Taurus on Euroglide 2010

Author of the text: Lukas Benedikt, Rovnovaha - Equilibrium s.r.o., #EM#696f646c44607772617d247867#EM#.
Date: 1.7.2010.
© Copyright Lukas Benedikt, all rights reserved.
Reprint of this material or its parts is forbidden. Prior consent by author in writing is required.


Pipistrel Taurus successfully glided 2000km through European sky – finishing the "Euroglide 2010" race.

From 19. June to 3. July a team of Slovakian Pipistrel Promotor Lukas Benedikt
participated with a Pipistrel Taurus self-launch glider on 2000km gliding race - Euroglide 2010.

Euroglide is a gliding race combined with adventure of many uncertainties.
It is a true gliding competition, reserved for “modern high performance
gliders”, as stated in rules. In its nature it is very exhausting, as it consist
of only one racing task, but this task is 2350km long. This year, it stretched
from: the start in Eindhoven, NL, over
1. Bronkow under Berlin,
2. Montrichter at Lausanne, Switzerland,
3. Falaise in Normandy, FR
To the finish in Axel, NL.

click on the thumbnail for a larger image

There are three classes: pure gliders, turbos and self-launching gliders.
The competition enforces no handicaps, just open class. It is that simple.
And this is the beauty and difficulty of this competition.
The whole competition has very high reputation in
the glider community. It has 20 years of tradition, attracting the best
European glider pilots, many of them being members of national gliding
teams, with the best gliders in the world.

You can find details about the competition on WEB: EUROGLIDE - 2000KM Gliding Race.

We started with our Taurus on Monday, 19.6. in Eindhoven, NL. On the grid,
we met with 65 competitors, all equipped with high-performance racing
gliders, like ASH 26, Nimbus 4DM, DG808, Ventus 2, etc.
Our Taurus attracted a great audience on the grid, as this was for many
participants the first time, to see a Taurus in action.

Shortly after, we took of for the first competition flight.
The race was demanding, we flew every day around 300km distance, without
knowing the place of landing in advance. It is a hard logistic task, to keep support team on
the track with glider in the air.
Team visited 9 different airfields across Europe, in Germany, Switzerland,
France and Nederland, along the task course.
We flew on the ridge in the Swiss Alps.
And also in the dense airspace in northern France, close to the Northern sea:

On every airfield, Taurus after landing attracted many local pilots to see it
in real life. The unique combination of features, shape and technical
parameters provoked a lot of questions.
This were answered and Taurus was shown in action. Its taxi capabilities,
easy handling on the ground, spacious cockpit, simple and easy controls - all
this wrapped with the quality of workmanship and finish of the whole aircraft,
so typical for Pipistrel aircrafts, was highly admired by the most critical
evaluators – glider pilots.
What you do not see on the ground are the flight characteristics and gliding
performance. This was shown in the air - during the whole contest. Many
glider pilots could not believe that Taurus is not only able to participate on
Euroglide, but to successfully finish it, even beating some competitors. This
was a real surprise for a gliding community in the Europe.

We got kind support of the Pipistrel company who lend us a trailer and some
spare parts, just in case of technical problems.
But – we needed none of them. During the contest, Taurus flew 2350km in
approx. 40hours in 8 days, with cca. 3 hours on engine and made 10
landings. Taurus flew like a dream, the only thing we needed to do was to clean it
in the evening and put petrol in the tank. This is for us a proof of quality and
reliability of Taurus. An owner of the Taurus can rely on this airplane.

During the contest, it was not a problem to fly and maintain our Taurus. In a
fact, more difficult and demanding task was to drive a car and catch-up on
the ground with the glider in the air. Taurus and nice weather allowed us to
be faster, safer and more relaxed in the air, than a car on the ground, doing
the same distance, even on European motorways.
The competition rules say that every team can transfer or  use car for transport or
motor propulsion on the glider for maximum 350km of the total task length.
This means that the minimum of 2000km must be glided, without motor. This is a hard task for Taurus, but
we managed it to do, in 8 days. On Monday 28.6., we landed at 15.31. at the
target airport Axel in Netherland, in close proximity to Northern sea. This
performance of the Taurus and team was a surprise for many participants, as
we surpassed even some gliders with much better DAeC indexes.

The welcome at the finishing line on the Axel airport was very warm and friendly,
with beer directly on the runway.

Euroglide is a hard gliding competition, for real pilots and machines. It is a
proof of team sprit, flying, driving, communication skills and a technical
attitude of competing gliders. Taurus did it and has proven that its quality is
comparable to any other modern glider around the world.

Lukas Benedikt, Rovnovaha - Equilibrium s.r.o., #EM#696f646c44607772617d247867#EM#
« back print print