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Copyright 2002-2017
Pipistrel USA

    Virus SW - FAQ's
LSA Accepted    
  • 35' 1½" wingspan
  • Glide ratio 17:1
  • 120 knots with Rotax 912 80hp
  • 120 knots with Rotax 912 100hp
  • 3.0 gph at 120 knots
  • Up to 7.5 hours endurance
  • Available in tail dragger or nosewheel configuration
  • Great for thermalling, slope soaring or just having fun
  • Fantastic touring aircraft
  • 3 blade propeller
  • Large luggage capacity with optional external access
  • Easy to hangar 35 ft wingspan
  • LSA Version supplied with 3 blade fixed pitch propeller

How is the Virus SW 80/100 different from the Virus 912?
The entire structure on the Virus SW is completely new from ground up. Reinforced fuselage, reinforced tail, reinforced wings, everything is manufactured and engineered to provide the correct strength required to go up to speed safely. We managed to produce an aircraft much stronger than before, using advanced honeycomb techniques and other special approaches to composite building.
The biggest difference noticed externally is of course the smaller 35 ft wingspan and the all new horizontal tailplane (much smaller span, reduced by 31.5 inches over the standard Virus). All in all, Virus SW 80/100 is a brand new aircraft build to last, faster, stronger, safer and more manoeuvrable!

How much difference is there in the speed envelope between classic Virus and Virus SW 80/100?
Manoeuvring speed was raised from 76kts to 93 kts, turbulence penetration speed (green arc) was raised from 76kts to 135 kts and the VNE from 135 kts to 163 kts. This means that you can cruise through heavy turbulence at speeds which were before beyond red-line speeds for the original Virus 912. The new Virus SW has the largest flight safety margins in its category and can be equipped with the total rescue system, which can be deployed even at maximum speeds (the parachute rescue system is rated for 167 kts) and close to the terrain.
Slow flying performance and behaviour however stays the same as with other Pipistrel aircraft and conforms with LSA rules for stall performance (below 45 KCAS in clean configuration).

What is the width of the cabin?
110 cm (43.3 inch) at shoulders, 114 cm (45 inch) at bottom of seat.

How much is the payload?
Virus SW 80/100 is a remarkable aircraft - it can lift more than its own weight! With a standard empty weight of 631-635 lbs and the maximum structural weight of 1320 lbs - the payload is more than 660 lbs!. Fuel fuel payload is at least 497 lbs, which is enough for two large pilots and full luggage. With the Virus SW, you are effectively never overweight!

What are the ultimate load factors and the design weight for the Virus SW?
The operational envelope is rated at +4 G, -2 G at 600 kg, which is the design load of the aeroplane. This means that the structure must withstand at least as safety factor of 1.875 more at 1320 lbs. This calculates to at least +7.5 G and - 3.75 G at 1320 lbs! However the Virus SW is much stronger than this as certain main structural components are able to withstand more than 10 G of load, which was proven during a highly elaborate structural testing. Considering the legal limitation of 1320 lbs the safety factory then become much much larger than what is the industry standard... With Pipistrel, safety is never compromised!

Fuel consumption:
The measured and published fuel consumption is valid for 75% cruise parameters.
With the Virus SW 80 this is 27.2 InHg and 5000 RPM (as per Rotax datasheets) and the consumption is 3.6 gph at 133 kts.
The Virus SW 100 at 26.5 InHg and 5000 RPM (as per Rotax datasheets) consumes 4.7 gph while cruising at 147 kts.

People often ask - can you cruise the 100 HP version at around 130 kts with the same fuel consumption like the 80 HP version? The answer is no - due to the completely different combination of the engine and propeller. At lower speeds, the Virus SW 100 will be about 1 lph (0.25 gph) more thirsty than the Virus SW 80. That being said, you need to know that the Virus SW 100 is designed and build to cruise faster and safer than any other aircraft in this class.
Another question which is quite typical - Can I fly the Virus SW 80 with 9.5 lp/h travelling at the Virus 912 cruise speed (225 km/h). The answer is yes! These two aircraft have identical engine and propeller setup, while the aerodynamics do not play a significant role in the lower speed portion.
Please note that the Virus SW 80 and 100 are able to fly much faster with the same fuel consumption that others have. Of you can fly with the same speed and much lower fuel consumption than the rest. This means you will effective burn much less fuel on the same route and the difference can be quite dramatic. Ask a Flight Design CT owner - they cruise about 215-220 km/h (118-120 kts), while the Virus SW 100 with the same engine and fuel consumption does 273 km/h (147 kts)! This was proven during the 2008 NASA Challenge.

Is there a parking brake?
The parking brake is available as an option together with Berringer high performance tyres and wheel brakes.

What is the typical baggage allowance?
Baggage safely fits in the solid luggage compartment behind the seats, which is easily accessible. Baggage allowance varies upon the level of equipment, etc. and can be calculated for each individual aircraft using the formulas in Flight manual and Maintenance manual, Section Weight and Balance.
However, typical values for the Sinus 912 are 60 lbs for aircraft without the rescue system and 29 lbs when the rescue system is installed on board.

Is there a side luggage access door?
The side luggage access door is available as an option and provides easy and direct access to the luggage area from the outside. It features a lock so all your items inside will be safe. For much larger objects, the access to the luggage compartment is through the cabin - the seats fold in seconds and this provides a large opening and additional access to the luggage compartment.

Can you fly without the door for aerial photography?
Yes. You can remove one door completely, whereas the other door must be in place, closed and locked. With this configuration there are no extra airspeed restrictions, however the maximum recommended airspeed is 108 kts. Removing the door is a simple and quick procedure and only requires two safety pins to be removed.

Time needed to dismount the wings?
The wings are easily assembled and dismounted, should this be required. All control connections are self-fitting, so you only need to connect the fuel lines and strobe connectors, which take only seconds. All together it never takes more than 15 minutes, with experience even 5 minutes will be enough!

How is flutter resistance with higher speeds?
All control surfaces are balanced in a new way to prevent any kind of flutter. This includes a completely new approach to elevator balancing (integrated balancing weights to reduce drag), rudder balancing (integrated weights + added ventral fin for stability). Ailerons, of course, are balanced with a large safety margin as well.
Ground vibration testing and test flights have demonstrated that the Virus SW is indeed flutter free throughout the operational envelope up to Vd.

What are NASA Challenges and what exactly did the Virus SW win in 2007 and 2008?
See links:

Can I do aerobatics, spins in the Sinus 912?
The design basis of the Sinus 912 follow the strictest EASA CS-22, CS-VLA and LTF-UL (sections) certification standards, as well as their FAA FAR counterparts. The Sinus 912 is a high-performance airplane and not suitable for aerobatics, despite the +4 G, -2 G allowable loads. Pipistrel cannot prevent people doing aerobatic manoeuvres in the aircraft, but we do not approve it - the reason is in aerodynamics. The Sinus 912 has so little drag that it picks up speed MUCH quicker than other aircraft. This can be dangerous in aerobatic manoeuvres (also spins, which are completely recoverable) and an average pilot can very quickly overstress the airframe because of airspeed. The aircraft can reach 145 kts in a dive in a matter of seconds! But flown correctly it is a very safe and forgiving aircraft.

Exterior paint
The paint used is a special acrylic based pigment, which is applied during the moulding process. Pipistrel aeroplanes are not after-painted like most other aeroplanes - instead, paint is applied onto/into the structure while moulding. 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.

Is the leather upholstery offered as optional equipment true leather? What colours are available?
Yes, we use 100% genuine NAPA leather with Bovine texture in a wide choice of colors. The customer can choose the color of the seats and surrounding upholstery (side carpets, firewall, instrument panel pockets etc) separately. Up to two different colors per aircraft can be selected, for example: Red seats with Vanilla interior.

Is Virus SW really as fast as you claim?
True to Pipistrel performance, all data published for the Virus SW is accurate and acquired form test flights. Please note that the data is published for the take-off mass of 472.5 kg and ISA Sea Level conditions.
Based on experience, you can for a hot summer day expect the cruise speed figures to be a maximum 5 kts less than those in ISA Sea Level and take-off performance degraded by maximum 20%. Regardless, Virus SW is the best performing light aircraft on the market.

Is it possible to buy an extra pair of wings for the SW?
People sometimes ask - is it possible to buy an extra pair of wings for the SW, for example the Virus SW + long (Sinus 15 m / 49 ft) wings? NO, this is not possible due to structure of both wings. Virus SW is sold only with 10.71 m wings and the whole structure and geometry is based on this design to be optimized for speed, safety and comfort.

Is it possible to have Rotax 914 Turbo with the Virus SW?
No. Not for the moment at least. The Virus SW with 100 HP is already the fastest cruiser (75%) in its class, so the wish for the 914 is slightly redundant.

On the Virus SW 80 there is a choice of a variable and featharable manual propeller, or a constant speed non-featharable electric propeller.
On the Virus SW 100 there is a choice of the variable non-featharable manual or constant speed propeller.

Why are airbrakes not part of standard equipment?
Based on two facts we have decided not to include airbrakes in the standard equipment of the Virus SW:
a) The aircraft has shorter wings and has more sink with full flaps at landing speeds.
b) There is a considerable number of pilots who primarily fly on long runways.
Our recommendation would be to install airbrakes on the aircraft if you intend to operate from runways shorter than 1700 ft in length, or from runways which require a steep approach. The additional weight for airbrakes is 6 lbs.

What is the landing distance over 15 m obstacle, with and without airbrake?
With the use of the airbrake 240 m (until full stop),
without airbrake 495 m.

What is the maximum baggage allowance (weight and volume)?
Volume is about 280 L when the parachute is NOT installed and about 230 L with the parachute rescue system installed.
Baggage space is the solid luggage compartment behind the seats, which is easily accessible. Baggage allowance varies upon the level of equipment, etc. and can be calculated for each individual aircraft using the formulas in Flight manual and Maintenance manual, Section Weight and Balance.
However, typical values for the Virus SW are 73 lbs for aircraft without the rescue system and 40 lbs when the rescue system is installed on board.

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