On October, 8, 2005 the first flight of a powered sailplane AL-12M
with a retractable power-unit took place. The sailplane was piloted
by its chief design engineer and the Aerola company top-pilot
Nikolay Kononenko. The AL-12M has been brought to the take-off
field on a car roof rack. Within an hour and a half the sailplane
was rigged up and prepared for tests.
A flying tests program started with taxiing and trial take-off.
The power-unit based on Solo-210 engine (16 horse-power) provides
for self-taxiing on a field, take-off and acceptable climb rate.
During the first day six flights have been performed. The sailplane
demonstrated excellent stability and controllability. Also in the
air the engine stop and restart as well as the propeller centering
have been checked. The power-unit was fixed in a released position.
An in-flight retraction and extension of the power-unit will soon