Maiden Flight of Silent 2 with Nose-Mounted Propulsion System

Alisport Srl of Italy recently completed the first flight of a Silent 2 fitted with an electric propulsion system installed in collaboration with LZ Design. The system, based on the FES (Front Electric Sustainer), is capable of self-launching the Silent. Video footage posted on the Vimeo website shows the Silent 2 lifting off on its maiden flight.

Alisport has a history of working with electric-propulsion suppliers and this latest system is in fact the second electric self-launch system to be integrated into a Silent. Readers may be familiar with the Silent AE-1, an electric self-launcher developed in collaboration with AirEnergy and type certificated in Germany in 1998. The AE-1 with its pylon-mounted folding propeller was put into series production in 1999, making it the world’s first production electric aircraft [SC Editor’s Note: the Antares 20E first flew in 2003].

At this time, flight testing of the Silent 2 with nose-mounted electric motor and folding propeller is ongoing and data are being compiled. Alisport confirms they will be in attendance with this new electric-powered Silent 2 at the upcoming AERO convention in Friedrichshafen (Germany) from April 13th to 16th.

 

Silent 2 with unfolded prop

 

Silent 2 with Nose-Mounted Folded Prop

 

Silent 2 ready for takeoff

 

Silent 2 in flight

  6 comments for “Maiden Flight of Silent 2 with Nose-Mounted Propulsion System

  1. David Rombach
    March 4, 2011 at 4:46 am

    Waaay Cool, Finally , a nose mounted electic system. They have had these on RC gliders for years. But I gusess with limited battery duration and extreme battery weight it took a while to develop. My son's RC had the folding prop , similar to the folding prop on powered sailboats.

  2. Tom Vallarino
    March 7, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I think this would make the Diana-2 an ideal candidate for FES since it is extremely light. What a combo that would be. I think this FES is a great concept. Next, manufacturers should make the prop fold flush within the fuselage contour when not in use, similar to bug wipers n the DGs.

  3. Dan
    March 16, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Any performance specs on it yet?

    • Alisport
      March 17, 2011 at 1:52 am

      Hi Dan, the preliminary numbers are:

      Motor Power: 25 kW

      Motor Weight: 9.5 kg (21 lbs)

      Propeller Speed: 4,600 rev/min

      Propeller Dia.: 1.0 m (39.4 in)

      Weight of Batteries: 31 kg (68 lbs)

      Battery Capacity: 4.3 kWh

      Std. Charging Time (at 220V): ~150 minutes

      Take-off Distance (pavement): 140 m (460 ft)

      Take-off Distance (grass): 160 m (525 ft)

      Rate of Climb: ~2.0 m/sec (~400 fpm)

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