electric Antares 20E, with the wing extended to 23m, but maintaining the super ellipse plan form and thin profile. The max weight is increased to 850kg, providing a loading range from 32kg/m² to 58kg/m². This is new territory for the open class and we would have to learn the techniques to optimise handling, speed and performance at all weights. Whilst new to the open class, Lange Aviation has been developing fuel cell powered machines for the DLR project where 65kg/m² is considered a relatively low wing loading.
New again was the Solo 2 stroke turbo engine, a beautiful new ‘light weight, low-vibration set-up with large propeller and step down gearing for significantly increased output, but incredibly simple operation. Unfortunately, with shipping to Texas, we ran out of time and took the decision to fly as a glider. Very retro!
Completing the Lange team was Ludwig Starkle’s Antares 23E to be flown by fellow Austrian pilot Josef Kammerhofer. The new 23m wing on the proven 20m electric powered fuselage.
Of course, we weren’t the only manufacturer with a new glider. In fact, there was an unusual air of expectancy over the 2012 World Gliding Championships, with so many new supermodels. Schempp-Hirth had seven Quintus. The Quintus uses the Antares 23m wing, but re-angled at the outer section and
We went to the 2012 World Gliding Championships in Uvalde, Texas with the new 23metre Antares (wing span 23m, new Open Class). It was a truly amazing adventure and I hope the following provides a useful insight into the process of taking a design concept and proving it under the most testing regime of world championship international gliding competition - the best pilots, the best gliders, the most competitive environment.
The Antares 23E & Antares 23T
Before describing the amazing flying, let me introduce you to my partner in this adventure, the new Antares 23metre. Da daaa!
A couple of years ago, Axel Lange had described some of his dreams for the future. Like many glider pilots talking over a coffee, we discussed characteristics the ideal competition glider might have.
Responsive handling, fantastic loading range, comfortable cockpit ergonomics, simple operation, reliable, strong, easy on the ground, world beating performance and above all, fun.
Easy really !
It was beyond my hopes that 2012 would begin with a phone call from Axel saying he thought
the machine would be ready and would I be interested in flying it in Texas?
YEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS, AXEL!!! Actually, I’m a cool competition pilot so tried to hide my excitement and stupidity, while asking almost intelligent questions about the design, performance projections, timescales, logistics, arrangements, blah, blah. I don’t remember too much of the phone call, but it was clear that this was a project involving a lot of people - a real team effort - and that there was a lot of responsibility on everyone to work hard and deliver.
Texas and the new Antares 23 What a project!
This machine, the second production model, would belong to Hartmut Lodes, one of the original leaders of the ETA project, so no stranger to leading edge glider technology. I really must thank his enormous generosity in letting a stranger from England, take his beautiful new machine across the world to race in a hot, dusty airfield - a real leap of faith. Thank you so much Hartmut. I hope you continue to have as much fun as I did in those first 3 weeks.
The 23m Antares is a development of the 20m
The ANTARES 23 in the World Gliding Championships, Uvalde, TX, 2012
Peter Harvey, member British Gliding Team, © Lange Aviation 2012
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