What about this? 25x a 1000K. on ONE day! Antares 18T, maidenflight!

Yes,.... what about 24 x 1000 km. from Namibia and another one , number 25, from South Africa from Gariep Dam on November 28. What a splendid day for pilots flying from Bitterwasser, Pokweni and Kiripotib in Namibia and from Gariep Dam in S.A.
6 From these flights were FAI 1000 km. TRIANGLES.
After Allan Barnes flew from Narromine in Australia,  the very first declared FAI 1000 km. triangle for the season , but also in his life,  on November 25 in an LS 8 , we saw one now in the Ventus 2CM, one in the ARCUS M. and the rest in open class gliders, as Nimbus 4DM, EB 28 and ASH 25 MI from Namibia.
Longest flight by Robin May from the UK flying from Kiripotib in the EB 28, with 1 km. more then German pilot Reinhard Schramme, flying from Bitterwasser in the ARCUS. [1.302,35/1.054 FAI for  1.301,22/ 1.151.05 km.]
Best speed by French pilot Didier Hebrard with 150 km./h. flying the Nimbus 4DM.

Reinhard Schramme.

Not only for the pilots is such a day good for "the soul" and spirit, also the organizers get a kick out of such a day.I loved it when running Sportavia in Tocumwal, to have such days. The adrenaline and the selling of bubbles went up together and smiles and happy people even from town, who had heard the news,  made it ONE big family.
Not to mention how terrible it is when you have lots of guests and NO weather. That happens too and though you try to keep the spirit up with great meals, good wine and an inviting swimming pool , it is not what YOU want and your guests come for. But...what can you do.

The Narromine Cup week last year was a "wash out" , but this year they flew 4x a 1000 km. Starting with that glorious epic flight from Allan Barnes. He declared a 1000 km. triangle, but as he got low after a while he thought he had to give up and was ready for a good paddock to put the glider down. The day however improved and he continued to have a 2d bad moment , when he decided on the 3d leg to abandon the flight BUT,......as Allan commented; "couldn't glide back to Narromine,  so deviated left (NE) to the only cloud in the sky. Got up and decided to continue on task after all".
To not have a too marginal final glide he picked up a few very weak climbs , but...they helped him to finish back at Narromine with his very first 1000 km. AND a declared FAI 1000 triangle [the first for the season ]   in an LS 8, [ so before the open class gliders!!!] nicely in time before sunset!
Brian Durieu flew his very first 1000 km. as well that day, in the LS 10 and the other pilots Paul {Mander} and Pepe[Gresa]  flew their so maniest, but still were happy with such a glorious day.

Talking about great flights, New Zealand had 0ne too. Though Max Stevens did not finish his flight and was of course disappointed, he declared a 1250 k from Omarama in a DISCUS but,...he still flew 1.023 km.
With the till now 3 good flying days , from unfortunately TOO many, in Argentina [Bariloche] we noticed 2 1000 km-plus -flights there as well, so the over seas-season started pretty good, except for Argentina as 3 days is not much and you can't call that a good season and waiting "for the day to come",  gets more and more boring to not say frustrating. BUT ,....today the day might be THE day!!!!Let's hope, wait and see.

On November 30 the ANTARES 18T had its maiden flight, with  a self sustainer!
Here is the LATEST news:
" On Friday 30.11.2012, the weather let up sufficiently for us to take the Antares 18T, with the new self sustainer engine installed, up for it’s  maiden flight. Due to the good motorisation it was possible to get airborne with a self-launch. After a take-off run of approximately 200 m (660 ft), Axel Lange performed an unproblematic climb to the cloud-base at an altitude of 1800 m (5900 ft) MSL. The average climb rate from the airfield (340 m / 1115 ft MSL) to 1800 m MSL  was exactly 2,0 m/s (395 ft/min).

The extremely low levels of vibration that had already been observed during ground testing were also observed in flight. To the great pleasure of both the spectators and the pilot, Zweibrücken tower gave permission for a low level flypast. After half an hour of flying, the Antares was down on the ground again safe and sound.


Axel Lange was very pleased with the good climb performance and the handling of the engine, which proved to be simple, both on the ground and in the air. The only thing he was disappointed about was that the weather situation had not allowed for the planned climb to above 3000 m (9800 ft).past. After half an hour of flying, the Antares was down on the ground again safe and sound.

There will be time for this later in the flight testing.

Having returned the aircraft to the hangar, the satisfied development team could retire for a well deserved weekend.

The most significant developmental goals for this self-sustainer system have been:

  • a very low level of motor-induced vibration. The effect of this is two-fold: On the one hand, it benefits the engine with regards to achieveing a very high reliability and increasing the fatigue resistance. On the other hand, it also leads to a substantial reduction in the stress-levels of the pilot during powered flight.
  • a high climb rate, also at higher altitudes, which allows for the safe passage of all alpine mountain passes.
  • a fast and safe airstart of the engine.

So far the latest HOT news from Antares/Lange Aviation. If you want to read it in German , here is the link , as well as the English link to their site [with bigger pictures!!!!] ;



Now the meteorological winter has started here with the first real [but temporarily] snow and summer down under , the weather there should improve even more. By the way our autumn here was pretty good, a bit warmer and  a bit dryer then normal, but on the last day the cold air reached us and we will have a much colder week to come with more and "staying" snow .Can't get used to REAL cold circumstances.

Our soaring center at Terlet as seen by Sikko on November 28 and by Aukje on November 29.
Still thermal activity.
AND not too far from Terlet on November 30 by Marlous!

 Take care, all the best and till next Sunday, only 3 Sundays to go before I depart to sunny Tocumwal.
Cheers Ritz

Follow me


Since before the word “blog” was created, Ritz wrote about her experiences every day after flying at the Sportavia Soaring Center in Australia, where she helped run a successful business from 1996 to 2005. Her first blogs on soaring.eu date from June 2006, and she has been blogging ever since, joining Soaring Café in January 2011. She says her experience as columnist for Gliding International and blogger for Soaring Café has enriched her world more than she can say and that her soaring friends keep her young and ”going”.

Read Ritz' full bio under the menu item About -> Our Contributors.

Follow me