“With the Antares 20E, the dream of a self-launching glider with a quiet, reliable and emission-free electric propulsion system has come true,” it said at the awards ceremony. For this pioneering act, the International Technical and Scientific Organization of Gliding (OSTIV) has awarded designer Axel Lange of Lange Aviation in Zweibrücken the highest distinction it has to offer. At the organization’s congress, which was held in parallel with the 34th World Gliding Championships in Benalla, Australia, OSTIV President Professor Rolf Radespiel presented the award to Professor Loek Boermans on his behalf. Axel Lange would have loved to receive the certificate himself, but urgent tasks kept the design engineer and entrepreneur at the Zweibrück plant.
The certificate fell into the right hands with Professor Boermans. The aerodynamicist has a special relationship with the epoch-making design: he developed the airfoils and now flies an Antares himself in his spare time. With the award, the OSTIV recognized Lange’s idea of using electric drives to create a viable alternative to conventional drives with internal combustion engines. Lange developed his plans while still an engineer at Glaser-Dirks Flugzeugbau, but was unable to implement them there. For their realization, Lange ventured into self-employment – with success. He succeeded in developing the Antares, a glider with a novel, highly efficient electric propulsion system, in getting it certified and, as an entrepreneur for the aircraft, in starting series production. In his laudatory speech, OSTIV President Radespiel did not stop at praising the completely new drive concept. Lange started the project in 1996. The implementation in a preliminary prototype, the manufacture of production molds, the construction of the first Antares and flight testing then required ten years of work until type certification. The concept was well received, the Antares was and still is very popular. Today, more than 60 electric Antares are flying. Today it is still the top product in the segment of self-launching gliders. By the way: For the Arcus from Schempp-Hirth in the 20m two-seater class, there is also an electric drive from Lange Aviation. It makes us very proud to receive another high honor for sustainable developments in aviation after the Lindbergh Award in 2010 and the Berblinger Award in 2011.