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. „A contest is won or lost during the third hour“, states three-time European champion Peter Harvey (UK). Because at that point a pilot’s ability to focus decreases and he makes strategic mistakes. The Antares 23’s ergonomic cockpit is thus responsible for pushing the “felt” third hour as far back as possible. Our Antares-fleet's long average flight times prove the accuracy of this projection Ergonomics are much more important than commonly expected: Our cockpit has been designed according to the latest standards and thereby is an important contribution to passive safety. It boosts the pilot’s personal performance.
The Antares-cockpit has been designed according to current guidelines for work-place ergonomics, and it is perfectly adjustable for almost every pilot, if necessary even in-flight. 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 a perfect sitting posture and get the same view of the horizon during 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.
Our patented control system is extremely smooth-running; it makes for sportiness and provides a great agility in the air. With her 23 meters the Antares is as maneuverable as an 18-meter glider. The rudder has been adapted in size and therefore only needs a comparably light input to turn accurately, without yawing. Centering lift is blindingly easy, and once lined up in a thermal, the Antares 23 will determinedly follow the course without needing any correction. The wings are stiff on the one hand and so provide a good feeling for thermals; they will directly tell you where to find lift. On the other hand they are still flexible enough to make a pilot feel comfortable.

Hydraulically operated landing gear

The Antares 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 may 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 is 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. Slowly taxiing the Antares 23E requires only a minimal and virtually at all times available battery power. Equipped with starter and throttle cable the Antares 23T is well maneuverable on the ground; its handling is simple and comfortable. The steerable tail wheel and the wingtip wheels simplify ground-handling procedures. Even self-launching with a stronger crosswind is uncomplicated.

Automated switchover (23E)

The Antares 23E’s will, when turning on the propulsion, automatically switch over from total energy compensated to static pressure, because the TEC-probe is mounted in the tail and sits in the slipstream behind the propeller.

On-board battery charger (23E)

The battery charger is embedded in the fuselage. Recharging during cross country trips of several days duration will be fairly easy. To load the batteries you simply have to connect the integrated charger to a power outlet and press the “charge”-button. A special electrical system in the trailer allows to easily recharge your sailplane's batteries while stored in the box. Both world leading sailplane trailer manufacturers, Spindelberger (Cobra Trailers) and Anschau, are well experienced in electrically outfitting Antares 23E-trailers. Our on-board charger weighs only 6 kg. Running at approximately 1.7 kW, the charger requires about 9 hours to completely recharge used batteries. What’s more, a partial recharging is no problem, since lithium-ion batteries lack a memory effect. The charger can be adjusted to run on 230V or 110V AC depending on the customer’s requirement.

Integrated GSM modem (23E)

Our Antares 23E is serially equipped with a GSM modem which is connected to the glider’s main computer. With his cell phone the owner may thus get information about his aircaft’s status, control the battery charging and maintenance procedures via SMS without being in the vicinity of the aircraft.

Rigging aid

For our Antares 23E 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 23E’s serial equipment.

Automatic control hookup

All controls are automatically hooked up while rigging the Antares 23. Its horizontal stabilizer is mounted without needing any auxiliary tools.

High quality components

No effort is spared to make sure that the Antares 23’s metal parts 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 matte 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.