ALES is an acronym for Altitude Limited Electric Soaring.

This contest pits electric-motor equipped sailplanes against each other by limiting the height and maximum time a motor can run. The contest requires the use of an “altitude limiter” control that goes between the speed control and the receiver. The purpose of the device is to cut off the motor at a pre-set altitude or when 30 seconds have elapsed.

There are multiple draws to having an ALES class:

  • The need for extensive ground equipment such as winches, retreivers, and golf carts is eliminated.
  • The need to allow for pop-offs is eliminated.
  • Winch capability as a necessary skill and airframe requirement is eliminated, leveling the playing field by removing the “launching contest” aspect from a thermal duration competition.