Our Antares is an entirely new sailplane design, and it has not inherited any components from previous models. Therefore, tt has been possible to prioritize the safety aspect during all phases of the design process. Passive as well as active safety systems are key components of the integrated concept. A major effort of our design philosophy affected cockpit, landing gear and active safety precautions.
– more than just an aspect
With know-how and material experience gained from Formula One racing, and based on research results by the TÜV Rheinland we were able to design our Antares' cockpit to incorporate a true survival zone. The front fuselage is divided into two entities: The nosecone serves as crash element. In the case of an impact it will purposefully be deformed and so absorbs a great deal of energy. In order to integrate this element, the fuselage had to be elongated by approximately 10 cm / 4” (compared to "conventional" fuselage designs) - without adding aerodynamic drag. The survival space adjoining the crash element was reinforced with especially dimensioned stringers and spars. The cockpit may thus withstand even high velocity impacts, while the impact energy will be passed on into the structure behind the pilot.
The high landing gear realizes on the one hand an optimal angle of attack while on the runway; on the other hand it is well able to absorb a maximum amount of energy in case of a crash.
Of course, it is always a lot better to avoid getting into trouble in the first place than to just rely on your passive safety gear in case of an accident. With this in mind we have developed the Antares' safety concept:
- The easy handling of the propulsion system with its unique, patented single-lever operation almost forbids maloperation. Error messages and warnings are given optically and acoustically.
- A very large canopy combined with a diagonally adjustable seat pan offer an optimzed circumferential visibility also for smaller pilots
- An ergonomically designed cockpit saves the pilot from lack of concentration due to discomfort or fatigue