The Pipistrel Apis is a single-seat, self launching ultralight sailplane of Slovenian company Pipistrel. The name of Apis is derived from the scientific name for the genus of honey bees. Since this name is protected by trademark law in some states, the Apis is sold there under the name Bee (English bee). For this reason, Bee is in the trade press also summarize the expression of Apis / used.
- Versions of the first generation 4.1
- 4.2 current versions
Pavel Potočnik, owner of the Slovenian company Alabastar, had been commissioned by Pipistrel, negative forms, and to build a prototype for the sinus. At the same time he was busy trying to edit a similar contract by the Italian manufacturer Alisport, then emerged from the Silent. Potočnik combined the body of the Silent with the wings of the sinus for the first prototype of the Honey Bee, which was completed in summer 2000. That same year, the first flight. After the construction of the prototype 's hull forms were prepared for the Apis, which differ from those of the Silent inter alia, by the lack of a nose wheel. Alabastar produced the Apis with both 13 and 15 meter wingspan. The first flight of the 15 - meter version was performed on February 2, 2002 by Bostjan Pristavec at the airport Bled.
In early 2004 it was announced that the production of APIs from AMS Flight, the successor company of Elan, was acquired. There she was first built in the versions available until then. It was also developed with the Apis 15MB version with a rescue system, which received its German type certification on 16 February 2006 under the name Bee 15MB. In January 2008, Pipistrel eventually took over the Apis, the last aircraft from the production of AMS Flight, a Bee 15MB for the Austrian market, was delivered in April 2008.
Since June 2009 Pipistrel sold a second, revised generation of Apis.
The Apis is an ultralight aircraft with the appearance of a classic sailplane. The single-seat mid-wing monoplane with a T-tail has an electrically retractable main landing gear. The wing with flaperons and spoilers from Schempp- Hirth type were taken from the sinus. The entire structure is held in GRP CFRP shells or sandwich construction.
Second generation changes
After the takeover of production by the Pipistrel Apis was revised in some points. So wing tanks were installed, thus increasing the capacity to 20 liters instead of the central tank in the fuselage. The engine management system, which is responsible for the extension and retraction of the engine was taken over by the Taurus. Thus, the engine can now be an extended or retracted in only six seconds. In addition, a firewall between the cockpit and the engine compartment was installed. The cockpit and instrument panel were reworked to make more space available and to improve visibility in the direction of flight, as well as the control coordination has been improved.
The Apis is intended for use as a glider or sailplane with auxiliary motor. The version Apis 13 WR FAI was designed for the FAI competition class " ultralight ". In this class, Bostjan and Tanja Pristavec presented between 2000 and 2003 with an Apis WR five world records that have until today (2010) inventory.
To be allowed to fly the approved in Germany versions Apis 15MB and Apis 15 ( Hirth F33BS ), a glider pilot's license is not enough with Startartberechtigung " self start": Since the Apis was conceived from the outset as a microlight, in the construction of the German rules for gliders were not taken into account. It is approved in Germany as a microlight, and can therefore only be flown with Sport Pilot license.
In the U.S., Apis may be admitted as Light Sport Aircraft since 2010.
The first generation version
Prior to the revision by the Pipistrel Apis was manufactured in the following versions:
- Apis 13: Pure glider version of the 13 -meter class ( Alabastar, AMS)
- Apis WR 13 FAI: Lighter version of Apis 13 ( Alabastar, AMS)
- Apis 15: Pure glider version of the 15 -meter class ( Alabastar, AMS)
- Apis 15M: Self Bootable version of Apis 15 ( Alabastar, AMS)
- Apis 15MB: as 15M, but with rescue system (AMS, Pipistrel )
The Apis is from Pipistrel currently (as of 2010) in three 15-meter versions:
- Apis 15 Pure Glider: Pure glider version
- Apis 15 ( Hirth F33BS ): Self- Bootable Version with Hirth F33BS - combustion engine
- Apis electro 15: Self- Bootable version with electric motor