Stemme S-10VT Glider

What if you could buy a plane that cruised at 140 knots (almost 160 mph), was a piece of beautiful functional art, had an amazing safety feature allowing the plane to sail on for as much as 100 miles after it ran out of gas, and that you could be licensed to fly with much less effort than it takes to get a regular private pilot's license? Sound far fetched? Read on. I'm describing the Stemme S-10 VT Motor Glider.

I had a chance to view one of these amazing aircraft first hand when it visited the local airport at Watsonville. A friend had arranged a test ride in it, and I have to say I was extremely impressed with the beauty and flexibility of the amazing aircraft. My 7 year old son, Bobby, observed that he really liked this plane because it, "Didn't need to crash when it ran out of gas". I thought this was a pretty pithy deduction for a fellow of his limited aeronautical experience. In fact, I thought this was one of the trickest airplanes I'd seen in a long time. It had that, "Now for something completely different," feel about it. Of course its probably no big deal to the glider guys, but I've been hanging out with the prop gang and most of our planes are WWII-era designs!

Aside from the folding prop, the wings fold back near the fueselage to make it possible to fit this crazy bird into normal width spaces. The engine is turbocharged, so you can really climb high.

I really have got to get a ride in one of these things some day soon. Gotta get the pilot's license first, though!

Bobby gets his first look at the Stemme and likes what he sees!

Warning Propeller? What propeller? I don't see no steenking propeller!

Hold on there Andy, where did that thing come from?

The propellor pops out when you start the engine. Otherwise, it is stowed inside the nose cone to reduce drag while gliding.

Here we can see the prop partially folded inside the nose cone...

Cockpit is a snug side-by-side for 2...

Dad's thinking, "Ya mean I don't have to pass a medical to fly this thing?"

How do you start this damn thing? Bill's ready to fly!

Going...

Going...

Going...

Gone!

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All material 2001-2006, Robert W. Warfield.