ElectroLight2 Helps Vintage Gliders Motor Aloft
All photos courtesy Electravia
January 12, 2012 - Electravia has successfully flown the ElectroLight2 motor glider to test its latest electric motor system, the E-MOTOR GMPE 102. The company is developing the system as a powered option for vintage gliders employing an A60 Fauconnet glider, a wooden-winged, welded mesh airframe design from the late 1950s, as its technology demonstrator. The aircraft, classified as an ultralight under French rules, made six flights with test pilot Samy Dupland at the controls.
“For us, this motorglider is more a proof-of-concept, showing how our kits of electric propulsion systems (electric engines, controllers, batteries, instruments, propellers) can be implemented on vintage glider's airframes,” said Electravia’s Anne Levrand. “All over the world, there are some old gliders ready for a second life with electric engines.”
Levrand is the General Manager of Electravia, which consists of five people, and she reports that they have all been flying the prototype a lot lately from their airfield near the town of Sisteron (LFNS) in the south of France.
The aircraft features a 5.5-kilowatt-hour lithium-polymer battery pack with management system and controller that produces 26 hp and weighs 75 pounds. The motor turns a 47-inch, two-blade E-PROPS propeller.
Initial test data showed that the ElectroLight2 demonstrated a range of one hour, 45 minutes at 65 knots or a maximum altitude gain of 9,842 feet at a maximum weight of 694 pounds.
Electravia says that a feathering propeller is currently in development and hopes that among others, glider clubs would be interested in the electric upgrade.
The ElectroLight2 is Electravia’s 11th prototype, and it will be at AERO Friedrichshafen.