Electric is hot! Even in a dull economy with sluggish airplane sales, the spark of electric power is crackling with life. Numerous projects have been announced and organizations like EAA are making way for electric airplanes to showcase themselves at big shows like AirVenture. *** Now, from an Italian manufacturer comes the work of world champion hang glider pilot, Manfred Ruhmer, and his Icaro 2000 electric weight-shift trike. *** OK, you may be a pilot who wants structure around yourself and perhaps a glass cockpit with autopilot or the maximum speed permissible. But check out the video below. To me, it looks like a dream… very low noise (except for a whir from the prop blades — blades that fold back when you cut power); easy, one-handed flying; a low cost way to see the countryside on a pretty day. The video showed the electric-powered trike being flown by an expert but I can imagine the fun I could have with this.
You can’t argue with success. And if you do, hundreds of Icaro Laminar pilots will come out and shut you up by showing you the top of the thermal. Certainly we all know that the Laminar has shown its formidable capabilities under the guidance of Manfred Ruhmer. But what about the average pilot like you and me? Do we have a defensible position? Come along as we review the new Laminar MR 2000 and see where things stand. You’ll discover some improvements over a glider that was already pretty good (the Laminar ST). You’ll also see what makes this glider work as we catalog its high and low points. In the past few years Icaro has written the rules on handling and performance, so let’s see how they have progressed. LAMINAR GENERAL My flying on the MR 2000 consisted of a fun flight from Wallaby to Quest Air as a warm-up for the second Florida meet this year.