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The Silent 2 Electro sailplanes are now available in kit form.
With the standard batteries the electric self-launch Silent 2 Electro can climb to approximately 1500 m (5000ft) on a charge. Most pilots will climb to a lesser altitude and shut it down in the first thermal, retaining the reminder of the charge for a save. Re-charge times are rapid and depend on the available outlet voltage (not the batteries). The Silent electric powerplant was initially developed for gliderports in Europe that have noise restrictions and are only allowed to winch launch. The electric Silents effectively circumvent these restrictions. The electric Silents represent the best solution based on available technology and cost.
The life of the batteries is measured in cycles as opposed to years and they are rated for 1500 full cycles. One launch a week equates to approximately 28 years. Regarding the duration, if in full power climb, a full charge will last about 15 minutes whereas in cruise they will last about one hour.
The propeller is a two-blade folding design and the blades swing outward by centrifugal force. Propeller diameter is 1.00 m.
The maximum electric motor speed is 4500rpm.
The empty weight with batteries is typically 205 to 210kg depending on instruments and accessories. There are 2 LiPo batteries inside which weigh 16,5 Kg/each.
Takeoff distance is conservatively published as being less than 200m (650 ft) to be on the safe side even for unprepared grass fields. However, the Silent 2 Electro have demonstrated take-off distances in the low 100 meter range with zero wind conditions.
Rate of climb is published as being greater than 2.0 m/sec or 390 fpm (the actual climb rate is generally on the order of 2.5 m/sec or 500 fpm). Additionally, the electric motor output is not degraded by increasing density altitude.
The Silent 2 Electro is equipped with a FES motor by LZ Design which provide 22kW.
Recharge time varies depending on the state of discharge of batteries. 50% discharged batteries take 2 h 30 ‘ to be fully charged and 5 hours for flat batteries.
The power controls comprise master switch and FCU (FES Control Unit). All of the controls are designed for left hand operation, so the right hand remains at the stick.