Archaeopteryx Elec’teryx Now Flying

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

The Archaeopteryx is more than just a good word for spelling bees, it’s a high-end hang-glider – and now, depending on your bankroll and perspective, a low-end electric motorglider.  Its low weight (54 kilograms or 118.8 pounds in its most basic state) and high performance (around 25:1 lift-to-drag ratio) has helped this Swiss marvel achieve things like the 498 kilometer (308.76 mile) goal flight by Peter Eicher in Australia last October; or a 407 kilometer (252.34 mile) flight around the Swiss Alps in 2012. A flier can hop off a hill with the lightest and most basic form of Archaeopteryx, which features self-connecting controls, a rocket-deployed full-airplane rescue system, and a wheel brake.   Pilots wanting less local soaring and the …

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 …