Last update 28 November 2015
Other sailplane jet conversion frequently asked questions:
Q: Can I convert my current piston/prop motorglider to a jet self-launcher?
A: Possibly. Many current motorgliders (even some sustainer-only motorgliders) have enough room in the engine compartment for a retractable jet system. Each type will have to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, as there may be other issues, such as fuel location and amount, control system interference and tail temperature. Click here to see the BonusJet project development. (use your browser's back button to return to this page)
Expect the cost to be at least $80K.
Q: Can I convert my current unpowered glider to a jet self-launcher?
A: Possibly. It may be possible to convert a non-powered glider to jet self-launch capability, but the design effort required to assure a safe installation may not be practical. Extensive modification to the airframe would be required, and the cost could prove prohibitive. We have installed a PBS TJ-100 engine in a fixed (non-retractable) configuration on our Salto glider specifically for airshow performances, but this was a substantial effort. Click here to see the Salto project development. (use your browser's back button to return to this page)
Q: Can I convert my airplane or ultralight to jet power?
A: Probably not. To be effective, a jet aircraft needs to be lightweight, low drag and relatively fast. Sailplanes, while not particularly fast (by airplane standards) are low weight and low drag. because of the low engine run time required, they work well for jet power. Most light airplanes or ultralights are either too heavy, too 'draggy' or too slow to be good candidates for jet power. Weight and balance considerations,and exhaust clearance may also preclude jet installation.