Eta (glider)

The Eta is a German-Italian Open Class two-seater flapped self-launching glider manufactured by ETA Aircraft. On introduction it was the highest performing glider.[clarification needed][1]

Eta open class sailplane.JPG
Eta at Lübeck airport
Role Open-class sailplane
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Consortium
Designer Flugtechnik Leichtbau, Braunschweig, led by Reiner Kickert
First flight 31 July 2000
Number built 3

Early flightsEdit

The Eta made its first flight on July 31, 2000 in Cochstedt, Germany, reaching a height of 2 m (7 ft). The second flight was the first aerotow launch, reaching 1,500 m (4,920 ft). The third flight was self powered and had no problems. The official presentation was on 1 August.[citation needed]


Glasfaser Nimeta: Eta wings on Nimbus 4 fuselage with motor

Three Etas have been manufactured. The second prototype was extensively damaged in 2003 during the spin tests required for the type certification but both pilots parachuted to safety. The prototype was repaired and the tests completed successfully. The glider will be produced by hand at a rate of about three per year.[citation needed]


The Eta is an example of a trend in glider development in which private pilots initiate the development of new open class gliders. The private development of the Concordia sailplane promises a further elevation of lift-drag ratio of several points.[citation needed]

Operational historyEdit

An Eta participated in a World Championship for the first time in 2003 at Leszno. Its pilot, Janusz Centka, achieved an overall second place. Good placings have also been achieved by the Eta in later competitions. The glider is however hampered by the Open Class weight limitation which limits its wing loading in gusty weather to the advantage of its opponents.[citation needed]


Data from Simons (2005) p.99[2]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 9.75 m (32 ft 0 in)
  • Wingspan: 30.90 m (101 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 18.61 m2 (200.3 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 51.33
  • Airfoil: HQR 2 inboard, HQR 1 outboard
  • Empty weight: 710 kg (1,565 lb)
  • Gross weight: 850 kg (1,874 lb)
  • Maximum wing loading: 44.8 kg/m2 (9.18 lb/sqft)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Sola 2625-02 twin cylinder inline two stroke piston engine[citation needed], 47 kW (63 hp) approximately
  • Propellers: 2-bladed carbon reinforced plastic propeller, pulley driven on folding column


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Handicap list 2008 of the Deutscher Aero Club - accessed 2008-08-07
  2. ^ Simons, Martin (2005). Sailplanes 1965-2000 (2nd revised ed.). Königswinter: EQIP Werbung & Verlag GmbH. pp. 97–9. ISBN 3 9808838 1 7.
  3. ^ a b Eta aircraft Eta aircraft performances plots - accessed 2004-04-11

External linksEdit