>>How any performance chasing glider pilot can willingly accept a turbulent 
>>airflow over the entire  length of the fuselage will ever remain a mystery to 
>>me.

Yes. However there are many pilots who are not just chasing
performance at the expense of other factors. There are people who put
other factors above performance in the shopping list, such as
convenience and safety, long term maintenance and re-sale value.

And considering many of the performance claims of manufacturers and
their agents in the gliding world, a buyer could be forgiven for
making up his or her own mind about these factors.

A number of people on this list have expressed their desire to have no
more out landings. If this is top of the list, then an FES may be a
good way to go… on balance.

For me, I would rather stay with petrol in spite of the disadvantages,
because for me, well up on the list is the fact that battery
technology is changing much faster than 2 strokes and given the recent
posting on Schempp-Hirth spares, I would not be prepared to bank on
something which might be obsolete in 5 years.

Incidentally, the DG-400 has a system which elevates the propellor and
engine which relies (if that's the right word) on a small electric
motor which was originally a Bosch windscreen wiper motor. It runs
with a planetary gearbox so there are only light loads on the motor so
in a sense, the motor is adequate for the job.

The problem is that you cannot rely on something like a windscreen
wiper motor being manufactured for ever and the part was in time made
obsolete. Far be it from me to relate this to DG's wicked policy of
making users pay for maintenance manuals etc, but only a few years
ago, they certified a different, modern electric motor for fitting to
DG-400s. It's expensive but what would you rather have?

DG also certified a different coolant pump for early 800s which I
believe are also inside the paid maintenance contract area. I guess
this could have been fitted to a Ventus with a Solo engine too.

Long term availability of spares is a serious issue with powered
gliders and with my limited experience of electronics, I'll take old
petrol tech over power electronics and batteries for a while yet.

D
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