After the FAIStandard class rules had been created and then modified in the early 1970s the FAI decided to add a new 15m class, for gliders with a maximum span of 15m but no other restrictions other than airbrakes limiting the speed to Vne or less. Władysław Okarmus set about designing a new wing, with flaps, for use with the SZD-48-3 fuselage, the resulting off-spring was named SZD-49 Jantar K. First flight of the prototype, (SP-2583, X-143), took place at Bielsko in October 1978. All was not well with the SZD-49 during the flight trials and further development was abandoned. The sole prototype was later used as a live teaching aid for advanced students and was successfully modified twice with some success by groups of students from Warsaw University of Technology.
Constructed almost entirely from Galssfibre using epoxy resin, the SZD-49 had a welded steel tube centre section truss to accept the loads from the wings, undercarriage and towing hook. A one piece forward opening canopy with integral glare-shield gave access to the cockpit for entry/egress and maintenance. The wings are fitted with full span flaps with drooping ailerons as well as single leaf airbrakes extending from top and bottom surfaces of the wing. Ailerons are driven through a patented linkage entirely enclosed inside the wing.
A standard instrument fit and an oxygen system were provided by the manufacturer.