Electrical drivetrain - pure innovation
Our mature electrical propulsion system has been especially developed for Antares sailplanes. It is the core of our LANGE-concept. The brushless external rotor motor EM42 with 42 kW is the first electric motor to be officially approved by the European aeronautical authority EASA. With its extremely high total efficiency of > 93% and a maximum torque of 228 Nm (159 ft lb) our propulsion E is not only unique in aviation. Together with light and environment friendly high performance batteries, innovative power electronics and a slow-moving propeller with a big diameter it is part of a custom tailored, integrated overall system. With a maximum charging time of nine hours and a via SMS remote controlled charging process, the Antares will be available to fly on any day.
Previously unattained performance data are the result of this approach, which enables new best performances in the Antares 21E with the new Antares.RED.3 battery system: high climb rates (approx. 4.2 m/s / 827 ft/min at takeoff), high climb altitudes and a virtually silent flight. using Antares.RED.3 in the L version, pilots can reach climb altitudes of over 5,600 m / 18400 ft.
High performance is one side of the innovative drive concept of the Antares. But suitability for everyday use also requires reliability, safety, economy and ease of operation. In contrast to internal combustion engines, the drivetrain has a system-specific high level of operational reliability and runs close to vibration-free. This avoids breakdowns and fatigue related problems. In addition, only a relatively small number of extremely high-quality components with minimal risk of failure are used.
And, last but not least: Maintenance of the engine is uniquely low for an aircraft engine.
Developed and optimized especially for Lange Aviation, the propeller blades are mounted directly on the outside of the electric motor. The propeller’s diameter measures a large 2 m (6.6 ft) resulting in a low revolution speed, high efficiency and little noise emission. Since the electric motor is independent of air density the only propulsion-component contingent on altitude is the propeller. At an altitude of 3,000 m (9.800 ft) its efficiency factor is only 4% less than at sea level.
Propulsion control system
All the propulsion system’s functions, like for example extending and retracting the propeller as well as power regulation are controlled an Antares - “single lever control” on the left side of the cockpit. Controlling the propulsion unit works intuitively; it may very well be done without even looking at the handle. So the pilot may focus on flying and will not be distracted. The risk of operating errors is minimized.
In order to monitor systems like the electric drive, the battery-system or hydraulics the sailplane is equipped with a central processing unit with a large color display in the cockpit. The main computer monitors the different subsystems and depicts all relevant system data on the instrument panel's big color screen. Should any parameter enter a critical range, its value will be displayed in a different color while an additional audio warning indicates the specific problem. Before takeoff, the pilot uses the big display to go through the pre-flight checklist; at the end of a flight the main flight data may be pulled from an electronic logbook.