The Exel: 30:1, self-launchable and a retractable propeller

Posted in December 1998

A radical new flying machine is in the final stages of development and is expected to make its first flight in December. Pierre Bouilloux has developed the new glider, the Exel, alongside sailplane designer Claude Noin, of Noin Sailplanes, Gap, France.

“The concept of this glider has always excited me,” says Pierre. “We wanted to make a motorised ultralight sailplane that was a totally self launchable glider because we know that that is what the character of such a pilot is.”

The Exel is expected to have a glide ratio of 30:1 and can be launched and landed on rough terrain. It is expected to carry a price tag similar to that of the motorised Swift, and weighs 160 kg.

The propeller, which folds away for efficiency once soaring, is behind the pilot who enjoys a comfortable reclined position. Claude Noin made the first ultralight tandem sailplane the Choucas, which was not very successful because of its odd looks.

Both Pierre and Claude say they won’t be too bothered if they sell many Noin Exels, saying that the fun has been in its conception, but a lot of pilots have already reserved their machines.


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