Quality & Convenience

Cockpit ergonomics

A comfortable cockpit is more than just a convenient workplace. During long flights a good sitting posture prevents from tiredness and deficiency in concentration. Convenience is thereby an important contribution to active safety.

 

Designed in accordance with ergonomics standards for workplace requirements, the Antares cockpit is perfectly adaptable to almost any pilot. The seat-pan is diagonally movable and can be adjusted from „forward and up“ to „rearward and down“. This means pilots of any size may enjoy about the same view of the horizon in flight. Stick and instrument panel are always optimally accessible for everybody.

Our adjusting mechanism for the rudder pedals is also ergonomically designed: the pedals do not simply move backwards, but they also spread apart, following the shape of the instrument console. Consequently pilots with shorter legs may also take advantage of the rudder pedals’ full width.

The backrest can securely be adjusted in-flight. A seat pan which is wider around the hip joint is optionally available. We can also offer a separate headrest for very tall pilots who prefer to fly without the backrest. Safety or convenience will not be impaired.

Cockpit airflow

The Antares 21E has an improved cockpit. Above all, a lot has been invested in good airflow through the cabin. This ensures good cockpit ventilation as well as low-drag venting. The cockpit air can flow out through several outlets, then exits the fuselage at the tail. The exhaust opening on the vertical stabilizer is so large that there is only a small impulse loss with low drag. Interfering currents inside the cockpit are prevented by an elaborate, effective sealing of the canopy. The advantage of this sophisticated air conditioning system for effective, easily controllable fresh air supply and cooling is that it largely avoids noise - a sign that this type of ventilation involves only minimal aerodynamic losses. The cockpit airflow realized in this way makes changes in airspeed immediately tangible, enabling even more intuitive flying.

Hydraulically operated landing gear

The Antares 21E is equipped with a hydraulically operated landing gear which is activated by a switch in the instrument panel. The number of bulky levers and handles in the side could thus be thus reduced. A special safety mechanism efficiently prevents from an accidental landing gear retraction while on ground. As soon as the hydraulic cylinder’s pressure valve is opened, the gear will be extended and then locks in a spring loaded mechanism. In normal conditions, the landing gear is operated by an electric switch. In case of an electrical system failure, the landing gear may still safely be extended and locked by manually opening the valve mentioned above via a bowden cable.

 

Left-handed controls

Levers for flaps, air brakes and propulsion control are located on the left side panel. So the pilot may at all times keep his right hand on the stick. Thanks to the electro-hydraulically actuated landing gear mechanism, operated by a switch on the instrument panel, the pilot does not need to change from left- to right-handed operation. He or she can almost blindly operate his controls and thus stays focused on flying.

Landing gear suspension

The specially designed Antares landing gear suspension with its large 5”- wheel is very convenient for ground handling and provides a safety-plus in the case of an impact. Two pneumatic springs with optimized force-stroke characteristics are responsible for smooth and safe operations: Once a load is applied relatively slowly - during taxiing or normal landings - the pneumatic springs’ large available stroke will minimize vertical acceleration in the cockpit and therefore maximize comfort. At the same time, fast load applications - like in a crash situation - will stimulate the pneumatic springs to stiffen and forward the impact energy without reaching the end-stop. Instabilities in cockpit deceleration are thus avoided.

Disk brake

By default our Antares gliders come equipped with a Beringer wheel and a hydraulically activated disk brake, including a braking force limiter. Powerful but well controllable braking action is ensured on all surfaces. Brake force is applied and controlled via the air brake handle.

Steerable tail wheel

Thanks to a steerable tail wheel and wheels on both wingtips, single handed taxiing is well possible and easily performed. A slow taxiing procedure requires only minimal battery power, power which will still be available after a day’s flight.

 

Automatic probe switching

As on most self-launching sailplanes, the Antares 21E’s total energy compensated probe is mounted in the tail and therefore sits in the slipstream behind the propeller. When turning on the propulsion, the probe is automatically switched over from TEC to static pressure.

On-board battery charger

The latest Gen.2 Antares charger is part of the Antares.RED.3 battery system. It is permanently integrated in the fuselage of the Antares 21E and connected to the electronic systems of the aircraft, which provides information about the cycle-, charge- and temperature- status of the battery. This enables safe and easy recharging, even on touring glider flights. The effort for a charging process is reduced to connecting a power source and pressing the charge button. Of course, the trailer can also be loaded when disarmed. The two leading manufacturers of glider trailers, Spindelberger (Cobra) and Anschau, offer solutions for Antares 21E gliders. The charging unit weighs only 6 kg and, with a power consumption of 3.3 kW, takes about 9 hours to fully charge empty batteries. Due to the absence of a memory effect in lithium-ion batteries, even partial recharging of the batteries is no problem.

Remote controlled charging

The Antares 21E is equipped with a cellular data module as standard. This allows the pilot to request information about the aircraft status via SMS using a cell phone and to control the battery charging process without having to physically access the aircraft.

Rigging aid

For our Antares 21E we have developed a special wing rigger: It is designed to reduce effort and rigging time to a convenient minimum considering the wing’s weight. One person may withput problems rig the aircraft single-handedly, but of course it will still be more comfortable to have a second person help rig the sailplane. The rigging aid is part of the Antares 21E’s serial equipment.

Automatic control hookup

All controls are automatically hooked up while rigging an Antares. The horizontal stabilizer is mounted without needing any auxiliary tools.

High quality components

No effort is spared to make sure that the metal parts of an Antares stay free of corrosion to last as long as possible.

We are applying surface treatments that are otherwise common in airliners to obtain components which are highly resistant to corrosion.

Details, like for example automatic connection hookups, are protected from corrosion both outside and inside by a progressive surface treatment combined with a thoughtful component-design.

Steel parts in the cockpit are chrome-plated to avoid corrosion due to acids from hand perspiration. The cockpit interior is outfitted with high quality fabrics and glare free Nextel soft-touch painting. The slender stick’s grip is covered with cushy hand-sewn leather.