Although I already knew from other pilots how smooth the rudders and how maneuverable the Antares should be, I was pleasantly surprised during my first flight: You have to have flown it first to believe this! I even had the feeling that despite the larger wingspan, everything went even easier than with my old LS6! So the transition to the 20 m airplane was very easy for me.
As a small pilot, I sat better than in any other airplane before, thanks to the adjustable seat pan and the spreadable rudder pedals. No more knee pain! All handles are ergonomically arranged. The biggest concern I had, however, was whether I would even be able to assemble the plane on my own. The upgrade aid supplied as standard is ingeniously designed! So after some practice I had no more problems. In the meantime, I have flown about 80 hours and about 5,000 cross-country kilometers. At the Block Championships in Lüsse (August 2004), I was able to compare the Antares with the other Open Class airplanes for the first time.The weather was consistently good, except for the first day. However, in the course of the day there were often sections that were difficult, e.g. due to overdevelopment.
My impression was that the Antares could keep up very well with the “long ears” in gliding. But I couldn’t see much difference in the climb either. Unfortunately, since I didn’t have any bug wipers, the plane’s performance deteriorated significantly as the day went on. Bug wipers are a must for future competitions! On the 7th day I had the direct comparison with a double seater of the open class. We glided 40 km in “dead air”, with a speed of 110 -120 km/h, according to the motto hop or topp, well, you get the next climb or you throw the engine… Again, there was no difference. We rejoined the next thermal at the same altitude. How the Antares performs in very weak weather compared to the other “long-winged” aircraft remains to be seen. For me, the aircraft is easy to handle (especially as a woman), it impresses with its good performance and flight characteristics. I am very excited and looking forward to the upcoming season.