitor and inside the virtual reality headset that the pilot uses.
And that brings us to another very important element. Virtual reality. The X-Alpha uses VR headset instead of monitors. This is a huge advantage because the headset allows the pilot a 360 degree view of the cockpit and the landscape. He or she can lean in closer to the instrument panel to read the marks written in smaller font, look through the window and check if the landing gear is still in one peace after the landing or whether the flaps are indeed in the second position. And this way the experience is extremely immersive.
X-Alpha was developed in cooperation with Pipistrel test pilots and flight instructors and it accurately simulates the behaviour of the real aircraft. The simulator can be used for basic flight instruction and currency training.
It was first presented to the public on AERO Friedrichshafen 2017 where it attracted a lot of attention.
AlpinAirPlanes Training Solutions
AlpinAirPlanes and Pipistrel offers a broad portfolio of training solutions, ranging from cloud-based, multiplatform computer based training theory courses, training sessions, simulator, electric-powered trainers, IFR equipped trainers, aircraft approved for intentional spin and upset-prevention-and-recovery training and more. Our solutions and aircraft are used for training pilots in environments which range from small aeroclubs, through to flight schools focusing on training commercial pilots, as well as in demanding circumstances of integrated air-force training systems.
Any combination of Pipistrel’s Training Solutions provide best value and a clear competitive advantage to you as the provider of pilot training. You will benefit from:
- Pipistrel Online Academy CBT, our cloud based theory courses
- Ability to carry out UPRT training for pilots and instructors using the same aircraft as for your other training needs
- Our immersive VR-based 360 deg X-Alpha Flight Simulator
- The advanced EASA Type-Certified Virus SW 121, the all-can-do trainer, covering everything from ab-initio training all the way to offering complexity, glass cockpit, autopilot, Night VFR, IFR navigation equipment and capability for UPRT training out of the box
- Revolutionary 100% electric-powered trainer, the EASA Type-Certified Velis Electro
- FAA-accepted S-LSA models for PPL, CPL and glider pilot training, accepted for night VFR flight and IFR training (VMC only).
- Our Microlight class offerings ranging from powered gliders to high speed cruisers
Since we are continuously adding more and more elements to our training solutions, as with the four-seat EASA-certified Panthera arriving in next years, our trusted flight schools already recognize the added value and complex advantages by partnering with us to offer complete and competitive training courses.
Our principles around pilot training are enhanced by the Pipistrel Academy platform. Pipistrel Academy is Pipistrel’s Complete Training System for flight schools. By choosing Pipistrel aircraft, your aim to be profitable and producing great pilots has never been closer to reality. Profitability and great training experience is based on four differentiators: Performance, Economics, User Experience and Training System.
Pipistrel aircraft are known for their splendid performance due to great aerodynamics and low mass. These aircraft are fast and climb great.
This means that the aircraft reach the traffic pattern altitude or practice area sooner, giving more productive learning time for the student. They enable the use of airfields and airstrips further away from home base, with the same sortie duration.
Performance also means safety. The student can fly out of almost any mistake on landing or other phase of flight with the application of power. Due to great aerodynamics and low empty mass also the stall and spin characteristics are benign.
The training experience for the student pilot is much better, because the airplane has a very wide range of usable airspeed. It can fly slow or it can fly very fast. This teaches the student the correct pitch-power-trim procedures and energy management and prepares him well for other 21st-century-aircraft.
Due to their excellent performance, the Pipistrel airplanes thrive in mountainous terrain and hot-high operations.
Pipistrel is an economic airplane to operate, due to the fact that it delivers great performance with low horsepower. This is a great contribution to the economics of flight schools.
Due to low mass, Pipistrel aircraft offer unprecedented payload. Not only that it enables the aircraft to be legal, it also has big operational advantages. For example, a Virus 121 with a 100 hp Rotax 912 burns 15 liters per hour and has a capacity of 100 liters of fuel. A very active flight school can count on one refueling cycle per day. This means less time lost and less energy expanded.
The low mass of the aircraft also means that handling in and out of hangars is much easier. If operating a fleet of Virus/Sinus/ALPHA Trainers, the hangar space can be used extremely effectively. Due to the high-wing-T-tail arrangements, the Pipistrels can be stored in a hangar like no other aircraft.
Due to their performance and equipment, the aircraft are also very versatile, sometimes one aircraft covering the learning curve scope of several trainer types.
Pipistrel offers unprecedented user experience. It is based on always being on the cutting edge of technology. Pipistrel fleet in a flight school will attract individuals who drive electric cars, use the latest nature-friendly technology and live green lifestyles. The technological level of Pipistrel aircraft is a statement and attraction that will also transfer to your flight school.
Furthermore, most of the new advances that Pipistrel makes can be retrofitted to your aircraft, meaning that each individual aircraft will always remain young and modern – it will always remain desirable.
Pipistrel also puts great emphasis on the user experiences of students and instructors. From making flight instruments numbers displayed on the ALPHA Trainers larger for mature, farsighted students, to easy cockpit entry for less agile students, to a very cool cockpit by keeping out the sun heat with tinted transparencies – Pipistrel makes training on and instructing on these aircraft a pure pleasure.
Pipistrel supports flight school by proving the most complete training system in the light aircraft industry.
It is composed of the following elements:
1) e-learning at pipistrel-online.com
These are advanced, interactive study lessons that you can study at any time or place, saving your precious time. They are written directly by Pipistrel test pilots, instructor pilots and engineers. Instructors can supervise the progress of their students.
Each flight school can opt for a contract which provides attractive pricing, therefore not only solving a problem but making money at the same time.
2) VR simulators
Pipistrel was the first company that introduced flight simulators with VR goggles. This technology provides an advanced and immersive training experience. Most prestigious flight schools using Pipistrel aircraft now also have a VR simulator. Basic flying lessons can be downloaded to it, meaning higher motivation for the students. It can be used for basic flying, traffic pattern work and it is great for crosswind practice and emergency procedures, enabling training in difficult conditions at zero risk.
3) Training programs and methods
For start-up schools we offer a turn-key service with Pipistrel Academy Lab staff. This includes registration of your flight school with all the relevant Training and Operational manuals tailored for training on Pipistrel aircraft.
We offer instructor retraining and transition courses. We offer quality control and assurance.
Pipistrel is there for you after your purchase to maintain your operation safe and profitable.
Some our references:
What is Advanced UPRT?UPRT stands for airplane ‘Upset Prevention and Recovery Training’ and constitutes a combination of theoretical knowledge and flying training with the aim of providing flight crew with the required competencies to both prevent and to recover from situations in which an airplane unintentionally exceeds the parameters for line operation or training (airplane upsets).
First ICAO took the initiative to introduce Advanced UPRT, and in December 2019 EASA made Advanced UPRT a requirement. Preventing loss-of-control saves lives and Advanced UPRT produces better pilots in recreational, as well as professional setting.
Pipistrel’s SW121 is fully approved for Advanced UPRT training, including fully developed intentional spins. Having the SW121 in your flight school environment you can cover ab-initio training, advanced training and all aspects of UPRT courses with one single airplane. What is more, the SW121 needs not be specially prepared for Advanced UPRT training, so your instructors can fly an UPRT lesson right in the middle of ab-initio or navigational sorties, thus maximizing asset utilization and removing the need for utilizing an Extra 300 or a C152 Aerobat that have much higher operating costs.
See how normal spin with SW121 look like:
Many flight schools are already taking advantage of the single-airframe-to-CPL concept with the SW 121: “The Virus SW is designed for this task. Advanced UPRT, sure, but also much more. It cruises at 2 NM per minute, it climbs at 1000 fpm, it is best between 5000 and 7000 ft, is complex and full of automation. The aircraft is just made to train future commercial pilots”. – Saso Knez, Instructor and Class 1 Test Pilot
To learn why the SW 121 is the best for UPRT and how it can enable your flight schools to train better, safer pilots and elevate your level of service, please read the testimonial of Sašo Knez, Pipistrel Academy’s Chief Instructor:
Sašo Knez: Instructor’s testimonial
* Upon request, AlpinAirPlanes is offering Advanced UPRT courses as a service as well. Send your inquiries to: