What is TMG in Aviation? (Touring Motor Glider)

A Touring Motor Glider (TMG) is a type of aircraft that combines the features of both a motorized airplane and a glider. It is designed to be able to take off and land using its engine, similar to a conventional airplane, but also has the ability to soar through the air without the need for constant engine power, like a glider. This unique combination allows pilots to enjoy the convenience and speed of powered flight while also experiencing the freedom and efficiency of gliding.

Touring Motor Gliders are popular among aviation enthusiasts and recreational pilots who enjoy long-distance flights, sightseeing, and exploring remote areas. They offer versatility and the ability to fly in various weather conditions due to their engine power, making them suitable for cross-country flights and even international travel. The TMG is considered a category of aircraft on its own, distinct from traditional motorized airplanes or gliders.

If you are passionate about aviation and want to experience the best of both worlds, flying a Touring Motor Glider might be the perfect choice for you. In the next sections, we will delve deeper into the key features, advantages, and technical aspects of TMGs, providing you with a comprehensive understanding of this fascinating aircraft.

Key Features of a Touring Motor Glider

A Touring Motor Glider typically has the following key features:

  • Engine: A TMG is equipped with a small piston engine, usually in the range of 80 to 120 horsepower. The engine provides power for takeoff, climb, and cruise, as well as backup power in case of emergencies. The engine can be turned on and off during the flight, allowing the pilot to switch between powered and gliding flight modes as desired.
  • Retractable Propeller: To enhance aerodynamic efficiency during gliding, TMGs are equipped with a retractable propeller. When the engine is turned off, the propeller can be retracted, reducing drag and allowing the aircraft to glide through the air more efficiently.
  • Wings: The wings of a TMG are typically long and narrow, similar to those of a glider. This design enables the aircraft to generate lift through the shape of the wings and the airflow over them, allowing for extended periods of soaring flight without the need for constant engine power.
  • Canopy: TMGs feature a canopy or cockpit enclosure, providing a comfortable and protected area for the pilot and any passengers. The canopy is usually made of transparent materials such as acrylic or polycarbonate, allowing for unobstructed views while flying.
  • Landing Gear: Touring Motor Gliders have a conventional landing gear configuration, typically with a tricycle setup consisting of two main wheels under the wings and a nose wheel or skid at the front. The landing gear is retractable, which helps reduce drag and improve aerodynamic performance during flight.

The Advantages of Flying a Touring Motor Glider

Flying a Touring Motor Glider offers several advantages compared to other types of aircraft. Here are some of the key benefits:

1. Fuel Efficiency: Due to its ability to glide through the air, a TMG can achieve impressive fuel efficiency, especially during soaring flight. Gliding allows the aircraft to harness natural energy sources such as thermals, updrafts, and ridge lift, reducing the reliance on the engine and saving fuel.

2. Range and Endurance: With a combination of engine power and gliding capabilities, a Touring Motor Glider can cover long distances and stay airborne for extended periods. Some TMGs have a range of over 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and can remain aloft for several hours without refueling.

3. Versatility: TMGs are versatile aircraft that can operate in various environments and weather conditions. With an engine onboard, pilots can take off from short runways or unimproved airstrips, making it possible to access remote areas that may not be accessible to gliders or traditional airplanes.

4. Sightseeing and Exploration: The panoramic views from the cockpit of a Touring Motor Glider are unmatched. The large canopy offers excellent visibility, allowing pilots and passengers to enjoy breathtaking scenery and observe landmarks, mountains, and coastlines from a unique perspective.

5. Training and Certification: Pilots who are already certified in other aircraft categories, such as airplanes or gliders, can usually obtain a TMG endorsement relatively easily. Transition training courses are available to help pilots familiarize themselves with the specific features and handling characteristics of TMGs.

These advantages make Touring Motor Gliders an attractive option for pilots who value efficiency, range, versatility, and the pure joy of flying in an aircraft that offers the best of both worlds.

Technical Specifications of Touring Motor Gliders

The specific technical specifications of Touring Motor Gliders can vary depending on the model and manufacturer. However, here are some commonly seen parameters:

Maximum Takeoff Weight: TMGs typically have a maximum takeoff weight ranging from 600 to 1,300 kilograms (1,320 to 2,866 pounds). This weight includes the aircraft’s empty weight, fuel, passengers, and any cargo or equipment carried on board.

Wingspan: The wingspan of a TMG can range from around 15 to 20 meters (49 to 66 feet). A longer wingspan allows the glider to generate more lift and improves its soaring capabilities.

Cruise Speed: The cruise speed of a Touring Motor Glider typically falls within the range of 180 to 250 kilometers per hour (112 to 155 miles per hour). This speed allows for efficient long-distance flights while still providing good maneuverability.

Rate of Climb: The rate of climb for a TMG is typically in the range of 3 to 5 meters per second (590 to 985 feet per minute). This measurement indicates how quickly the aircraft can ascend in altitude.

Range: The range of a Touring Motor Glider depends on factors such as fuel capacity, engine efficiency, and weather conditions. Generally, TMGs have a range of 900 to 1,500 kilometers (560 to 930 miles) on average.

These technical specifications provide a glimpse into the capabilities and performance of Touring Motor Gliders, highlighting their suitability for long-distance flights, cross-country travel, and exploration of remote areas.


Touring Motor Gliders offer a unique flying experience by combining the advantages of powered aircraft and gliders. They provide pilots with the freedom to soar through the air without constant engine power, saving fuel and enjoying breathtaking views. With their versatility, range, and endurance, TMGs are ideal for long-distance flights, sightseeing, and exploration. If you’re looking to experience the thrill and adventure of aviation, consider taking up flying a Touring Motor Glider.

For more information about Touring Motor Gliders and aviation, check out European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

For More: What is TWIP in Aviation? (Terminal Weather Information For Pilots)