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August Raspet Award Winner Named


July, 2023 — Ivo Boscarol, a pilot, flight instructor, and test pilot who founded the Pipistrel Group, has been named this year’s winner of the Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award. Since 1960, this award has been presented annually to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design.

The award is named for the late Dr. August “Gus” Raspet, a professor at Mississippi State University and avid light aircraft enthusiast. Raspet was instrumental in elevating the aeronautical engineering program at Mississippi A&M College, as it was originally known, into one of the nation’s preeminent aerophysics research centers. The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory in Starkville, Mississippi — a tribute to all of his efforts — was completed in 1962.

As the first private aircraft producer in the Balkans area, Boscarol has been actively involved in setting the standards for microlights since the early 1980s. Under his leadership, Pipistrel has garnered multiple awards and the company’s aircraft have set and still hold multiple world records. He is recognized as an entrepreneur both in Slovenia and around the world, and he was awarded “most trusted businessman” in Slovenia nine years in a row. He’s been honored by the FAI and was awarded the Golden Order from the president of the Republic of Slovenia.

Boscarol has dedicated his life to making aviation affordable and environmentally friendly, and he has established Pipistrel as a leader in the design and production of electric aircraft. The company’s Alpha Electro was the first production electric trainer when it was introduced in 2014, and two years later, the company co-developed the first four-seat hybrid propulsion aircraft powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

In 2022 Boscarol sold the major share of Pipistrel Group companies to Textron, where he continues his vision of emission-free aviation under his role as president emeritus. Under Textron’s ownership, a Pipistrel Velis Electro was donated to EAA to be auctioned tonight during The Gathering, EAA’s largest annual fundraiser.

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