We were eager to try how the Taurus would cope with the demands of travelling by glider. So we rented one from www.taurus-charter.de. In 5 days we flew appox. 24hours and 1300km.
- Mengen (start and finish)
- Koblenz Winningen
- Burg Feuerstein
We had a great time as you can see in the daily blog entries (scroll down).
Here I just summarize our thoughts on the Taurus from the travelling by glider point of view (DMST-Index 99, Engine Rotax 503 with 50hp, technical data link):
- Very comfortable, also for large pilots
- Flying it feels nice
- Lots of space for luggage
- Easy to taxi due to the stearable tail wheel and two main wheels
- Good ventilation
- Engine (has the new carburator type) started always without any trouble
- Easy to rig due to light weigt wings (42kg) and automatic control surface connections
- Easy ground handling, nobody has to hold the wing
- Side by side is lots of fun
- 15m fitted good in the hangars for the night; the newest version can also be ordered with splited wings, where the span on the ground can be reduced to 11.2m.
- In case of stormy weather during the trip and no space in the hangar, derigging would be easy. There is no need for a fusalage support due to the two wheels
- (Nether cold feet due to large glas canopy)
- Little higher min. sinking speed of 0.7m/s than common gliders
- Due to the low cloud base in the first days we would have appreciated a better gliding ratio. Stephan from taurus-charter.de says it is comparable to a Std Cirrus, but a little better beween 130km/h and 150km/h
- UL registration does not allow to start on all airports, especially many German "Segelfluggelände". More careful planing is necessary.
- UL MTOW limit of 472.5kg limits the payload when flying with two pilots. In the US the MTOW is about 550kg, hopefully the new 600kg rule in the EU will also result in more payload for the Taurus
- When thermaling with other gliders, the pilot sitting on the right can not see the gliders below when they circle left and vice versa. When flying with two people it's is OK, because the other pilot has visual contact.
- Main bolts have to be secured with extra screw and nut connection, takes extra time during rigging.
- It takes some time to get used to the trim control handle position, which is in the center relativly far aft
- No towing hook leaves no backup option for starting in case the engine does not work properly
Conclusion: We loved it.... but were missing 3-5 more gliding ratio points...
If you would like to test the Taurus together with an instructor you can ask Jan from the www.born-2-fly.de flight school located north of Dresden.