The Silent Electro2 is a self-launching single seat, 40:1 sailplane with an electric motor to get you into the air with little effort. Sold as a complete aircraft, well equipped for about $130K, it is available in quick-build kit form for about $12-15K less – that’s with a trailer and complete instrument package.
The folded-back blades of the electric motor extend to produce enough thrust to self-launch, and doesn’t lose thrust with altitude – a nice benefit for those wanting to fly in the mountains. There’s also a tow hook beneath the cock[pit for those who need or want a traditional launch experience.
The twin batteries are located in a compartment behind the wing spar (in the fuselage), and can be charged in a few hours. Electronics monitor and manage the cells, providing a great deal of information to the pilot on temperatures and cell health.
The well-appointed instrument panel gives you all you need to know about your soaring state, as well as giving a home to the motor instrumentation. There is no need to worry about complicated motor extension mechanisms – the nose-mounted blades extend when the motor starts spinning.
The all-in-one motor and battery monitoring display shows cell and controller health and temperatures along with available combined voltage and current. The red “Canopy” warning prevents the motor from starting if the canopy is unlatched, so that there is no contact between the blades and the expensive bubble. The central knob with the white end is the throttle – twist it clockwise to increase power.