Elec’teryx – the Electric Sister of Archaeopteryx

Roger Ruppert (R), designer of the Archaeopteryx, visits a customer in Australia.

Roger Ruppert (R), designer of the Archaeopteryx, visits a customer in Australia.

The high-end hang glider which you probably all know from different publications in Soaring Café now has a younger sister: Dean-Siegler recently introduced Elec’teryx as a low-end electric motor glider.

To be honest, when I first watched the YouTube video of an Archaeopteryx launching on foot, I was not sure if this would be the right ship to conquer strong mountain thermals in the American West. Its extremely light weight would only double my own body weight and is of course much less than a regular glider, in which you sometimes get pretty bounced around … But for smoother ridges it looked great to me.

On its first flight in December 2013, the younger sister Elec’teryx—which is no longer launched on foot!—needed 50 meters of ground roll to get airborne. 2.5 meters/sec of climb brings her up to 1,300 meters in a little less than nine minutes. Good runway conditions (hard surface) and a full battery, which lasts about 11 minutes, are necessary. If you already own an Archaeopteryx, it can easily be converted into an Elec’teryx: You will only have to install 350 grams—less than a pound—of “extra ballast.” In the Cafe Foundation blog, Dean Siegler explains more about Ruppert Composite’s latest bird and its new propulsion system. I'm curious about its price(?).

Elke Fuglsang-Petersen

Elke Fuglsang-Petersen started soaring after she finished her school and college education and found herself locked into a small office for the next 45 years. In German soaring clubs she met a lot of new friends, enjoyed a great way to get out, could see things from a different angle, and gained a better overview.

Meanwhile, she has traveled a bit, flown a lot, and lived in the US.She is happy to now know glider pilots from the US too and says, “they are as amiable as everywhere on the world.” She feels fortunate to have found a temporary soaring home in Boulder, surely one of the best and most scenic places to fly on Earth!

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