Aerobility Markets Grob G109B Able
First enhanced Grob G109B ‘Able’ was showcased at AERO Friedrichshafen and will be present at AeroExpo at Cotswold Airport, 16-18 June.
At the AERO Friedrichshafen show in Germany at the end of April, Aerobility, the UK’s leading aviation charity offering disabled people — “without exception” — the opportunity to fly, celebrated the first public display in Europe of its new aircraft type, the Grob G109B Able.
The charity will be both operating the aircraft within its fleet, as well as marketing and selling this enhanced model commercially, in collaboration with Grob Aircraft and Southern Sailplanes in the UK.
Aerobility’s CEO Mike Miller-Smith MBE said: “This impressive and versatile motorglider…with a proven design and the latest propulsion and avionics technology, not only is this a reliable fun aircraft, it is also sustainable and cost-effective – perfect for leisure owner pilots but also for gliding clubs and training organisations.”
John Hamshare, Event Manager for AeroExpo 2022, said: “We are looking forward to Aerobility exhibiting at AeroExpo at Cotswold Airport following its success in April at AERO Friedrichshafen.”
The Ultimate Aircraft Recycling Project
The Grob G109B is the ultimate repurposing project – bringing grounded military training Grob G109B motorgliders back to life for society’s benefit. With a complete airframe overhaul, state-of-the-art Garmin avionics and options, new Rotax engine and MT Propeller, the Able’s performance and handling is radically enhanced, while the fuel consumption is significantly reduced.
The latest fuel-injected Rotax 912 iSc fuel-efficient engine is certified to run on sustainable vehicle fuel such as E10 resulting in lower carbon emissions. The glider design and MT-Prop hydraulic constant speed propeller also brings highly efficient operations.
“This updated and re-certified variant of the tried, tested and much-loved Grob G109B and its military derivative The Vigilant makes for an exciting and sustainable way to take to the skies,” added Miller-Smith.
David Pilkington, the first independent customer of the G109B, took delivery of the first aircraft in March and is now flying the aircraft out of Blackpool Airport in the UK. “The G109B is a fantastic aeroplane for my needs, a competent comfortable touring aircraft with the engine on, and an easy to fly sailplane with good performance with the engine off.”
Aubrey Waugh, Head of Customer Support and Services, Grob Aircraft, added: “We are pleased to support and collaborate with Aerobility to return these iconic Grob aircraft to flight for the next generation to enjoy.”
Miller-Smith commented at the Friedrichshafen show: “The Honour Roll of organisations which have facilitated and enabled this unique project is incredible, and many of these organisations are participating or visiting at Aero themselves including Rotax, MT-Propeller, Garmin, Kanardia, Hayward Aviation, and Close Brothers. [The show organisers] themselves have also been hugely supportive, donating our exhibition participation at the show.”
“Aerobility exists to change lives through the magic of flight. We are very proud to present this new aircraft type which will deliver magic to its owners while also supporting disabled aviation. We only have a fixed amount of these aircraft to sell and we hope interest at AERO will be high.”
Tobias Bretzel, Show Director of AERO Friedrichshafen, said: “The aircraft fits perfectly to our main topic of the 2022 edition which is sustainable aviation and our new AERO sustainable aviation trail.”
The aircraft flew directly from Aerobility’s HQ in Blackbushe, Surrey, UK by Aerobility Chief Instructor Mike Owen before positioning on display at AERO in Hall A5.
About Project Able
Project Able is a UK Government-backed programme that was launched last year and is centred on upgrading 60 former military training aircraft and repurposing them for societal use, including disabled flying.
The overhauled and adapted airframes will help around 2,600 disabled people take to the skies yearly with Aerobility, compared with the current 1,000 who receive training.
UK Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps, a private pilot himself, backed the initiative, highlighting the life changing opportunities and unrivalled confidence boost Aerobility offers disabled pilots.
Project Able is supported by a stellar team of advisors and sponsors including Hayward Aviation, NATS, Grob Aircraft, Southern Sailplanes, the UK CAA, Garmin, CFS Aero, Brinkley Aerospace, Kanardia, Airborne Composites and Saywell International. For further information please visit: www.g109able.org
Aerobility is based at Blackbushe Airport in the UK and is present at various events around the UK and beyond. It will be presenting its annual Armchair Airshow from London Biggin Hill Airport on Saturday 28th May. For further information about the charity please visit www.aerobility.com.