the benefits over certified gliders
The benefits of ultralight gliders compared to he certified gliders
The light weight of the ultralight gliders is an irresistible advantage
- Immediate perception of lift and airspeed changes: acceleration, wingtip which rises, etc. you find the enjoyment of pure flying, like in free flying (hanggliding and paragliding); your eyes are free of instrument watching, the pilot can concentrate all its attention on the outside environment, the observation of the sky, the aerological phenomenons, the other traffics.
- Their ability to fly at low speed allow them to use thermals other gliders cannot: very short turn radius like paragliders or big birds, track “sticking” to the slope in mountain to better benefit from the thermal breeze and ridge soaring .
- Their low rate of sink allow them to benefit from the weakest lifts.
- The result is a remarkable “survival” rate in low points, so it doesn’t happen very often that an ultralight glider has to land out.
- Besides, their shorter wingspan and their low approach speed allow them to land in very short fields, their landing distance being short above 10 meters, 30 meters in the very worst case. Appropriate field to land out are infinitely more numerous. And the value of an ultralight glider being less than any certified glider is another reason why the stress of its pilot when flying low is minimal.
- Consequently, despite their relatively low gliding ratio and not high gliding speed, the ultralight gliders have proved a remarkable capacity for cross country flying, 300km flights are common, so as shorter distances in less generous aerological conditions when certified glider pilots dare not fly out of a gliding distance of their airfield.
- Light weight trailer in the 400 to 500kg is another advantage, as in some countries the regulations for this weight class is less or just not regulated.
- On the ground, handling is much easier: the pilot doesn’t need any help to move it, it is effortless, including to put it into a hangar.
- Set up and set down is easy, a 10 years old child is able to hold the wingtips time to assemble them, and it is not necessary to request the help of 5 persons to get you out of the field should you land out .
Operating cost is low
- The price of a new ultralight glider, in the 20.000€ to 80.000€ range, is a quarter to a third that of a new certified glider whose price is between 80.000€ and 250.000€.
- Ultralight gliders have many different launch option available, all of them very cheap:
– most of them are foot launchable, the cost of this kind of taking off is almost equal to zero;
– they can all be launched by bungee, just another costless takeoff option;
– an aerotow by an ultralight trike, which can be found on the second hand market at a price range of 5 to 10.000€, burns only 2 to 3 liters per launch;
– when aerotowed by an ultralight airplane like the Dynamic WT9, the rate of climb is around 4m/s: just another economic advantage
– equipped with an adapted release system, they can all be launched by winch, either by a car, or by a static winch equipped with a light weight kevlar line.
- Maintenance is easy, it’s not required to be done by an habilitated engineer, and there are no controls by approved organization: another high costs avoided.
Ultralight gliders are cheap and stressless to operate