Report from Germany - Dave Nadler 14-April-2011
New Open-Class gliders !
At the Aero show in Friedrichshafen, a few new gliders are on exhibit. Lange Aviation has an Antares 23E, which is a longer-winged version of the Antares 20E and features the Antares electric self-launch system. Antares 23E has 5 water tanks each side, including a new tank aft of the spar (in back of the batteries). Holding 250 liters allows a wing-loading range of 40-58 kg/m2 (8.2-11.9 lbs/ft2), with the excellent high-speed performance of the Antares wing.
Schempp-Hirth has their new Quintus M suspended from the ceiling, which makes an impressive display. Quintus shares the wing with Antares 23E, but is available with a gas self-launch, a turbo (sustainer), or without motor. Minimum wing-loading varies according to motor, but same maximum as Antares 23E. The wingtips are a bit different from Antares, featuring an additional bend upward and a different winglet (design courtesy Dr. Maughmer). Quintus has 6 water tanks per side, as the area Antares uses for batteries is available for water (though Quintus has a fuel bladder in back of the spar at the wingroot). When asked about the polar of Quintus, Biggo has a big smile and says "it will be adequate". They've decided not to publish polars anymore. Perhaps Lange will publish a polar for the 23E.
At Schleicher's display, Martin Heide has also a big grin on his face after the first test-flight of his ASH-30. Martin chose to make a lower max wing-loading in order to get a lower minimum wing-loading for the two-seater. This glider has a max wing-loading of just under 50 kg/m2 (about 10.2 lbs/ft2).
All the new open-class gliders are designed to the 850kg max (certification). To get a high wing-loading, either the span is limited (23-meters for Antares 23E, and Schempp-Hirth Quintus), or an extreme aspect ratio is required (Dick Butler's Concordia). High wing-loading will be important at the Uvalde 2012 World Championships - Antares 23E and Quintus look like the ultimate Open Class weapons for this contest !