New glider design

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User27

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
125
Location
England
Well, I'm trying to offer another view rather than judging that put forward by others.
I want a glider with a sustainer engine, I want to have reasonable confidence I will be able to return back to base at the end of the day at about the time I intended. I don't mind if the engine is gas powered or electric, I find jet sustainers too thirsty, too smelly and too noisy.
From my perspective open class gliders have never been that attractive because they are too difficult to move on the ground, too marginal when taking off, the handling is too compromised when flying and they have too much momentum requiring more forethought than I am usually capable of to pull up straight into the thermal core. Rigging is difficult, even with a multi-part wing. Years ago I owned a part of a Nimbus 3dT, we could rig the 6 part wing with 2 fit, strong people but it took a while. It went very well and could be put into a field, if you really had to. The sustainer only gave 150fpm, I spent of time going down with the engine running. It did have 2 seats and did go very well.
15m or standard class gliders are great to fly, and if that was all that existed I would fly a standard class glider very happily, but with a sustainer the wing loading is just a bit too high in the weak conditions that are not that uncommon where I fly.
18m gliders are able to carry a self sustainer without much penalty, have pretty good handling, are not too difficult to rig and & pull around on the ground and are just about within my budget - although will never be cheap. For my needs an 18m glider with sustainer motor is the sweet spot.
For me motorgliders are too compromised, from the maintenance perspective they are often difficult - or nearly impossible if its a Stemme! They often have too much drag from the engine/prop (or have expensive feathering/folding mechanisms). Often the wing area needed to carry the motor & fuel results in soaring performance that doesn't fill me with joy. Climbing performance may be fine but gliding performance often isn't great, particularly at speed. Vdub motors are just noisy meaning I would want to turn it off as soon as I could.

This is my rationale for choosing an 18m sustainer glider, it may not chime with (m)any others but it works for me.

Assisted soaring is a very interesting idea, particularly with an electric motor.
 

mm4440

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2012
Messages
288
Location
LA area, CA
I have had two flights in a Steeme. When I win a big Lotto prize I would order one. They claimed a typical motor on time was 10%. At one of our ESA workshops I had a conversation with Johnny Robinson (Look him up.) At the time I knew him as just one of our soaring old timers. I later became aware of his accomplishments. He was flying a Fornier MG at the time and he said," What ever L/D you want is just a twist of the throttle away." Ultralight airplane SONG (songairplane.com) Pretty close to what I am thinking of.
 

User27

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2015
Messages
125
Location
England
You will need a big Lotto win to pay the maintenance bills on a Stemme, let alone the purchase price!! Great idea, questionable implementation...
 
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