Born in Postojna and educated at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Economics, Pipistrel CEO and founder Ivo Boscarol began working on the idea of ultra light aviation decades back, convinced this type of aviation represented the future, offering an exciting alternative to costly and cumbersome aircraft. Today Pipistrel is recognised as the world’s leading motorglider aircraft designer and producer.
This past November The European Business Awards honoured Pipistrel CEO Boscarol and the entire Pipistrel company with the UKTI Award for Innovation, recognising it as the most innovative company in the European Union. The European Business Awards is an independent Awards programme designed to recognise and promote excellence, best practice and innovation in the European business community.
"Together with the two NASA awards, this is the most important award Pipistrel has received in our 23-years of existence” says Boscarol. “Pipistrel is a small, family-owned establishment so every success and award, especially one of such large, international scale, is a huge compliment. To be considered the most innovative company in the European Union far exceeds our wildest dreams.”
Success through Committed Innovation
Only abslolute dedication to innovation and vision – along with an insatiable passion for flying and all things aviation – makes success stories like Boscarol’s Pipistrel a reality. His first aircraft company began manufacturing its own design under its own Pipistrel brand in 1987, and made history as the first private aircraft manufacturer in the country; and just a year later as the first private exporter of aircraft.
Today Boscarol continues to pursue his many demanding roles: as many-time state microlight champion, as glider pilot, test pilot and flying instructor. He actively participates both in the design and construction of aircraft at Pipistrel; and in municipal and government policy as well – and still finds time to pursue both photography and skiing.
He’s served as a member of the Strategic Council for National Economic Development, Slovenia, and is a recipient of one of the highest FAI (Fédération Aéronautique Internationale) awards of recognition – the Paul Tissandier Diploma – in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the field of ultralight aviation.
Back to the Future
Just a few years back Boscarol led the development of Pipistrel’s Taurus Electro most recent success story – the world's first side-by-side two-seat electrically powered self-launching glider. Two years later Pipistrel was the overall winner of NASA’s General Aviation Technology Challenge 2008 for the second consecutive year. And just this past year Pipistrel unveiled the first solar-powered charging station for electric vehicles in Slovenia – shortly before Boscarol flew home from Paris with his UKTI Award for Innovation.
Back in the beginning the company produced only powered hang-gliders. As they were flying late in the evening, using lights at the front of their aircraft with the triangular-shaped hang-glider wings, locals jokingly called them "bats". And Latin for bat is "pipistrellus" – and the rest is innovation history.