Nestled among the multi-million-dollar business jets and high-performance turboprops at the NBAA static display in Las Vegas in October was something a little unusual... a motorglider.
Alexander Papenberg, CEO of Stemme USA, was showing off the Stemme S10-VT at NBAA for a simple reason. "Lots of corporate pilots fly from A to B IFR during the workday, and on weekends they want to fly a real airplane. They come here, they look at it, and fall in love."
And, Papenberg says, "it goes like hell. 140 knots at 10,000 feet on five gallons of gas ... and you can use mogas," he said. But the real beauty of the airplane is when you shut off the engine, close the nose dome, and become a high-performance glider with a 50-1 glide ratio.
The airplane will come off the ground in 675 feet and climb at 750 fpm. Along with the 140 powered cruise speed, the airplane "plays" as a glider between 90 and 145 knots. The Stemme easily makes the conversion between powered airplane and glider in flight. Papenberg says that it should be very familiar to anyone who is accustomed to flying a high-performance single.