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An eta in powered flight
Role Open-class sailplane
National origin Germany
Manufacturer ETA Aircraft
First flight 31 July 2000
Number built 3

The eta is a German-Italian Open Class two-seater flapped self-launching glider manufactured by ETA Aircraft. It is the highest performing glider[1].

On July 31, 2000 at 13:19 (in Cochstedt, Germany) the eta made its first flight making 2 meters of height, the second flight was the first aerotow take off flight to reach 1500 metres was at 13:58. The third flight was self powered and had no problems. The official presentation was on August 1.

Three etas have been manufactured to date. The second prototype was extensively damaged in 2003 during the spin tests required for the type certification. Both pilots parachuted to safety. The prototype was repaired and the tests completed successfully.

The glider will be produced by hand in a small series, at a rate of about three per year.

Eta is an example of a current trend in glider development in which private pilots initiate the development of new open class gliders. Currently, the private development of the Concordia sailplane promises a further elevation of lift-drag (l/D) ratio of several points.

Eta participated in a World Championship for the first time in 2003 at Leszno. The pilot Janusz Centka was able to win five days and achieved an overall second place. Good placings have also been achieved by eta in later competitions. The glider is however hampered by the current weight limitation in the Open Class, which does not allow it to fly with a sufficiently high wingloading in strong weather, to the advantage of its opponents.

Specifications (variant)

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two
  • Length: 9.84 m (32 ft 3 in)
  • Wingspan: 30.90 m (101 ft 5 in)
  • Wing area: 18.6 m² (200 ft²)
  • Aspect ratio: 51.3
  • Empty weight: 600 kg (1,320 lb)
  • Gross weight: 850 kg (1,870 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Solo 2625, 47 kW (63 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 280 km/h (175 mph)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 72


  1. ^ Handicap list 2008 of the Deutscher Aero Club - accessed 2008-08-07


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