The Electric Archaeopteryx

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 1 Comment

Ruppert Composite has been flying the up-market Archaeopteryx for the last several years, with pilots hopping off hills in the highly efficient, advanced hang glider. Archaeopteryx is versatile, as shown in the video, and can be launched and retrieved in a variety of ways. Its 54 kilogram empty weight makes quite a load for even a fit enthusiast, though, and waiting around for a tow car or plane dampens even the most ardent longing to fly. To counter those objections Ruppert has designed a special electric drive. Working with Dr. Martin Hepperle, a well-known aerodynamicist specializing in model aircraft and low-Reynolds number flight; Leomotion, manufacturer of model airplane electric motors – some with internal planetary propeller speed reduction systems; and …

The Archaeopteryx E

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 2 Comments

Two Swiss students, David Braig and Thomas Hewel at the ZHAW Zurich University of Applied Sciences, have adapted a pair of small electric motors to the Archaeopteryx ultralight hang glider. A Swiss, high-end product by Ruppert Composite GmbH Hittenberg, the motorless version has recently achieved a flight of 407 kilometers (252.3 miles) from a foot-launched start! Braig and Hewel, probably realizing that not all locales provide mountain peaks from which to hop off, developed a simple, detachable system to allow self-launching from flat terrain. The system has two carbon fiber wing “I-pods” that hold the motor, aluminum motor mounts and batteries, and an “E-box” in the cockpit, with cables connecting the elements. Total weight is 16.6 kilograms (36.52 pounds), which is a …