Friday 29 June 2018

Pipistrel Aircraft of New Zealand (3) - Tauruses

I include the Pipistrel Taurus here because it registered as Class 2 Microlight.  The Taurus is stated to be a side by side ultralight powered glider but I am not sure what this means as there are similar weight 2 seater gliders registered on the Glider Register.

Actually, the Taurus is quite interesting as it is a side by side 2 seater powered glider with a dual wheel undercarriage.  That makes it quite practical for self launching.  The original engine was a 50 HP two stroke, and this was followed by a 40 HP electric motor.  You can even get a glider trailer with solar panels which keeps the batteries charged!

The specifications for the Taurus are:  length 7.27 metres, wingspan 14.97 metres with an aspect ratio of 18.6 and a best glide ratio of 41 to 1.  Construction is all composite which gives an empty weight of 285 Kg (306 Kg for the Electro model), and the MAUW is 472 Kg.

We have had one of each engine type of Taurus in New Zealand to date.

ZK-GSU (c/n 035T503), a Taurus 503, was first registered to Ricco Legler of Russsell on 18/3/09.  Ownership changed quickly to the Kaahu Trust of Russell (also Ricco Legler) on 21/3/09.  The glider was sold to the Tauranga Gliding Club on 5/11/15 to make way for Ricco's next Taurus.

ZK-GEL2 (c/n 147 TAel), a Taurus Electro, was registered to the Kaahu Trust of Russell on 23/11/15.  It was based at Kaikohe where the above photo was taken.  Tragically the glider crashed near Kaikohe on 16/11/17 killing Ricco Legler.  ZK-GEL2 was cancelled from the register on 9/1/18.

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