"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 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
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
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