My new mistress, the Pipistrel Sinus Motor glider.
What will my new mistress expect? Chocolates or whisky? I was so excited when someone told me of the beauty and charm of this exotic creature from overseas. She would be expensive, and yet affordable. She would be challenging and exciting and most probably not compatible with the wife.
I had to wait some months to be acquainted, and eventually she was due into Brisbane by ship along side her sister. I was a little apprehensive when there were customs delays for a couple of days and shocked that they were subjected to fumigation. Ah well at least she will carry no disease!
When I first saw her I could only agree she was beautiful. She was clean and neat, and I knew she wanted to be treated well or she could make my life very difficult. I immediately had respect for her.
As friends gathered round to see me depart on the long trip south to get to know her, it became obvious that some were a little jealous and a little envious of me. It was almost as if I had acquired the latest and greatest new motorglider that was going to have very limited availability.
I really have enjoyed getting to know her and she never fails to turn heads and make all my friends envious.
Yesterday I flew to a private strip north of Scone to see my good friend Alan Henderson and show her off. Later as I left he said ┬╗DALGLISH, You Bastard┬ź.
I am absolutely delighted to have had such effect.
My wife says that regarding the question of chocolates or whisky, it is chocolates every time!
Now to be a little more serious. ┬╗She┬ź is of course the new Pipistrel motorglider from Slovenia, a place I did not know. Michael Coates of X-Air was the importer and I had met him in his days at Mudgee. He had a futuristic eye for importing nice things such as the Sting. This Sinus (pronounced Sin-us) sounded too good to be true! For instance 88-metre take off fully loaded at sea level. It has a 1200ft climb, 110kt cruise sipping 10 litres of premium car fuel.
It is said to have a glide ratio of 28:1 solo with the prop feathered. I feel the secret of this exquisite machine is the fact that it is all Carbon fiber and its finish is second to none. It only weighs 250Kgs empty with its 50ft wingspan. All the above figures I can relate to, but it seems to use more fuel than the importer suggests. The fuel use is more in line with the Rotax handbook. I forgot to mention it has the Rotax 912 80BHP 4-stroke engine, de-tuned to 60BHP. It is so reliable and quiet with a reading of 65Db while flat out.
Frankly it really annoys me how all aircraft are allowed into Australia with a noise exemption certificate. Why do we have to be exposed to other peoples noise, for instance the angry aggressive noise of the approach tail rotors from helicopters and the bellow of the Lycoming as a R44 passes over. Have you noticed how quiet the new 600 HP trucks are, they whisper, so why not aircraft? I know propellers generate a lot of noise, and that area needs work to. But I digress; the Sinus is over engined with the 80HP and can exceed its VNE. It is so slippery and efficient, I think it is an indication of what we may expect in the future. Its noise footprint could not offend even the most sensitive person and it has stealth capabilities with the engine off. To someone who is used to General Aviation, the Sinus fuel consumption is a joke. It is proving to be half the consumption of the Glastar and 1/10 of my helicopter.
The only drawback I see is that I will have to carry less junk around with me, and because of the 50ft wingspan I need bigger hangars. Apart from that I am delighted to be the first owner in Australia and I look forward to many years ahead, even when I canÔÇÖt pass my medical! My wife says, ┬╗Sinus helps clear your head┬ź. I agree.