The Glaser-Dirks DG-500, and later the DG-505, is a two-seat glider of glass-reinforced plastic and carbon fiber reinforced plastic construction, manufactured in the DG Flugzeugbau GmbH in Bruchsal, Germany. It first flew in 1987.
|A DG-505 ridge soaring in Pennsylvania U.S.A.|
|Role||Two Seater Class sailplane|
The glider is a trainer with an 18-metre wingspan or a high-performance glider with 20 or 22 m span. The 20 and 22-metre versions also have winglets. The fuselage is the same in all versions, with the exception of the additional control connections for the wing flaps in the 22-metre version. The single wheel main landing gear on both versions retracts into the lower fuselage.
The DG-500/18 is mainly intended for flight training, and is fully aerobatic with +7/-5 g rating. There is also a motorglider version, the DG-500M. The DG-500/22 can carry up to 160 kg of water ballast which is not possible on the trainer version. Since 2004, the latest version of the DG-500 has been built as the "DG-505 Orion" in Slovenia.
Past altitude record
The DG-500 once held the all-time altitude record for manned gliders, at 15,460 m (50,720 ft), set on 29 August 2006 by Steve Fossett and Einar Enevoldson, breaking the previous record by 1,713 ft (522 m). It was a standard DG-500M but the engine had been removed and replaced with liquid oxygen tanks. Additional instruments were installed powered by non-rechargeable batteries. The canopy had double-wall glazing and there was a drogue parachute for an emergency descent from high altitude. Pressure suits were worn. The glider is on display at the Seattle Museum of Flight. A new altitude record of 52,172 ft (15,902 m) was set by the Windward Performance Perlan II on September 3, 2017.
- Initial production with 18 m (59 ft) span wings.
- Aerobatic version
- high performance sailplane with 22 m (72 ft) span wings
- Motorglider version of the DG-500, powered by a retractable pylon mounted 44.7 kW (59.9 hp) Rotax 535C engine
- DG-500T Elan Trainer
- 18 m (59 ft) span wings, fixed undercarriage, no flaps, full controls in both cockpits.
- improved DG-500
- DG-505 Orion
- Production version built in Slovenia
- Motorglider version of the DG-505 with a retractable Solo 2625-02 47 kW (63 hp) engine
Specifications (Elan Trainer)
- Crew: 2
- Length: 8.66 m (28 ft 5 in)
- Wingspan: 18 m (59 ft 1 in)
- Height: 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in)
- Wing area: 16.6 m2 (179 sq ft)
- Aspect ratio: 19.52
- Airfoil: root:Wortmann FX-73-K-170/20; tip:FX-73-K-170/22
- Empty weight: 390 kg (860 lb)
- Max takeoff weight: 630 kg (1,389 lb)
- Stall speed: 65 km/h (40 mph, 35 kn) at 470 kg (1,040 lb)
- Never exceed speed: 270 km/h (170 mph, 150 kn) in smooth air
- 197 km/h (106 kn; 122 mph) in rough air
- 197 km/h (106 kn; 122 mph) on aero-tow
- 140 km/h (76 kn; 87 mph) on winch launch
- g limits: +5.3 - 2.65
- Maximum glide ratio: 40 at 109 km/h (59 kn; 68 mph)
- Wing loading: 37.95 kg/m2 (7.77 lb/sq ft)
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- First flight of the DG-500M was in March 1987.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-13. Retrieved 2015-01-27.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- "Perlan Project web site". Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2012.
- "DG Flugzeugbau GmbH Perlan Glider". Retrieved 15 November 2013.
- John W.R. Taylor, ed. (1988). Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988-89. London: Jane's Information Group. pp. 620–621. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5.
- "DG Flugzeugbau DG-500". sailplanedirectory.com. Archived from the original on 3 May 2015. Retrieved 20 January 2015.