JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 55

sailplane SOLUTlONS

A miniature carbon glider

It is named for a winged dinosaur, the archæopteryx. But there is nothing
prehistoric about this carbon hybrid hang glider/paraglider/sailplane, on the
contrary. Made in Switzerland, it is a flying machine that enables humans to
realize Leonardo da Vinci's dream.

l

t only takes four or five strides
before one is soaring through
the air. "It is the most comfortable, ingenious and well-designed
wing ever made!" exclaims the
craft's pilot, enthusiastically. "On
one hand, you can make very tight
turns in the updrafts as you would
with a paraglider, close to the slope.
On the other, you take off and land
in the same terrain and conditions
as with a hang glider. And you can
plan and manage your flight like a
glider pilot, with long trips of 200300 kilometers per day."
Sixty kilograms
of 100% Swiss fabrication
This little gem, which can take
off on a slope thanks to an

At work on the wings by hand layup !

opening under the cockpit, is
entirely made in Switzerland.
It was designed at the Zurich
University of Applied Sciences
(ZHW) as part of a research
project, and since 2000 has
been developed and built meticulously down to the last detail by Ruppert Composites.
It is a bit like a glider made of
wood and fabric, except that
the wood is replaced by carbon or aramid fibres, and the
fabric by a perfectly smooth
synthetic
film.
Ruppert
Composites uses hand layup
with Huntsman 5052 resin to
make the wings, inserting the
sandwich sections in front of
the spar and on the ribs along
the back of the wings.
The craft itself weighs only
60 kg, and can support a
pilot from 1m65 to 1m95
(5'4" to 6'4") in height, weighing 55-100 kg (121-220 lb). It
is easily assembled and disassembled, and can be towed by
a car in a special trailer or by
an ultralight aircraft.
"Great performance"
The craft beats all glide records. In aviation, the glide
ratio represents the number
of meters travelled for one

Take off of the glider

meter of descent. A paraglider can travel at most 10 meters; a hang glider, 15 meters;
and the Archæopteryx, up to
28 meters. The intent of the
specifications was to make it
a "low-speed" champion, and
this has been very successful:
thanks to a minimum turn radius of about 15 meters and
a low sink ratio, it is unquestionably the non-motorized
aircraft that climbs the best, all
categories lumped together. Its
stall speed is 30 km/h, so it is
very high-performing.
The Archæopteryx is easy to
control, lands very gently (but
take care of your knees and
beware of rocky terrain!), and

N°112 April - May 2017

has already made a successful
400+km round-trip flight in
the Swiss Alps.
It comes in either a basic "torpedo" version or equipped
with cockpit fairing and
windshield. The dream of
Leonardo da Vinci and other
humans comes with a hefty
price tag: around €95,000,
depending on the model.
Two years ago, the company
started developing a prototype with two electric motors to provide self-launch
capability. 
More information:
www.ruppert-composite.ch

/ jec composites magazine

55


http://www.ruppert-composite.ch

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017

Cover
Edito
Opinion: Civilian robotic
Contents
NEWS
In brief
Yachting
Strategy
Fabric
Agenda
BUSINESS
Additive manufacturing
Carbon
MANUFACTURING
Press
Repair
CNC
Natural fibres
Feature Aeronautics - Will the horizon stay clear?
Simulation
Software
NDT
Tooling
Self healing
Primary structure
Natural fibre
Recycling
Environment
Structures
SOLUTIONS
Sustainability
Sailplane
Lift
Construction
In the world
TECHNOLOGY
Nanomaterials
Thermoplastics
CFRP
Index
Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 68
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Opinion: Civilian robotic
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - In brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Yachting
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 11
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Strategy
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Fabric
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 15
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Agenda
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Ad IPC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Ad JEC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Additive manufacturing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Carbon
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 22
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Press
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Repair
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - CNC
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Natural fibres
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Simulation
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 32
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Software
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - NDT
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Tooling
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 40
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Self healing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 42
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Primary structure
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 44
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Natural fibre
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Recycling
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Environment
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Structures
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Sustainability
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Sailplane
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Lift
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Construction
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Nanomaterials
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Thermoplastics
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - CFRP
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #112 - April/May 2017 - 67
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