2020 Dec.

The AS 33 will become an Electric Self-launcher!

Our new 18m sailplane will be equipped with an electric propulsion system with the type designation AS 33 Me.

In the meantime, with the ASG 32 El “turbo” system and the self-launching AS 34 Me we already have two electrical propulsion systems in or close to series production.  At the same time, the interest among soaring pilots for electric flying is continuously increasing. Simple operation and reduced maintenance requirements are powerful arguments in this regard.

Self launching and sufficient reserve

Up to now, the sleek fuselages of our 18m competition sailplanes did not permit the installation of our powerful and many times proven Wankel engine and therefore made self-launching impossible. Now more and more new possibilities for soaring are opened up by the simpler and more compact layouts of the electric systems.

Therefore, the logical consequence is to use the electric propulsion system developed for the AS 34 Me to turn the 18m competition sailplane AS 33 into a self-launcher and use the designation AS 33 Me for it.  But that only makes sense if, after a self-launch – and furthermore with a maximum take-off weight of 600 kg – sufficient battery capacity remains for a powered flight to home base.  The AS 33 Me will have a reach of more than 120 km for such flights.

Safety and simplest operation

The Lithium-Ion batteries, located the inner wings and surrounded by a safety housing, power the retractable 35 kW EMRAX motor in the fuselage.  A specially developed propeller, designed and manufactured by Schleicher, provides the necessary, powerful thrust.  The power electronics is also located in the engine bay.

The simple and very intuitive controls of the electric drive system – as for the AS 34 Me – have been located in the lower part of the instrument panel.  The control instrument with its colour display is also installed there, providing information about the battery charge state, engine RPMs and temperatures with one quick look.

A cleverly designed battery management system (BMS) monitors the wing battery cells during power discharge as well as during the charging phase.

An additional significant advantage of the electric drive system is that climb performance does not noticeably decrease at high altitudes, while combustion engines do have a clear performance drop in that situation.  As well, the completely retracted propulsion unit causes absolutely no extra drag while soaring.

AS 33 Me and AS 33 Es!

Nevertheless, the AS 33 will continue to be available in the “Es” version as a pure sustainer system based on the two-cylinder, two-stroke Solo 2350 engine, in order to provide even greater flexibility for wing loading possibilities in competitions. With this system as well, utilizing an electric starter and an innovative engine control system, we provide an overall system operation which cannot be more simple and reliable, completely comparable to the electric drive version.

Technical Data


Span 18 m 59 ft
Wing area 10 m² 107.6 sqft
Wing aspect ratio 32.4
Empty mass 415 kg 915 lbs
Max. take-off mass 600 kg 1322 lbs
Min. wing loading 47.7 kg/m² 9.8 lbs/sqft
Max. wing loading 60 kg/m² 12.3 lbs/sqft
Min. sink 0,52 m/s 102 ft/min
Best glide ratio 56

EMRAX motor (air cooled)

Max. power 35 kW
Max. continuous power 25 kW
Battery capacity 8.6 kWh

Powered flight performance (500 kg / 1100 lbs)

Ground roll distance 270 m 886 ft
Take-off dist. (15 m barrier) 400 m 1313 ft
Rate of climb (35 kW) 3,6 m/s 708 ft/min

Remaining propulsion capacity

after take-off to 500 m (25 kW, 500 kg)
Rate of climb 2,3 m/s 452 ft/min.
Climbing altitude 2150 m 6900 ft
Range 130 km 80 mi / 70 nm

Design and construction subject to change without prior notice.


We would be happy to provide additional information about the possible equipment variations by providing a quote. Simply contact us at: sales@alexander-schleicher.de