Quality & Convenience
A comfortable cockpit is more than just a convenient workplace. During long flights a good sitting posture prevents from tiredness and deficiency in concentration.
Convenience is thereby an important contribution to active safety.
The Antares 20E-cockpit has been designed according to current guidelines for work-place ergonomics, and is perfectly adjustable for almost every pilot. The seat-pan is diagonally movable and can be adjusted from „forward and up“ to „rearward and down“. This means pilots of any size may enjoy about the same view of the horizon in flight. Stick and instrument panel are always optimally accessible for everybody.
Hydraulically operated landing gear
The Antares 20E is equipped with a hydraulically operated landing gear which is activated by a switch in the instrument panel. The number of bulky levers and handles in the side could thus be thus reduced. A special safety mechanism efficiently prevents from an accidental landing gear retraction while on ground. As soon as the hydraulic cylinder’s pressure valve is opened, the gear will be extended and then locks in a spring loaded mechanism. In normal conditions, the landing gear is operated by an electric switch. In case of an electrical system failure, the landing gear may still safely be extended and locked by manually opening the valve mentioned above via a bowden cable.
Levers for flaps, air brakes and propulsion control are located on the left side panel. So the pilot may at all times keep his right hand on the stick. Thanks to the electro-hydraulically actuated landing gear mechanism, operated by a switch on the instrument panel, the pilot does not need to change from left- to right-handed operation. He may almost blindly operate his controls and thus stays focused on flying.
Landing gear suspension
The specially designed Antares landing gear suspension with its large 5”- wheel is very convenient for ground handling and provides a safety-plus in the case of an impact. Two pneumatic springs with optimized force-stroke characteristics are responsible for smooth and safe operations: Once a load is applied relatively slowly - during taxiing or normal landings - the pneumatic springs’ large available stroke will minimize vertical acceleration in the cockpit and therefore maximize comfort. At the same time, fast load applications - like in a crash situation - will stimulate the pneumatic springs to stiffen and forward the impact energy without reaching the end-stop. Instabilities in cockpit deceleration are thus avoided.
By default our Antares 20E is equipped with a Beringer wheel and a hydraulically activated disk brake, including a braking force limiter. Powerful but well controllable braking action is ensured on all surfaces. Brake force is applied and controlled via the air brake handle.
Steerable tail wheel
Thanks to a steerable tail wheel and wheels on both wingtips, single handed taxiing is well possible and easily performed. A slow taxiing procedure requires only minimal battery power, power which will still be available after a day’s flight.
As on most self-launching sailplanes, the Antares 20E’s total energy compensated probe is mounted in the tail and therefore sits in the slipstream behind the propeller. When turning on the propulsion, the probe is automatically switched over from TEC to static pressure.
On-board battery charger
The battery charger is embedded in the fuselage. Recharging during cross country trips of several days duration will be fairly easy. To load the batteries you simply have to connect the integrated charger to a power outlet and press the “charge”-button. A special electrical system in the trailer allows to easily recharge your sailplane's batteries while stored in the box. Both world leading sailplane trailer manufacturers, Spindelberger (Cobra Trailers) and Anschau, are well experienced in electrically outfitting Antares 20E-trailers.
Our on-board charger weighs only 6 kg. Running at approximately 1.7 kW, the charger requires about 9 hours to completely recharge used batteries. What’s more, a partial recharging is possible, since lithium-ion batteries lack a memory effect. The charger can be adjusted to run on 230V or 110V AC depending on the customer’s requirement.
Integrated GSM modem
Our Antares 20E is serially equipped with a GSM modem which is connected to the glider’s main computer. With his cell phone the owner may thus get information about his aircaft’s status and control the battery-charging via SMS without being in the vicinity of the aircraft. What’s more, on request Lange Aviation’s technicians may monitor the system or diagnose errors without having to dispatch service personnel.
For our Antares 20E we have developed a special wing rigger: It is designed to reduce effort and rigging time to a convenient minimum considering the wing’s weight. One person may withput problems rig the aircraft single-handedly, but of course it will still be more comfortable to have a second person help rig the sailplane. The rigging aid is part of the Antares 20E’s serial equipment.
High quality components
No effort is spared to make sure that the Antares 20E’s metal parts stay free of corrosion to last as long as possible.
We are applying surface treatments that are otherwise common in airliners to obtain components which are highly resistant to corrosion.
Details, like for example automatic connection hookups, are protected from corrosion both outside and inside by a progressive surface treatment combined with a thoughtful component-design.
Steel parts in the cockpit are matte chrome-plated to avoid corrosion due to acids from hand perspiration. The cockpit interior is outfitted with high quality fabrics and glare free Nextel soft-touch painting. The slender stick’s grip is covered with cushy hand-sewn leather.