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(?).