We have answered many of the most commonly asked questions in our frequently asked list. If you do not find the answer here, just send an e-mail to us and we will respond in a timely fashion.
Questions about the factory:
Self launcher questions:
Delivery and operations in the United States:
Questions about the factory:
Q: How long have you been in business and what are your facilities?
The Czech company TeST was established in the year 1992 to design, develop and produce light sailplanes, powered sailplanes and airplanes. In order to meet increasing demand, in late November 2002 TeST moved into a new workshop in Velke Mezirici. Currently the company has a staff of 17 employees (plus a couple of external cooperators).
Q: How many aircraft have you produced?
We have produced in excess of 170 aircraft.
Q: How do your gliders compare with others available?
That is a very difficult question. One thing to remember is that the same laws of physics apply to all gliders. A modern glider with 15 m span will have roughly similar performance, assuming a good design and good construction. Thus, if some claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You will probably not be able to get a 50:1 glide ratio from a glider with a wingspan of 10m. Every manufacturer will have strong and weak points in their design, depending on what tradeoffs that they make in the design process. We recommend that you do your homework, as buying a glider is not a trivial purchase. Two sources for information are the Soaring Society of America and the Auxiliary-powered Sailplane Association.
Q: Which glider is right for me?
That is a question that only you can answer. Which glider is correct for you will depend on many factors including your background and your intended use. We recommend that you do research on all of the gliders, new and used, that are available. Two good sources of information are the Soaring Society of America and the Auxiliary-powered Sailplane Association. The SSA has reviews of many gliders available to its members. The ASA has links to many glider representatives and manufacturers from which you can get information to compare to our gliders.
Q: Do you have detailed information about the various gliders available?
You can viewed detailed design specifications by clicking on the following links: TST-10, TST-13, TST-14. In addition, a CD will be available shortly that shows video information on the various gliders we offer. You can of course, contact us, to request any information which we will be glad to provide.
Q: Is a demonstrator available?
We expect to have a fully equipped TST-14 self-launcher available by the end of this year. This demonstrator will be based in Wisconsin.
Q: What instruments come with the gliders?
All of our gliders come either with a Brauniger AlphaMFD, bank indicator and compass or a set of classical 57 mm instruments including: Winter IAS meter (type 7401), altimeter (type 8035), variometer (type 8050), bank indicator (type QM II), Mikrotechna compass (type CM13), Rotax RPM meter, Westach fuel and CHT meter. All instruments can be supplied with either metric or US units. There is also room for placement of a radio. If a radio is contemplated, you may want to consider the option of having an antenna integrated into the rudder of the glider. Photos for the TST-10 showing the Brauniger and traditional installations are available.
Q: How does the canopy open?
The TST-10 has a canopy that pivots at the front. The front canopy of the TST-14 also pivots at the front. The rear canopy is either removable (weight of 2 kg) or is optionally, hinged. The TST-13 has a canopy that pivots at the rear.
Q: Is a tinted canopy available?
The clear canopy is standard but tinted canopies are available upon request. Click here for a photo of a blue canopy. All canopies have UV inhibitors.
Q: What testing has been performed your gliders?
The TST-10 was tested at the Brno University of Technology. The wing failed at 164% of the load limit. Click here for the complete report. The TST-13 is basically a modification of the TST-10, so that report will apply. We should have a report for the TST-14 available in the near future.
Do you have plans for production certification in the US?
We do not plan for a conventional type certification in the US due to the expense involved. All of TeST’s glider have been designed to conform with the LSA-glider standards which is currently in the process of being approved. Approval of the LSA-glider standard is expected by the fall of 2006. At this point, all of TeST’s gliders will be certifiable in the experimental catagory, similar to many other gliders.
Q: Can the glider be tied down outside?
Yes, the glider can be tied down without making any modifications.
Q: Is a center of gravity hook offered for ground launch?
At this time no center of gravity hook is offered - only a nose hook is available.
Q: Who makes the BRS system?
The BRS system is a Magnum soft pack. The parachute must be repacked every 5 years while the parachute should be replaced every 15 years. The lifetime of the pyrotechnic activator is 30 years. The BRS system is designed to save the life of the occupants in the case of a structural failure or other severe abnormality. The aircraft may suffer damage upon impact with the ground when the parachute is deployed. The decent rate with the parachute deployed is approximately 15 mph.
Q: What is the size of the main tire?
The main wheel of the TST-10 is 300 x 100 mm while for the TST-14, it is 350 x 100 mm. Both are housed in a swinging spring mounted fork . The TST-14 has an additional 250 x 80 mm unsprung wheel forward of the main wheel. The TST-13 has a main landing gear with two wheels (300 x 100 mm) on a flexible dural leg
Q: Is there a retractable landing gear available ?
There are currently no plans to offer a retractable landing gear.
Q: What is the roll rate ?
The TST-14 has will roll 90 degrees in 3.5 seconds
Q: What is the interior width of the cockpit?
The interior width of the cockpit is 25.2 inches for all models.
Q: What type of brake is used ?
A cable actuated drum brake is used on the main gear.
Q: Is a steerable tailwheel available?
The tail landing gear is provided with turnable tail wheel (80 x 30 mm for the TsT-10 and 14 and 120 x 30 mm for the TsT-13). For the TST-14, the tail wheel is used only for ground manipulation (without a pilot seated inside). With a pilot, the CG is between the main and front wheels. The TST-14 is still very maneuverable with a pilot in the aircraft due to the large rudder area and the fact that the propellor prop blast strikes this rudder area.
Q: Are custom paint jobs available?
The top of the wings, horizontal stabilizer and fuselage should remain white due to the detrimental effects heating of the fiberglass in the sun. The gliders come with decorative labels on the sides of the fuselage (see the various photographs of the gliders). Other patterns are available as an extra.
Q: How many people does it take to rig the glider?
Two or three persons are recommended for normal rigging/derigging. Some customers have purchased one-man rigging devices that allow rigging by a single person similar to many gliders. Each wing of a TST-10 and TST-13 weighs 32 kg while each wing of a TST-14 weighs 40 kg.
Q: What is the glider and wing spar made of?
All of our gliders are fully composite with the wing spar having a classical design similar to most gliders with a carbon composite flange plate and a web plate constructed of polyurethane foam stiffened by glass composite.
Q: What epoxy is used in the construction of you gliders?
We use L285 (epoxy) and L286 (hardener) that is widely used for composite aircraft in Europe and is available from many supply houses in the United States.
Q: What fiberglass is used in the construction of your gliders?
Most of the outside surfaces of the gliders are made from Parabeam 3d.
Q: Are wing tip extension available?
Currently tip extensions are not available. Addition of wing tip extension would require a significant redesign of the wing due to different load distributions.
Q: Have the gliders been independently tested?
Yes, the TST-10 was tested at the Brno University of Technology. The wing failed at 164% of the load limit. Click here for the complete report. The TST-13 is basically a modification of the TST-10, so that report will apply. We should have a report for the TST-14 available in the near future.
Q: Is insurance available for gliders being shipped to the United States?
All shipments are insured to the port of entry with the cost being part of the shipping fee. Shipping insurance usually costs about 0.65% of the shipping value. Upon exit from the port of entry, the owner is responsible for any insurance for the glider and/or trailer
Q: Can trailers be purchased for your gliders?
Yes, we have custom made trailers available for all of our aircraft. In addition, almost any glider trailer could be modified to use.
Self launcher and motorglider questions:
Q: What engines are available?
The TST-10 utilizes a Rotax 447 while the TST-14 uses a Rotax 503. The TST-13 comes with a choice of engines: either the Rotax 447 or 503.
Q: What is the climb performance?
The rate of climb for the TST-10 is approximately 4 m/s (800 fpm) while for the TST-14 it is 2.5 m/s (500 fpm). The rate of climb for the TST-13 with the Rotax 447 engine is about 4 m/s (800 fpm) while it is in excess of 6 m/s (1200 fpm) for the Rotax 503.
Q: How long will the engine last?
Rotax recommends a rebuild after 300 hours of operation. Since self-launching gliders use their engines very little, these 300 hours could easily translate into 3000 flights which in most cases is over 10 years. Since TeST gliders use the widely used Rotax line of engines, parts and maintenance will not be a problem in the future.
Q: Should a nose hook be installed on a self-launcher?
There are numerous advantages to having a nose hook installed. The primary advantage is allowing ground towing of the glider by a vehicle. Other benefits include offering an alternate means of launching if there is a problem with the power unit, using aerotowing for cross country retrieval of the glider and allowing people without self-launch experience to fly the glider.
Q: What is the minimum field length recommended for a self-launcher?
A 1500 ft long field is more than adequate in most cases. Of course, this will be pilot dependent. The takeoff roll is less than 600 ft at sea-level with standard temperatures. This roll may be significantly longer if the ground is very soft, if there is long grass or for high density altitudes. The actual field length will depend on what, if any, obstructions are in the takeoff flight path. The landing roll can be less than this, depending on ground conditions.
Q: Can I upgrade a glider to a self-launcher at a later date?
Yes, it can be upgraded, but if the mounting structure is installed during initial production, the upgrade process is easier.
Q: Can I fly a self-launcher mostly on engine power?
No, self-launchers are not designed for this. A self-launcher is primarily a glider with an engine that gives the glider significantly added versatility. The engine will allow flying without a large crew whenever you want. The power unit (engine, propellor etc.) is designed for limited runtime such as taxiing, launching to altitude and return to an airport. The reliability of the power unit on any self-launcher is such that it should not be relied upon in an emergency.
Q: If I install electrical instruments, can the engine provide sufficient power?
The Rotax engines used can generate 155W of electrical power, allowing almost any electrical instrument/radio package to run off of engine power when the engine is operating in addition to charging of the onboard battery(s). The battery has a capacity of 14 Ah.and can thus supply electrical power during motorless flight. However, since most of the flight is motorless (no recharging of the onboard battery), the battery may need ground charging if motor run times are low and/or electrical loads are high. Some pilots prefer installation of secondary battery for feeding of energy demanding instruments like GPS or radio allowing the primary battery to be reserved for engine extraction/retraction and engine starting.
Q: What type of fuel and oil are required for the self-launchers?
For the TST-10 and TST-13 with the Rotax 447 engine, oil is mixed with fuel at a ratio of 50:1. Unleaded premium gas not below MON 83 or RON 91. For the TST-14 or the TST-13 with the Rotax 503 engine, is mixed with fuel at a ratio of 50:1. Unleaded premium gas not below MON 83 or RON 91.
Q: Can the engine be started before pylon is fully raised, causing damage to the glider?
There are non contact position sensors on the extraction mechanism interfacing with the ECU (Engine Control Unit). The starter switch also interfaces with the ECU which, in-turn will not allow the starter to be energized with the pylon is not in the proper position.
Q: Can the engine be started with the blade stop extended, thereby damaging the propellor?
It is absolutely impossible. The ECU does not allow to engine to start unless the engine door is fully closed. The engine door drive is connected in parallel with the stopper flap drive (with the door closed, the stopper is retracted behind the prop circle).
Q: What is the maximum RPM of the engine?
Maximum power is developed at 6500 RPM for both the Rotax 447 and 503. The engines have a reduction drive of 2:1, thus giving a maximum propellor RPM of 3250.
Q: How much fuel can the self launcher carry?
The TsT-10 and TsT-14 has a fuel tank that has a capacity of 12 liters.
Q: How much fuel can the TsT-13 carry?
The TsT-13 and TST-14 has a fuel tank that has a capacity of 36 liters, giving it an endurance in excess of 6 hours.
Q: What is the L/D of the self-launcher with the pylon extended?
In this configuration, the sink rate is about 2 m/s, which corresponds to L/D about 15. Since the rate of climb with the engine operating exceeds this sink rate, the glider will always be able to return to the airport in the event of an engine failure, even if the pylon is not retracted. This allows the pilot to concentrate on flying the glider and not worry about engine retraction etc. if there is a problem.
Q: What performance difference is there in the TST-13 with the engine options?
The Rotax 503 will increase the cruise speed by about 10 km/hr. The largest impact is in the rate of climb, with the larger engine giving rates of climb of 6 m/s (1200 fpm)..
Delivery and operations in the United States:
Q: How do I register a glider in the US?
As TeST gliders do not have a standard airworthiness certificate in the United State, so at this time they will be registered as experimental - racing/exhibition. Many gliders are registered in this catagory with very few limitations on operations. The primary limitation is that the glider cannot be used for hire. All of TeST’s gliders meet the LSA-glider standard that has been approved. As the Czech Republic has a bilateral agreement with the United States, TeST gliders will be eligible for be certified as S-LSA aircraft.
Q: What is the process for registering the glider as a LSA?
The TST-10, 13 and 14 comply with the consensus standards for LSA registration. In order to register the glider, you will first have to apply for registration. This application can be done before the aircraft in physically in the US. You will need to send the following to the FAA: Application of Registration (form 8050-1), Affidavit of Ownership (form 8050-88A) and a copy of the Bill of Sale (form 8050-2). The Bill of Sale will be provided by the factory at your request. If you are registering the glider as Limited Liability Company (LLC), you are need to provide a letter showing various details of the company to the FAA. Copies of these forms showing what is required is available here.
In order to receive the airworthiness inspection, you will need to have an FAA approved DAR inspect the aircraft. You can find a list of DAR’s on the FAA’s web site. The actual inspection will not occur until the aircraft is in the US, but you should contact the DAR well in advance. You will need to provide the DAR with the following: a Program Letter requesting the inspection and various other information, the Statement of Compliance (form 8130-15) provided by the factory, Application for US Airworthiness Certificate (form 8130-6), a three view diagram of the glider, weight and balance form from the Aircraft Manual, Affidavit of Ownership (form 8050-88A) and a copy of the Bill of Sale (form 8050-2). Copies of these forms showing what is required are available here. Also, if the glider is equipped with a BRS, you must generate a notification letter to the airport manager where the glider is to be based.
Q: What forms does the factory provide upon delivery of the glider.
In order to register the glider in the United State, signed original FAA Bill of Sale and a statement of non-registration from the Czech aviation authority are required. Both of these are provided by the manufacturer. In order to register the glider as a S-LSA, the factory will also supply FAA form 8130-15, LSA Statement of Compliance and FAA form 8050-88A, Affidavit of Ownership for Experimental or Light Sport Aircraft.
Q: How long does it take to get a glider?
Due to demand, currently lead time is approximately 10 months.
Q: What training do I need to fly your gliders in the US?
For persons without a glider rating, it is recommended to pursue flight lessons at any gliderport and obtain a glider pilot's license. See the SSA website places to fly. For persons who already have a glider rating, the transition to a TeST glider is simple. A basic ground checkout is all that is needed. For the self-launching TeST gliders, a log-book endorsement (see FAR 61.31.j.1.iii) in self-launch procedures is required unless the pilot has received training and logged flights in a self-launcher prior to August 4th, 1997 (see FAR 61.31.j.2). Even if you have received training and logged flights before this date, an endorsement may be required from your insurance company.
Q: How are gliders shipped?
Gliders will be shipped in a container to the United States. Shipping is available to either coast or the Great Lakes region. Additional information on packaging for shipping is available here.
Q: Are kits of your gliders available?
At this point, the factory has not decided to sell aircraft in kit form. In order to get good performance from a glider, the surface finish must be of very high quality, which some builders would not be able to achieve..