The Arcus-J is a Schempp-Hirth Arcus M sailplane with a retractable PBS TJ-100 jet engine. As for the BonusJet, this conversion into a motor-glider was carried out by Desert Aerospace. Bob carlton made the first flight on September 29, 2016.
A memorable flight
On October 14, 2016, an interesting flight was made : Launching from Inyokern (CA) at sunrise, Dennis Tito (Arcus-J owner) and designer/copilot Bob Carlton powered up to 8,000 MSL and found the wave. Over eight hours and 1,175 km later, they landed after the first significant long soaring flight in a jet-powered sailplane. This first ‘real’ long soaring flight demonstrated the jet sailplane’s ability to optimize soaring conditions.
As Bob wrote after this flight : " It confirms the advantages of a simple, reliable, low drag (~38:1 with engine extended) engine system that can be started at high altitude after hours of cold-soaking, and run fast enough to push through the winds ".
Arcus M General characteristics
|Capacity||185 kg||(407) water ballast|
|Length||8.73 m||(28.64 ft in)|
|Wingspan||20.00 m||(65.62 ft in)|
|Wing area||15.6 m2||(167.9 ft2)|
|Empty weight||430 kg||(948 lb)|
|Gross weight||800 kg||(1764 lb)|
|Maximum speed||280 km/h||(174 mph)|
|Maximum glide ratio||50|
|Rate of sink||0.56 m/s||(110 ft/min)|
Arcus-J Test Flight Statistics
|Best climb speed||80 - 95||knots|
|Climb rate solo (DA 7500')||630||ft/min|
|Climb rate dual (DA 8000')||535||ft/min|