Silent 2 Electro Certified in Germany

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Luka Znidarsic shared this happy message this morning. “We are very proud to inform you, that the SILENT 2 Electro, equipped with our FES system, has been awarded Type Certification by the German Aero Club (DAeC). “This is the very first electric powered Ultralight sailplane certified, by DAeC. This represents a significant milestone in gliding history, which marks a new age of technology!” We hope this breakthrough in Germany encourages our own Federal Aviation Administration to review their schedule for electric aircraft certification.  Such rule making would allow sales of existing electric motorgliders and   light aircraft and encourage others to step up development of these alternatives to fuel-burning lightplanes. The Type Certificate gives some clear ideas of the technology incorporated in the very …

Small car, Small motor, Big Launch

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

This recent video from FES (Front Electric Sustainer) in Slovenia shows a relatively low-budget way to launch and sustain a sailplane in flight.  This was uploaded to YouTube by Lumakaja on September 27, with the following commentary. “This way of sailplane start, can make gliding much cheaper! Idea is simple: Use of FES after being airborne with help of auto-tow. Only a few sailplanes have high enough landing gear, so that propeller clearance on grass is not too small for safe self-launch. With minimal help of auto-tow than all FES equipped sailplanes would not need towing plane or winch any more to become airborne. All you need is FES equipped sailplane, usual car and about 120 meters (384 feet) of Dyneema rope. Such …

Sustainable Soaring

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 0 Comments

Glaser-Dirks Flugzeugbau, the German sailplane manufacturer, has introduced the DG-1001te, a two-seat, electric turbo craft that can sustain flight and even show a modest rate of climb, but is not capable of self-launching. The “turbo” designation is common on European craft that rely on a pop-up motor to maintain flight in unfavorable soaring conditions.  Following an aero-tow or winch launch, the sustainer engine is used to allow “get-home mode” operation, or to maintain altitude while the pilot searches for areas of better lift. Until recently, single- and two-cylinder Solo two-stroke engines served on many applications.  Electric motors are beginning to find favor, though, because of their ease of starting and the fact that their light weight and high power output …

Front Electric Self-Launcher on a Silent

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation 3 Comments

Slovenian father-son team Luka and Matija Znidarsic developed a unique approach to keep a sailplane aloft once it’s launched through traditional aero-tow or winch methods.  Their outrunner  brushless motor produces 15 kilowatts (20 horsepower)at 100 Volts continuously, and can generate 25 kW (33 horsepower) for short bursts.  Weighing  6.5 kilograms (14.3 pounds) in a 180 millimeter (7 inches) diameter, 80 mm (3.15 inches) long package, the motor can be easily set into the modified nose of a conventional sailplane, with a one-meter diameter propeller folding neatly into the streamlines of the fuselage.  It has powered a LAK-17A 18-meter sailplane, showing a positive rate of climb when energized.  In a big sailplane like the LAK, the motor allows shortening expensive tows or extending flight when thermals become iffy. Now, …