On Saturday evening the 18th September at 19:13 hours, the first serial produced two seat electric powered sailplane took off and climbed into the evening sky almost silently from the Hahnweide airfield in Kirchheim/Teck. The subsequent low pass which this elegant aircraft with its characteristic swept back wings made, was accompanied only by a light hum. It is particularly this fact that was spellbinding for all the specators, which in itself was exciting. With fascination the spectators and press followed every manoeuvre of this shapely aircraft, which was already preplanned in its aerodynamic layout to encompass this very easy to operate electric engine system. The aircraft drew its manoeuvrable lines in the red evening sky and rewarded its work colleagues for the many extra inputs which were required to realise such a project. An extremely elaborate project realised by Schempp-Hirth, together with Lange Aviation from Zweibruecken. The CEO and development graduate engineer Axel Lange is regarded as the expert in the area of electric propulsion systems in sailplanes.
Both pilots were presented with champagne and flowers after the landing. A milestone that one just had to celebrate. Willi Balz, the proud owner and co-initiator of this progressive project was more than delighted. As CEO of the company Windreich AG it was important for him that this environmentally conscious electric aircraft fits into the company’s philosophy as the company deals mainly in on and off shore wind energy systems.
Willi Balz had the ambition to ensure that this aircraft was recharged completely CO2 free. A wind turbine on the roof of the hangar charges the wing batteries either directly via a converter, or it charges large truck batteries which can charge the Arcus even when there is no wind. Thereby, the Arcus flies completely emission free.
The Arcus is one of the most successful aircraft at this present time. This is evident by the results of the numerous competitions and the current demand. The Arcus would become even more desirable in the 20m class as it now offers a variant which to date was unavailable for pilots. For some pilots, an electric self launcher with low noise levels allows the ability to purchase an aircraft for the first time.
The Arcus E is a proud and harmonious project that was the result of collaboration between Schempp-Hirth, Lange Aviation and Windreich AG. Three innovative companies using all of their know how to create the most progressive propulsion system in current sailplane history and prove that „Visions can be realised“.