The Front Electric Sustainer motor system, developed by Slovenian father and son entrepreneur team Matija and Luka Znidarsic, was on display at the E-Flight Expo, part of the larger Friedrichshafen Aero 2010 show. Both are graduates in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ljubljana. This system, described in an earlier entry (“Power Up Front,” November 1, 2009), is meant to provide power for a sailplane that is launched by other means, such as an aerotow or winch. Its light weight does not detract from the normal performance of the sailplane, but does enhance safety, with the pilot able to start the motor and power away into a modest climb if necessary to save a flight.
In response to this editor’s naive questions, Luka responded, ”No, there is no problem with scraping the fuselage! Stopping is very soft, and at run blades open immediately.“
He notes that the propeller is visibly improved, “As attachment bolts are now inside of spinner, and so not visible, and aerodynamically more clean. Otherwise blades are 5 cm (about 2 inches) longer (diameter [is now] 1m (39.4 inches): previous 0.9m (35.4 inches) and slightly wider. Climb rate is now improved to about 1,5m/s (288 feet per minute).”