Tilo Holighaus CEO of Schempp-Hirth went to WGC Benalla in January to see how the six Ventus 3s that ewere entered would perform in their first major competition. On the first official practice day Tilo cycled out to the launch point to show me and Lisa Trotter the Ventus 3, which has never been tested in a World Championship before.
Tilo talked about the development of the glider and its stand out feature, the all-new wing, with multi-dihedrals towards the wingtip and the swept back distribution of the different airfoils.
With three separate water tanks in each wing, the glider is highly configurable for different soaring conditions. Lisa asked Tilo why the V3 has a maximum wing loading of 55 kg/m2, which is below the ASP29 (57 kg/m2) or the new 15M JS3 at 60 kg/m2. Tilo explained that they considered the entire flight envelope in designing the new wing, and that 55 was the best number.
“It’s not only taking the figures, but how the glider actually flies,” Tilo said. “For us, what was extremely important was the climbing ability, not just that it climbs well, but that it feels how to find the lift. All the pilots who are flying the glider here have confirmed my own experience that when you enter turbulent air, you can feel where the centre of the thermal is. So far in this glider I have never turned to the wrong side.
“Especially here in Australia, where there are sometimes tricky conditions and blue lift, we think that is a big advantage.
“We have made dozens of comparison flights and, especially at high speeds, we are positive that the new Ventus is not only good on the figures, but also in the air.”
In the Air
Six of these new super 18m ships flew at Benalla. By the end of the contest, a JS1 flown by Killian Walbrou from France took first place, Mario Keissling from Germany took 2nd place in a Ventus 3, Mike Young 3rd in an ASG39, and the following three places were all Ventus 3s. It was a difficult competition but the V3 was a clear winner.
You can see Lisa’s interview with Tilo in full, plus a walk around the Ventus 3 at wgc2017.com or on