Motorgliders are horribly unreliable. When the motor runs and nothing breaks, we are justifiably astonished. We do post-flight inspections just so we have a prayer of the thing working next time. The high accident rate shows pilots don’t treat landing as plan A, because the motor works just often enough that we’re tempted to rely on it. Electrics are offered as a panacea but they have plenty of problems too. We will review some of the systemic problems that guarantee we have unreliable machines, with plenty of example failures, and offer some ideas and areas of research to potentially improve general reliability.

Slides for this presentation are available here: