E Concept Rules for Electric Gliders
The IGC are currently working on a set of ‘E-concept’ rules for gliders equipped with electric means of propulsion (MOP) in competitions.
The idea is to allow use of limited amounts of electric power to improve the glider's performance or to gain altitude. The first test event will be at Pavullo in Italy in September 2018.
If the proposal is accepted, a new event will replace the 13.5m World Gliding Championships in 2019, opening the competition to gliders with up to 15m wingspan with electric power units. The 2019 WGC will provide an opportunity to experience the concept in action, allowing the IGC to consider how it can be developed for the future.
Currently, several gliders are manufactured with electric MOP installed. These include the 13.5m mini Lak and 15m Lak, and the prototype GP14, which has a 13.5m span. The Silent, constructed as a microlight, is another example, and the Ventus 3 from Schempp Hirth and JS3 from Jonkers Sailplanes are also available in FES versions.
Without a doubt, interest in the MOP concept is growing. More information will be available after the 2018 IGC meeting.