Gliding and Motorgliding Magazine
The online magazine community for glider pilots worlwide
Home News Features Stories Shopping Gliding Photos IGC Editor - Val Brain
  The Alisport Silent  
  By Dean Carswell
Issue 11/2003

 
 

Dean, for many years an instructor and the Soaring Society of America's Chief Master Instructor, assesses this new, simple self-launcher. Until very recently the President of the Auxiliary-powered Sailplane Association and soon to become Chairman of the SSA, he has more than 3000 glider hours, holds a Gold badge with two Diamonds and has flown over 130 different makes and models of gliders

"Delightful" - my first word after taxying the Silent in from the runway. Its small wingtip wheels and a steerable tailwheel linked to the rudder make taxying, even long distances at relatively high speeds, very practical. The Silent - IN really is fully independent: it needs no towing, wing walking, or tip running at take-off. It is one of the group of new "lite" self-launched single-seater sailplanes now becoming available. This includes the AviaStroitel Russia AC-5M, the Cavok 10 and the Apis M 15m, all with 15 metre span or less, and under 700lb/318kg gross weight.

The new Silent 2 with elliptical wings. Photos sent by Leo Benetti-Longhini, Alisport's North American representative.

The take-off.

The Silent comes in two models - the original 39.37ft/12m span sailplane currently in production, now known as the Silent Club, and the new 42.65ft/13m span Silent 2 presently under test. My flights, reported here, were in the earlier 12m model. Both are of all-composite (carbon and glass-fibre) construction, control surfaces included, with fixed landing gear and a max. gross weight of only 100%lb/290kg. For the 12m Silent, this represents a nominal payload (including fuel) of 265lb/120kg.

 

The Silent-IN is also available as a quick-build kit.

The original - IN is one of three related 12 metre designs of Italian manufacturer Alisport, a relative newcomer, which is backed by a substantial Italian industrial company. The other two are the unpowered Silent, and the innovative Silent - AE1 battery powered sailplane, the first series produced sailplane ever to launch itself using its own electric powerplant.

All models except the - AE1 are available as completed ships or as fully documented kits. More details can be found at this website.

The 13m Silent 2 has a new carbon fibre elliptical wing, which is also designed to be retrofitted to the earlier 12m models. It has some changes to the trim and flaperon contr