Comfort & quality

Cockpit ergonomics

[Translate to Englisch:] Komfort ist mehr als nur Bequemlichkeit. Bei langen Flügen beugt eine gute Ergonomie vorzeitiger Ermüdung und dem Nachlassen der Konzentration vor. „In der dritten Stunde wird ein Wettbewerb entschieden“ sagt der dreifache Europameister Peter Harvey (UK). Denn dann lässt die Konzentration nach und Piloten machen taktische Fehler. Aufgabe des Komforts in der Antares 23 ist es daher, diese „gefühlte“ dritte Stunde möglichst weit nach hinten zu schieben. Die langen mittleren Flugzeiten der Antares-Flotte beweisen die Richtigkeit dieses Ansatzes.

Ergonomie ist viel wichtiger, als allgemein vermutet: Das nach neuesten Standards entwickelte Cockpit sorgt für mehr passive Sicherheit und steigert die persönliche Leistungsfähigkeit.

Designed according to current guidelines for work-place ergonomy, the cockpit of the Antares can be perfectly adjusted to almost every pilot. The seat-pan can be moved diagonally between „forward and up“ and „rearward and down“. This means that pilots of all sizes have approximately the same view out of the cockpit, and that stick and instrument panel will always be located in the optimal position.

When a pilot with shorter legs adjusts the rudder pedals, then they do not only move backwards, but also apart. This means that he or she will not have to reach around the central instrument console in order to use the full width of the rudder pedals.

The backrest is spring loaded using a slow moving gas spring, and can easily be adjusted inflight. An adaption kit making the seat evenwider in the hip region is available as an option, as is a separate headrest which makes it possible for especially tall people to fly without the adjustable backrest, yielding more cockpit space without reducing safety or comfort.

[Translate to Englisch:] Die patentierte Steuerung ist extrem leichtgängig, sorgt für Sportlichkeit und lässt die Antares auch mit 23 Metern so extrem wendig sein, wie man es von einem 18-Meter-Flugzeug kennt. Das angepasste Seitenruder erfordert nur vergleichsweise geringen Input, um sauber und schiebefrei zu drehen. Das Zentrieren wird zum Kinderspiel, und einmal richtig eingekreist zieht die Antares 23 unbeirrt und ohne weitere Korrekturen ihre Bahnen.

Die Flügel sind einerseits hart und damit thermikfühlig genug, um direkt zu vermitteln, wo das Steigen ist, andererseits aber doch so weich, dass auch der Komfort nicht zu kurz kommt.

Hydraulically operated landing gear

The landing gear of the Antares 23 is operated hydraulically. User input over a switch in the instrument panel reduces the number of large levers and handles in the cockpit. A special safety mechanism efficiently prevents an accidental landing gear retraction while on ground. The landing gear is a spring loaded mechanism which only requires hydraulic power to retract. In normal conditions, the landing gear is extended by electrically opening a pressure release valve. If no electrical power is available, then the landing gear can safely be extended and locked by opening the same valve using a bowden wire mechanism 

Left hand control

Levers for flaps, spoilers and trim are also located in the left side panel. Landing gear retraction is electro-hydraulically actuated, and it is controlled by a switch in the instrument console. Consequently, the pilot can keep his right hand on the stick at all times, and does not need to change hands. This makes it easier to focus on flying, and on the surrounding airspace.

Landing gear suspension

The specially designed landing gear suspension and the large 5”- wheel offers a high comfort standard during ground handling as well as extra safety in the case of a crash. The landing gear is equipped with dual gas springs with optimized force-stroke characteristics. This means that, if a load is applied relatively slowly, as is the case during taxiing and normal landings, then the large available stroke of the gas springs will minimize vertical accelerations in the cockpit and maximize comfort. At the same time, fast load applications, as found during a crash situation, results in the gas springs stiffening, and leading the crash energy into special energy absorbtion elements without the gas spring reaching their limits thus avoiding instabilities in the resulting cockpit deceleration.

Disk brake

The Antares 23 main wheel is standard equipped with a hydraulically activated disk brake incorporating a pressure limiter. This ensures powerful but well controlled braking action on all surfaces. The brake power is applied over the airbrake handle.

Steerable tail wheel

Free and easy taxiing on the ground is made possible by the steerable tail wheel and wingtip wheels. Low taxi speeds require only a minimum of battery power, power which is normally available after a day’s flight.

Automated switching (23E)

As with most self launching sailplanes, the Total Energy Compensated probe is situated behind the propeller. Therefore, the Antares 23E automatically switches between Total Energy Compensated pressure and static pressure when switching between gliding and propulsion modes. The dynamic microphone is during powered flight also automatically switched off in favor of a very light headset.

Integrated charger (23E)

The battery charger is integrated inside the fuselage. This reduces charging during cross country tours, and when storing the rigged aircraft, to simply plugging in on an available power outlet and pressing the “CHARGE” button. Special cables in the trailer makes it possible to charge the ANTARES 23E also when it is stored in the trailer. Both world leading sailplane trailer producers, Spindelberger (Cobra) and Anschau, have experience with outfitting trailers electrically for Antares 23E.

Weighing in at only 6 kg and running at approximately 1.7 kW, the charger requires only 9 hrs to fully charge the Antares 23E. Partial recharging is also possible, since the batteries possess no memory effect. The charger can be adjusted to run on 230 or 110V AC dependent on custumer requirement.

Integrated GSM Modem (23E)

The Antares 23E comes standard equipped with a GSM modem connected to its main computer. This makes it possible, by using SMS or computer, to read aircraft status, download logs and control battery-charging without being in the vicinity of the aircraft. This also makes it possible for Lange Aviation technicians to provide system monitoring, software maintenance and error finding diagnostics without having to dispatch service personnel first.

Rigging Aid

A rigging aid has been especially designed for the Antares 23E. The rigging aid, which was designed considering the weight of the Antares 23E wing, reduces the effort and rigging time to a minimum. One person can rig the aircraft alone, but as always, being two people makes things slightly more pleasant and convenient.

Automatic control hookup

All controls are automatically hooked up correctly when the Antares is being rigged. The horizontal stabilizer is rigged and connected without the use of any tool.

High quality parts

No effort is spared to ensure that metal parts have an as long as possible corrosion free part life.

Extensive use is made of gas sealed welding, resulting in parts which cannot rust from the inside.

Details like the automatic connectors for flaperon and airbrake controls utilize a combination of clever design and advanced surface treated to prevent corrosion on the inside.

Steel parts in the cockpit are chrome coated to avoid corrosion due to acids in hand sweath. The cockpit interior uses high quality fabrics and glarefree Nextel softtouch paints. The slender stick grip is equipped with a hand-sewn leather cover.