„With the Antares 20E the dream of a self-launching glider powered by a quiet, reliable and emission free electric motor has come true.“ This was stated at the awards ceremony. Aeronautic engineer Axel Lange, CEO of Lange Aviation in Zweibrücken, received the highest award that the International Scientific and Technical Soaring Organisation (OSTIV) has to offer for pioneering the new propulsion concept.

At the congress, which took place alongside the 34th WGC in Benalla, Australia, OSTIV-president Professor Rolf Radespiel handed the prize over to Professor Loek Boermans, who deputized for Axel Lange. The latter would rather have accepted the certificate in person, but urgent assignments held the engineer and entrepreneur back at his factory in Zweibrücken, Germany. However with Professor Boermans the award got into the right hands. The aerodynamic authority has a very special relationship with the epoch-making construction: He was the one to engineer the wings’ airfoil, and during his free time he flies an Antares himself.

With the award OSTIV recognized Lange’s idea of a practical alternative to common conventional combustion engines by creating an electric propulsion system. Lange had already developed his plans while working as an engineer with DG-Flugzeugbau, but could not realize his ideas there. Therefore he dared to jump in at the deep end and decided to continue his work as self-employed – successfully. With the Antares he managed to develop a sailplane with a novel, highly efficient electric motor. He had it officially certified and could subsequently start the serial production of e-gliders as entrepreneur. OSTIV’s president Radespiel did not end his laudation by simply recognizing an entirely new propulsion system.

Lange had launched his project in 1996. The realization of a pre-prototype, the manufacturing of production molds, the construction of his first Antares-glider and its flight testing took ten years of work until the project finally obtained a type certification. The concept worked out, the Antares was well received. Today more than 60 electric driven Antares models are flying. To date it is the top-quality product in the segment of self-launching sailplanes. By the way: For Schempp-Hirth’s Arcus, which competes in the 20 meter two-seater class, Lange Aviation also offers an electric motor.

We are very proud that after winning the Lindbergh-Prize 2010 and the Berblinger-Prize 2011 we now receive another high award for sustainable developments in aviation.