How’d that get up there?

Lacquerhead's DJ Aerotech Chrysalis 2M Electric glider in flightThere’s a lot to be said for electric soaring.  There’s less time setting up and tearing down.  If you have the discipline to leave the power off you can keep yourself more or less honest.  If you don’t, you can get a altitude/time limiting switch that will keep you more honest without having to land to reset it.   The pay-off is more time flying and less time fetching.  Don’t get me wrong, I like “pure” sailing as well but electric soaring is just so convenient these days.  With the advent of inexpensive brushless outrunner motors and Lithium-Polymer batteries the weight penalty is significantly less than it used to be.  For example, my Chrysalis 2M-E is 34 ounces AUW and the same wing on the pure sailplane fuse is 31oz.  The design was based on NiCD batteries and a Speed 600 brushed motor with a upper AUW of 52oz. so there is plenty of margin for ballast.  When you can drive to your local vacant lot and go soaring during your lunch break, all is well in the world.