2020 Sep.

First flight of the AS 34 Me

Schleicher’s first electric self-launcher has flown

We have been awaiting the first flight of the new AS 34 Me with very much anticipation. Beside the ASG 32 El with its electric sustainer it is the second Schleicher electric powered sailplane, this time conceived as a self-launcher.

While both systems are closely related, the AS 34 Me required a completely new battery concept because of the need to self-launch and the additional run-time to achieve a 125 km range using electric power. This resulted in the change from the original ASG 32 El fuselage battery block to two separate wing batteries.

Simply Enjoy Flying

Simple and clear engine control

Simple and clear engine control

Our motto for the AS 34 Me, “self-launching simply electrically”, is not just about the propulsion system but also the handling of the whole aircraft.

Dipl.-Ing. Paul Anklam’s conclusion following the first self-launch that the “34” is a completely uncomplicated fun aircraft, in which one feels immediately at home also includes the very simple operation of the electric propulsion system.

Dipl.-Ing. Paul Anklam right before the start

Dipl.-Ing. Paul Anklam right before the start

But first an aerotow was in order to thoroughly test the propulsion system. After that nothing stood in the way for the first self-launch at the company airfield “Huhnrain”.  After a take-off run of only 220 m Paul Anklam lifted off with the AS 34 Me and subsequently climbed at an elevator-like rate of over 3 m/s.

New generation winglets

New generation winglets

The first flight was delayed slightly for completion of the new winglets which belong to the latest generation and are quite similar to the ones used by the AS 33, the latest 18m competition racer. In fact, many of the development features of the AS 33 have been incorporated into the AS 34 Me, particularly with respect to the cockpit.

Easy handling also on the Ground

The AS 34 Me does not only handle well in the air but also on the ground. Wingtip wheels allow self-launching with a lowered wing, without help from anyone. The wing joint is located at the 5.25 m position which means that with the outer wing removed only relatively little space is required in the hangar. The outer wing panels can be rigged without problem by one person.

While the batteries make up a significant part of the total weight of the inner wing, with a weight of 98 kg this panel is also not much heavier than the inner wings of the larger single seaters. And, with an appropriate self-rigging device, assembly by one person is definitely possible. Naturally, automatic control connections at all wing joints and the horizontal tailplane are a matter of course.  The very effective 3-bladed airbrakes make very steep landing approaches possible.

Photos: Manfred Münch

We hope that a look at our small photo gallery will give you a taste for this new electro sailplane. We would be happy to provide you with additional information.


>>> Description of the AS 34 Me