Akaflieg Darmstadt D-39

The Akaflieg Darmstadt D-39 was a single seat motor glider derived from the D-38 sailplane. Built in Germany in the late 1970s, it was not intended for production and only one was constructed.

Role Motor glider
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Akaflieg Darmstadt
First flight 28 June 1979
Number built 1
Developed from Akaflieg Darmstadt D-38

Design and development

The D-39 was a motorised version of the D-38 sailplane, with wings moved down from the latter's shoulder-wing position to the bottom of the fuselage. A Limbach SL 1700 flat four engine was conventionally mounted in the nose; the propeller could be removed but not folded away in flight. The wings, with 4° of dihedral, tail and monocoque fuselage were formed from glass fibre balsa sandwiches and the ailerons from glass fibre/Klégécel foam sandwiches. The D-38 had an all moving T-tailplane, fitted with a Flettner tab. It landed on a retractable monowheel, fitted with a drum brake and assisted by a small, fixed tailwheel.[1]

The D-39 was first flown on 28 June 1979.[1] By July 1982 it had been modified into the D-39b, with a greater span, revised wing roots and fitted with a three bladed Hoffmann Propeller airscrew with three blades and three pitch positions. The D-39 was not further developed nor put into production.[2]


Original version
Same aircraft modified with greater span, revised roots and a new propeller.

Specifications (D-39)

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1981/2[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 7.15 m (23 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.00 m (49 ft 3 in)
  • Height: 1.02 m (3 ft 4 in) over fuselage, not tail
  • Wing area: 11.00 m2 (118.4 sq ft) gross
  • Aspect ratio: 20.5
  • Airfoil: Wortmann FX-61-184 at root, FX-60-126 at tip
  • Empty weight: 370 kg (816 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 470 kg (1,036 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 35 L (9.25 US gal; 7.7 Imp gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Limbach SL 1700E flat four, 51 kW (68 hp)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed


  • Maximum speed: 280 km/h (170 mph, 150 kn)
  • Stall speed: 80 km/h (50 mph, 43 kn)
  • Maximum glide ratio: 36 best, without propeller at 84 km/h (52 mph; 45 kn)
  • Rate of sink: 0.7 m/s (140 ft/min) minimum, without propeller at 105 km/h (65 mph; 56.5 kn)
  • Wing loading: 42.0 kg/m2 (8.6 lb/sq ft) Maximum


  1. Taylor, John W. R. (1981). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1981-1982. London: Jane's Information Group. pp. 575, 598–9. ISBN 0710607059.
  2. Taylor, John W. R. (1985). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1985-1986. London: Jane's Information Group. p. 734. ISBN 0-7106-0821-7.

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