Stemme Returns To AirVenture With Two Motorgliders

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Stemme, a motorglider manufacturer based in Germany, returned to EAA AirVenture this week after a break of a couple years, with new management at the helm. Two longtime shareholders -- and Stemme pilots -- have increased their holdings to 70 percent of the company and they named Paul Masschelein, an engineer and experienced executive from Belgium, as the new CEO. "Stemme is here to stay," said Masschelein. "We are creating a future." The company is showing its flagship high-performance motorglider, the S10, as well as the S6, designed for touring. The S6 has been flying in Europe but is new to the U.S.

Alexander Papenberg, CEO of the U.S. subsidiary of the company, has an S6 in San Diego where he is marketing it to U.S. customers. The airplane, with a 55-foot wingspan, features two side-by-side seats, which Papenberg describes as "convivial," compared to the usual tandem seating. "You can converse without having to shout over your shoulder, you can hold hands, and enjoy the flight," he said. The S6 is designed "to go places fast," he said, with a cruising speed of 145 knots, retractable gear, and fuel consumption of five gallons per hour. The FAA requires no separate rating for motorgliders, Papenberg said. A glider pilot needs a logbook endorsement to fly the motorized aircraft, he said, but no medical certificate is required. The S6, which has a turbocharged Rotax 914 engine, sells for $390,000.