Club members turned out in force today to welcome a revolutionary visitor from Germany in the shape of the experimental E-Genius electric-powered motor glider developed at Stuttgart University. The futuristic side-by-side two-seat aircraft arrived at 08.00 from Stuttgart Airport, its first direct crossing of the Alps from Germany to Italy.
Flown by champion soaring pilot Klaus Ohlmann the aircraft was accompanied a DA40 Diamond with a support crew, headed by E-Genius project manager Len Schumann. Both aircraft arrived in high pressure stable weather conditions, but experiencing the high ground temperatures typical of the Calcinate summer.
The E-Genius’s tail mounted variable and propeller, which can be feathered in flight, is driven by an electric motor powered by lithium batteries weighing up to 300kgs which limits climb performance gliding and requires 7hrs ground time for re-charging. The silent emission-free technology is at the early development stage but with expected future potential.
This battery recharging period allowed the team to enjoy the generous and enthusiastic welcome given by club members headed by our President, Margherita Acquaderni accompanied by many of the most experienced club pilots including her husband Antonio Caraffini.
Ohlmann is the holder of many outstanding gliding records. A 15hr flight from Serres (France) to Klagenfurt (Austria) and return, a 3000km record in Argentina among many other record breaking flights and a soaring flights in Nepal over Mt Everest and Mt Acaconcagua in Argentina.
With the E-Genius batteries recharged, the team’s departure for Stuttgart the same evening was watched with enthusiasm by club members.