Coupe Icare 2010, a glider disintegrated in flight, a wing passes a few hundred meters of a paragliding and helicopter emergency preparedness supposed to demonstrate his talents could achieve in the real
Watch this future Darwin Award winner turn his gorgeous foot-launched sailplane it confetti and rain bits down on the other pilots and spectators.
O.k. It looks like that was Roger Rupert, son of Ernst, the President of Archaeopteryx or Philippe Bernard who blew up their expensive foot-launched sailplane. The following blurb is off their web site.
Archaeopteryx am Coupe Icare in Saint Hilaire, F
18. + 19.September 2010: Philippe Bernard und Roger Ruppert fliegen mit zwei Archaeopteryx gemeinsam Vorführungen unmittelbar vor und nach dem berühmten Maskerade Wettbewerb der Gleitschirm- und Deltaflieger. Ca. 11:00 und 15:30.
In my effort to gain fluency in French, I've been reading french free flight web sites for the last couple of years, and one of them now says it was Philipe Bernard, and the unit was specially reinforced for aerobatics, and it was an Archeopteryx
I also came across this very cool video on the Archeoptyrix, which gives a fantastic insight into the project. It's in French, and the video has a lot more commentary than the article, but not much more substance.
It has some embed code, but I'm not sure how to use it. Worth watching the other video too: L'ingénieur voltige (Aerobatic engineer) it's about autonomously-controlled model planes with cameras
The article translates:
- - - -
It's possible to footlaunch a sailplane. Halfway between a paraglider, sailplane and hanglider, the Archaeopteryx is a flying machine invented and built in Switzerland. Philipe Bernard (the pilot) has done it all... Flown everything. In '85 he opened one of the first Paragling schools in the world in Verbier. HG, PG, skydiving or sailplanes, free flying machines no longer have any mysteries for him. So, when he tested the Archaeopteryx for the first time last May, he was more than seduced (enticed)
No more than 4 or 5 steps and off! there you are in the air. "Its the most comfortable, coolest, and most successful of all the wings that have been made up til now" , said the pilot in command of the controls. You can roll, then turn while climbing, like one would with a paraglider, in some small gullies (i think... literally: aisles) close to the slope, and launch and land in the same spots and conditions as HG. In the end you can think about and manage your flight like a sailplane pilot with very big flights (literally : walks) of 2-300 ks per day.
(It's) a hybrid machine, with a glide angle that beats all the records. In aviation, glide angle represents the number of meters traversed for every meter of descent. PG max of 10:1, HG max of 15:1 and Archaeopteryx up to 28:1.
This little jewel is entirely Swiss made, in Wald, Zurich Canton, more exactly. It took more than 9 yrs for Roger Ruppert to design/build it and make it avialable for sale. "We've already sold 8 or 9, but only three have been built to this day" said Roger... It takes three months to make one of them.
Nearly entirely made of carbon fiber and kevlar, the machine weighs barely 60 kilos, required for footlaunching. But these materials, while light and durable are very expensive, and it's all hand-made. That means that this liitle gem is not within reach of everybody's pocketbook: 100'000 francs ( = $100,000)!!!!
Roger Ruppert inherited his passion from his ftaher, Ernst, 64 y.o., who still works in the family business. It'll soon be 40 years that he's been building airplanes.
We started building some machines in '71, during our free time, at the back of a small garage, he recalls, and while we worlked on the Colibri, (the first machine built by Rupert), we found that with the new very-light materials, it must have been possible to carry an airplane by yourself and footlaunch. The idea was not new, but it would take more than a generation to make it happen.
Today, there five in the small biz, father son and wife included, The Archaeopteryx is not yet profitable, but Ernst Ruppert's gamble is won.
I also came across this very cool video..............
Thanks Franklin! Nouvelles Tendances & Technologies is a fascinating video channel from Radio Television Suisse. Even though I only speak Americanese the videos are so well edited and the narrator yells so loud that I can sort of get what he's saying. BTW - Their video editor is nuts!
Large breaks in continuity, slow spin entry... and most importantly pretty hard pull up on the first loop... if he pulled up that hard on the second, with more speed, I'm not surprised by the outcome...
At first I read the French website as implying that maybe the existing glider that broke was reinforced... but on rereading it, I think it was stock and one of his buddies is suggesting he order a new one specially reinforced for aero.
"there's nothing left to do but to order himself a new Archaeopteryx specially reinforced for some new adventures..."
doesn't mean that the existing one was reinforced.
The pilot was an owner I think, not from the factory... at 100k, Yikes!!!
il ne te reste plus qu'à commander un nouvel Archaeopteryx renforcé spécial accro pour de nouvelles aventures
It looked to me like it was over placard speed on the last one..........
I'm sure it was, Tim. When Ruppert made their promo video they made a point to talk up their ballistic recovery system. Too bad Mark Smith didn't have one on his excellent performing Wanderer or George Worthington may have gone on to set many new records.