Frequently Asked Questions

The overview below provides answers to a number of frequently asked questions. If you do not find the answer to your question, just send us an email and we will respond in a timely fashion.

Questions about Production | Questions about Gliders | Questions about Self-launchers

Questions about Production

How long has your company been in business and where are your facilities?
The company TeST was established in 1992 to design, develop and produce light sailplanes and powered sailplanes. Since establishment, the company has undergone continuous expansion and has moved into larger facilities with each increase in production volume. At present, the firm has its central workshops in new and modern production facilities in the Czech town of Velké Meziříčí. The company currently employs 10 people and works with numerous subcontractors.

How many aircraft have you produced?
We have thus far produced more than 200 aircraft.

How long does it take to manufacture such aircraft?
The production process itself takes 3 months. We are able to deliver a new plane to a customer within a 7-8 month period after the placement of an order. We however are able to adjust the delivery date according to customer requirements to a certain extent.

May I come and see your workshops?
Yes. If you make an appointment, we will be happy to give you a tour of our production plant in Velké Meziříčí.

How do I pay for ordered aircraft?
The customer pays 30% of the sale price upon signature of the sales agreement, 40% is to be paid 3 months prior to the delivery date and the remaining 30% is paid upon delivery. Alternatives to the typical payment procedure can be arranged on an individual basis.

Questions about Gliders

Can you compare your gliders to the gliders of other manufacturers?
That is a very difficult question. One thing to remember is that the same laws of physics apply to all gliders. All modern UL gliders with a 15m wing span offer roughly the same performance and so if some claim sounds too good to be true, it probably is. You will not probably not be able to get a 1:50 glide ratio from a glider with a 10m wing span or a 1:40 ratio from a dual seat glider with a 15m wing span. Every manufacturer will have strong and weak points in their design, depending on what tradeoffs they make in the design process. Purchasing a glider is not a trivial proposition. It is important to go through the information concerning all available types of gliders carefully and compare their features, to ask questions of experienced pilots and to use your “horse-sense”, financial reasoning and aesthetic feeling. We believe that our gliders will win you over in all these respects.

Which glider is right for me?
That is a question that you only you can answer. Which glider is right for you depends on many factors as, for example, your amount of flying experience and what you intend to achieve in flying. You would choose a certain glider for professional performance at leading international competitions or another for thermal flights for leisure purposes. We recommend that you examine various gliders and choose the one best meeting your preconceptions, objectives and nature. Our gliders offer you good performance for a reasonable price, easy handling and independent take off options.

Where can I find detailed information about your gliders?
Detailed information concerning the design, specifications and sporting performance can be found on the web pages devoted to the individual types - TST-10, TST-13 a TST-14. PokudIf you do not find what you are looking for, please contact us and we will be happy to provide you with the information.

Is it possible to take a demonstration flight?
Yes. Test flights can be arranged on the dual seat TST-14 Bonus glider at a location near the Czech city of Brno. Test flights are piloted by our colleague, an experienced pilot. After ascending to a safe altitude, you will be able to pilot the plane yourself.

What instrumentation do you offer on your aircraft?
During the completion of production, the aircraft will be fitted with instrumentation according to the specification provided by the customer in the binding order. If you select instruments from the list of recommended components, we will order the instrumentation and test it prior to delivery. We can also fit aircraft with instrumentation that you supply as long as it is delivered to us at least two months prior to aircraft testing. The dashboard allows for the installation of both modern digital integrated instrumentation, for example Brauninger AlphaMFD, and classic 57mm instrumentation. Various dashboard configurations appear in the photogalery.

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 and the rear canopy is removable (weight of 2kgs). The TST-13 has a canopy that pivots at the rear.

Is a tinted canopy available?
The clear canopy is standard but tinted canopies are available upon request. All canopies have UV inhibitors.

What testing has been performed on your gliders?
All of our aircraft have undergone inspection and verification testing according to required regulations. Testing was carried out in cooperation with the Institute of Aerospace Engineering of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at VUT Brno. The wing failed at 164% of the load limit. Click here for the full report.

Can your gliders be tied down outside?
If the glider is to be left unattended, we recommend one wing tip be held on the ground with a webbing strap or soft rope attached to a ground anchor point or peg, taking care not to place excessive loads on the wingtip or winglets. If rain is expected, we recommend covering the cockpit, the tail and the dive brake areas of both wings to prevent the entry of rainwater. If high winds are anticipated we do not recommend our aircraft be left outside, due to the lightweight nature of their construction.

Can your gliders be launched by aerotow?
Yes. Even behind UL aircraft. We should point out here that this cannot be done by pilots with a solo ultralight license.

Can your gliders take off using a towing winch?
No. Take off using winches would put excessive load on the airframe. Our gliders even do not have such attachments in the barycenter.

What kind of rescue system do you install?
We supply our gliders with an optional BRS system made by STRATOS. The BRS system is designed to save a pilot's life in the event of a structural failure or other serious emergency situations. The BRS system can save a pilot even in situations and at such altitudes for which a personal rescue parachute would not be of help.
The ejection parachute must be repacked every 5 years and should be replaced every 15 years. The lifecycle of the pyrotechnic activator is 30 years. The descent rate with the rescue parachute is approximately 6m/s.

What is the size of the main tire?
The main wheel of the TST-10 is 300x100 mm and the size for the TST-14 is 350x100 mm. Both are housed in a swinging spring mounted fork. The TST-14 has an additional 250x80 mm unsprung wheel forward of the main wheel. The TST-13 has a main landing gear with two wheels (300x100 mm) on a flexible dural leg.

Is a retractable landing gear available?
There is the retractable landing gear on TST-10MB and we are developing landing gear for TST-14

What is the roll rate?
The TST-10 will roll 90 degrees in 2.7 seconds. The TST-14 will roll 90 degrees in 3.5 seconds.

What is the interior width of the cockpit?
The interior width of the cockpit is 64 cm for all models.

What type of brake is used?
A cable actuated drum brake is used on the main gear.

Is a steerable tailwheel available?
The tail landing gear is provided with a turnable tailwheel with dimensions of 80x30 mm for the TST-10 and the TST-14 and 120x30mm for the TST-13. For the TST-14, the tailwheel is used only for ground manipulation without a pilot seated inside. With a pilot inside the TST-14, the CG is between the main and front wheels. The TST-14 is still very maneuverable with a pilot due to the large rudder area and the fact that the propeller prop blast strikes this rudder area.

Are custom paint jobs available?
The top of the wings, horizontal stabilizer and fuselage should remain white or a light color due to the detrimental effects of the heating of the fiberglass in direct sunlight. Our gliders come with decorative labels on the sides of the fuselage. Alternative patterns and colors can be arranged on an individual basis.

How many people does it take to rig a 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. Each wing of a TST-10 and a TST-13 weighs 32 kg while each wing of a TST-14 weighs 40 kg.

What is the wing spar made of?
Our gliders are fully composite with the wing spars 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.

Are wing tip extensions available?
Tip extensions are not currently available as this would require significant redesign of the wing due to different load distribution.

Can trailers be purchased for your gliders?
Yes. We have custom-made trailers available for all our aircraft. In addition, most glider trailers can be modified to transport our gliders.

Questions about Self-launchers

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.

What is the climb performance?
The rate of climb for the TST-10 it is approximately 3 m/s while for the TST-14 it is approximately 2.5 m/s fully loaded. The rate of climb for the TST-13 with the Rotax 447 engine is about 4 m/s while it is excess of 6 m/s for the Rotax 503.

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 3,000 flights, which in most cases is more than 10 years. Because the Rotax line of engines is widely used, parts and maintenance will not be a problem.

Should a nose hook be installed on a self-launcher?
There are numerous advantages for having a nose hook installed. The main advantage is allowing ground towing by a vehicle. Other benefits include offering an alternative means of launching in situations when, for example, local airfield conditions do not allow use of the engine or the engine becomes non-operational for some reason (e.g. lack of fuel).

What is the minimum field length recommended for a self-launcher?
A 500 m long field is more than adequate in most cases. Of course, this will be pilot-dependent. The take-off roll is less than 200 meters at the sea level with standard temperatures. This roll may be significantly longer if the ground is very soft, if there is very long grass, if temperatures are high or if at higher altitudes. The field length will also depend on what obstacles are in the take-off flight path. The landing roll is generally shorter than the take-off roll.
Is it possible to upgrade a glider to a self-launcher at a later date?
Yes, it is possible to add an engine to a motorless glider. Engine installation is much easier if the glider is prepared for future motorization during production.

Can I fly a self-launcher mostly on engine power?
Self-launchers are mainly designed for gliding although this is possible. The design of the propulsion unit also enables longer flights that make possible long distance movement to areas with thermal activity and descent. The lengths of motorized flights can be significantly lengthened through dolphin style flights during which the pilot uses engine power to ascend to higher altitudes, then shifts the engine and glides freely with minimum descent, declutches the engine again at a safe altitude and repeats this procedure as needed.

Does the engine deliver sufficient power for all onboard electric devices?
The Rotax engines can generate 155W of electrical power, allowing almost any electrical instrument to run off engine power when the engine is operating in addition to providing battery recharging. The battery has a capacity of 14 Ah and can thus supply electrical power during motorless flight. Because the battery is not recharged during motorless flight, it has to be recharged on the ground for longer flights or greater power consumption by onboard devices. Some pilots prefer the installation of a secondary gel battery, which can be combined with the primary battery to feed energy demanding instruments such as GPS or radio. This preserves energy in the primary battery for engine retraction and detraction during flight. This accessory is highly recommended.

What type of fuel and oil are required for your self-launchers?
Both types of engines, the Rotax 447 and 503, use regular 91 or 95 octane unleaded gas mixed with quality oil for two-stroke engines at a ratio of 1:50.

Can the engine be started before the pylon is fully raised?
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 not in the proper position.

Can the engine be started with the blade stop extended?
It is absolutely impossible. The ECU does not allow the 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.

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 reduction drive of 1:2, thus giving a maximum propeller RPM of 3250.

What is the fuel tank capacity?
The TST-10 has the fuel tank with a capacity of 14 liters, enabling a 60-90 minute motorless flight. TST-10MB has 20l and TST-14 has 30l tank. The TST-13 has a fuel tank with a capacity of 36 liters, giving it an endurance in excess of 6 hours.

What performance difference is there in the TST-13 with different engines?
The Rotax 503 increases the cruising speed by approximately 10 km/h. The biggest impact is in the rate of climb, with the 503 giving rates of climb of 6m/s.

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