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Copyright 2002-2017
X-Air Australia

    Taurus - Overview
LSA Accepted    
  • 49' 1½" wingspan
  • Glide ratio 41:1
  • Rotax 503 retractable engine and propeller
  • Unique side-by-side seating - perfect for training
  • Retractable undercarriage
  • 78 knot cruise under power
  • 3.1 gph at 90 knots
  • Perfect for thermaling or slope soaring
  • Comfortable training or pure sports aircraft
  • Electric engine option

The Taurus is a high performance two-seater glider, with a glide ratio of 41:1 and a fully retractable engine. The Taurus sets new standards in efficiency for light aircraft.

The main idea of the Taurus was completely different from the Sinus and the design criteria for the team was to .....

  • Offer pilots a high performance glider, or it's self-lauchable version, with an auxiliary, yet fully retractable engine and glide ratio of at least 40:1
  • Make gliding cheap
  • Provide a fully equipped aircraft, including a parachute rescue system, all instruments, radio etc. at a reasonable price
  • Provide the owner with complete freedom and independence - even the helper holding the wing tip during take-off is no longer needed
  • Have the most comfortable cockpit on the market with a separate ventilation system for each pilot
  • Be pilot-friendly oriented with simple & straight-forward systems handling.

In order to reduce development costs, Pipistrel decided to fit the Taurus with an already existing wing, which has proved to be excellent on Sinus and the single-seat ultralight Apis glider. The fuselage of the Taurus has, however, been developed and shaped from scratch. Using special lifting body shape concepts, it features enough room for an auxiliary, yet fully retractable engine and an incredibly spacious cockpit.

It was not easy to decide how to shape the pilot's workspace, but in the end the fact that the World's population is growing in all measures prevailed. The pilots in the Taurus are seated side-by-side for comfort and ease of communication. Furthermore, this kind of seat placement saves some weight, since some of the control systems do not have to be made separately. the Taurus is also intended for training, therefore all control levers are well within reach of both pilots.

Both pilots have individual control columns and rudder pedals with hydraulic wheel brakes levers. The landing gear operation lever, flaps, airbrakes and trim levers are for joint use of both pilots and are therefore located in the middle, between both seats. The instrument column not only fits all instruments, but also the throttle push-lever, choke lever, tow-rope disconnection handle, ventilation handle and engine retraction system interface. All handles and levers ensure sensitive, yet reliable aircraft systems handling. For added comfort pilots enjoy adjustable headrests, adjustable rudder pedals, separate vent window for each pilot and a central ventilation system for efficient de-fogging of glass surfaces. The canopy is a moulded single transparent plexi piece with no support columns. The entrance to the cockpit is therefore simple and unobstructed as is the visibility out of the cockpit in all flight stages.

Retractable engine
The version of Taurus with an auxiliary retractable engine is fitted with a ROTAX 503 twin carburetted engine which drives a Pipistrel propeller. This power configuration provides the aircraft with short-field takeoff and very decent climb performance. The system for extending and retracting the engine and propeller is fully automated. The pilots take advantage of a dedicated interface on the instrument column and all he/she has to do is flick the switch to 'Engine IN' or 'Engine OUT' position – everything else is done completely automatically. When retracting, the propeller is first positioned vertically before the engine gets retracted and the covers close. To restart the engine on the ground or in-flight, the pilot selects the 'engine OUT' option and the engine extends & starts-up all by itself after the covers have been opened. The entire engine retraction system is incredibly light and reliable. All switches and sensors used to monitor the operations are electromagnetic-induction type and as such are not sensitive to vibration, mechanical damage and/or dirt.

The Taurus has a taildragger undercarriage. The two main, retractable wheels are equipped with separate hydraulic brake systems for easy ground handling. The undercarriage retracting system is fully mechanical but only needs very light forces on the cockpit lever during operation. The tail wheel is not retractable but fully stearable, which makes taxiing a walk in the park.

Other systems
The Taurus comes equipped with a rocket charged parachute rescue system which is fired out of the fuselage in case of extreme emergency. The parachute opens instantly and the aircraft slowly descends to the ground without the pilots leaving their seats. Furthermore, the aircraft is not additionally damaged by use of rescue system; the cabin and pilots remain completely intact.

The airbrakes, flaps, trim and their drives are all mechanical and identical to the ones used in the Sinus.

One can also take-off with the Taurus being towed behind a tow-plane as there is a tow-hook with disconnection mechanism on board.

One of the unique features of the Taurus is the mass trim system. There are two fluid reservoirs in the aircraft, one in the nose and one in the tail section. Since both pilots sit in front of the CofG, the CofG range can move quite considerably. In case only one pilot is on board, the trim fluid is pumped into the front reservoir. Should there be 2 persons on board, the trim fluid is pumped into the tail section. By using the mass trim system the aircraft becomes safe and insensitive to big differences in pilot weights. Additionally the unpleasant carrying and insertion of metal weights is eliminated.

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