Modern gliders like the Antares are characterized by outstanding efficiency. Their sophisticated aerodynamics allow the use of low-power drives. This makes them suitable as scientific test carriers for a wide range of investigations and applications,
which also benefit the further development of large aircraft. Together with the German Aerospace Center (DLR), Lange Aviation GmbH developed the Antares H2 fuel cell test vehicle and successfully completed its maiden flight in April 2009.
It was the first time in history that a manned aircraft has performed a complete cycle from takeoff to landing using only fuel cell propulsion. Driven by these successes, Lange Research Aircraft GmbH was founded. The next stage of evolution is the Antares E2. The project started in August 2010 and documents a leap in development. At the same time, the practical benefits of the drive concept are proven.
As with the Antares H2, the new research aircraft is based as far as possible on components from the standard Antares series. While its predecessor had only one fuel cell unit and a fuel tank in aerodynamic tanks under the wings, the Antares E2 uses two advanced fuel cell systems that extend the range from 500 to around 5,400 km.
The flight duration can be up to 40 hours.
The aircraft’s structure, with a wingspan increased to 23 meters, was designed for a maximum takeoff mass of 1,650 kilograms. This allows a payload of 200 kilograms. This sets new standards.
The Antares E2 represents a pioneering sensor platform for a wide range of manned and unmanned civilian Earth observation and remote sensing missions. The synergies are obvious: development for research and research for development go hand in hand at Lange Aviation and Lange Research Aircraft. For mutual benefit.