A sailplane is a type of a glider aircraft generally used in the sports and leisure activity. The sports of flying sailplane is referred to as soaring. Sailplane is an aerodynamically designed aircraft developed with a high lift-to-drag ratio. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, sailplane is defined as a heavier-than-air fixed-wing aircraft which is supported by the dynamic reaction of the air against its lifting surfaces during flight, and is not principally dependent on an engine. A sailplane is designed to fly and gain altitude from the natural force such as thermal and ridge lift. Sailplanes are also equipped with engines to sustain and enable the level flight in area of descending air flow.
The overall performance of the sailplane primarily depends on the various design parameters such as aerodynamic efficiency, flight mechanics, material used, aircraft structure, etc. Sailplanes are generally made from made of lightweight high strength materials such as carbon fiber or glass fiber. Sailplanes are predominantly used in the sports and leisure activity and military applications. In military sailplane are used train cadets the fundamentals of flights. Further, the advancement in computational methods and development of modern aerodynamic concept are some of the key factors aiding sailplane manufacturers to improve overall performance and increasing the lift to drag ratio.
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Sailplane Market: Dynamics
Increasing traction for the sports and recreational activities backed by increasing living standards along with rise in per capita income and increasing disposable income is considered to be one of the prime driving factor for the growth of sailplane market during the forecast period. Further, increasing traction local and international gliding competition across various countries such as World Gliding Championships is expected to be another factor driving the growth of sailplane market. The global sailplane market is expected to expectance healthy growth particularly in developed regions over the forecast period.
The market participants across the sailplane universe are focused on innovation and designing robust structure to improve the handling and overall performance of sailplane. Furthermore, the sailplane manufacturers are also endeavoring to improve the safety while landing and improve the effectiveness of airbrake system. Although the sailplane market is considered to have a healthy growth outlook during the forecast period, one of the key challenge faced by the sailplane manufacturers is high manufacturing cost and lower profit margins. Moreover, the industry is also expected to have significant impact owing to regulatory bodies such as Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), Federal Aviation Administration and International Gliding Commision (IGC) among others.
Sailplane Market: Segmentation
On the basis of number of seats, the global Sailplane can be segmented into:
- Single Seater
- Double Seater
On the basis of Power Source, the global Sailplane can be segmented into:
- Electric Powered
- Gasoline Powered
On the basis of wing span, the global Sailplane can be segmented into:
- Less than 18 meters
- 18 meters – 20 meters
- More than 20 meters
On the basis of end use, the global Sailplane can be segmented into:
- Sports & Leisure Activity
Sailplane Market: Regional Overview
Europe is expected to dominate the global sailplane market and is expected to witness healthy growth during the forecast period. The European sailplane market is dominated by Germany owing to high prevalence of soaring and air sports activities. North America sailplane market is expected to follow the European market in terms of market size and the region is expected to witness healthy growth during the forecast period. Asia Pacific is expected to emerge as an opportunistic market for sailplane during the forecast period particularly owing to increasing disposable income and changing demographic trend driving sports and leisure activities such as soaring. Furthermore, Latin America led by Brazil and Mexico is expected to have positive growth prospect for the global sailplane market participants.
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Sailplane Market: Market Participants
The global sailplane market is a fairly consolidated with most of the manufacturers located in Europe particularly in Germany. Examples of some of the market participants identified across the value chain of the global Sailplane market includes:
- Alexander Schleicher GmbH
- DG Flugzeugbau GmbH
- Schempp-Hirth Flugzeug-Vertriebs GmbH
- ALISPORT SRL
- Lange Aviation GmbH
- HPH sailplanes Ltd.