Schleicher Ka 2 Rhönschwalbe

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Ka2 Rhönschwalbe
Ka2b after landing.jpg
A Ka–2 on landing
Role two-seat training glider
National origin Germany
Manufacturer Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co
Designer Rudolf Kaiser
First flight Spring 1953
Produced 1953 - 1957
Number built Ka–2 42 built, Ka–2b 75 built

The Schleicher Ka-2 Rhönschwalbe is a tandem two-seat training glider designed and built in Germany, in 1952.

Design and development[edit]

Designed by Rudolf Kaiser, the Ka-2 was an all wooden glider with plywood and aircraft fabric covering. The Ka-2s wings, with marked forward sweep and dihedral are mounted above the fuselage, flanking the rear cockpit. The front cockpit is covered by a one piece plexiglas canopy which opens to the right and the rear cockpit is covered by a canopy incorporating the inner leading edges of the wing, opening rear-wards, held in place by the front canopy when closed.[1]

The undercarriage of the Ka-2 comprises a large rubber-sprung wooden skid under the forward fuselage in front of a non-retractable semi recessed mainwheel, as well as a steel rubber-sprung tail-skid. Conventional controls are fitted with ailerons on each wingtip trailing edge, elevator with anti-balance trim tab behind the tailplane and rudder aft of the fin. Schempp-Hirth airbrakes, at 38% chord and approx ⅓ span, open out above and below the wing to provide approach control.[1]

Performance of the Ka-2 was found to be lower than expected, due to the relatively high wing loading. Schleicher introduced the Ka2b, increasing the wingspan from 15 m (49 ft) to 16 m (52 ft), to improve the efficiency of the wing. Fuselage length was also increased by 18 cm (7.1 in) to 8.15 m (26.7 ft) to maintain stability margins in pitch.[1]

Performance of the Ka-2b was improved in weak thermals due to a lower minimum sink speed, allowing tighter thermalling. Cross-country performance was also improved by a higher glide ratio, increasing the chance of reaching the next thermal. The standard competition handicap for the Ka–2 is 74 and the Ka-2b handicap is 78.[1]

Ka 2b (D-5596) waiting for a winch launch

Operational history[edit]

The Ka-2 and Ka-2b saw extensive use in gliding clubs throughout Germany and Europe and the Ka2b was also used in several record attempts; On 24 January 1959 Dieter Schmitt and Karl Pummer climbed a Ka-2b 6,907 m (22,661 ft) in lee wave lift at Fayence in France for a new German National two-seater record climb. Later the same day flying to 7,700 m (25,300 ft) to set a new German two-seater absolute altitude record.

A Ka2b also set a distance record for two seaters in Germany of 424.5 km (263.8 mi; 229.2 nmi) in 1964 and again on 28 May 2012 at 684 km (425 mi; 369 nmi), flown by Uli Schwenk and his 81 year-old father.

Variants[edit]

Ka-2
The initial production glider with a 15 m (49 ft) span wing and 7.97 m (26.1 ft) long fuselage.
Ka-2b
An improved performance version with 16 m (52 ft) span wings and 8.15 m (26.7 ft) fuselage.

Specifications (Ka-2)[edit]

Data from Sailplanes 1945-1965,[2] and The World's Sailplanes:Die Segelflugzeuge der Welt:Les Planeurs du Monde[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 7.97 m (26 ft 2 in)
Ka-2b: 8.15 m (26.7 ft)
  • Wingspan: 15 m (49 ft 3 in)
Ka-2b: 16 m (52 ft)
  • Height: 1.7 m (5 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 16.8 m2 (181 sq ft)
Ka-2b: 17.5 m2 (188 sq ft)
  • Aspect ratio: 13.4
Ka-2b: 14.63
  • Airfoil: Wing root: Göttingen 533 modified 16%, Mid span: Göttingen 533 14%, Wing tip: Göttingen 533 12%
  • Empty weight: 254 kg (560 lb)
  • Gross weight: 460 kg (1,014 lb)
Ka-2b: 480 kg (1,060 lb)

Performance

  • Stall speed: 58.5 km/h (36 mph; 32 kn)
  • Never exceed speed: 200 km/h (124 mph; 108 kn) in smooth air
  • Rough air speed max: 130 km/h (81 mph; 70 kn)
  • Aerotow speed: 130 km/h (81 mph; 70 kn)
  • Winch launch speed: 100 km/h (62 mph; 54 kn)
  • g limits: +4g at 126 km/h (78 mph; 68 kn), -2g at 168 km/h (104 mph; 91 kn)
  • Rate of sink: 0.9 m/s (180 ft/min) at 65 km/h (40 mph; 35 kn) at 415 kg (915 lb)
Ka-2b: 0.8 m/s (160 ft/min) at 62 km/h (39 mph; 33 kn) at 415 kg (915 lb)
  • Lift-to-drag: 26:1 at 80 km/h (50 mph; 43 kn) at 415 kg (915 lb)
Ka-2b:27:1
  • Wing loading: 27.4 kg/m2 (5.6 lb/sq ft) at 460 kg (1,010 lb)
Ka-2b: 27.4 kg/cm² (5.62 lb/sqft) at 480 kg (1,060 lb)

See also[edit]

Related development

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Seliger, Peter F. (1 January 2003). Rhön-Adler. 75 Jahre Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau (in German). Frankfurt a.M.: R. G. Fischer Verlag. ISBN 3830104375. 
  2. ^ Simons, Martin (2006). Sailplanes 1945-1965 (2nd revised ed.). Königswinter: EQIP Werbung und Verlag. pp. 80–82. ISBN 978-3-9807977-4-0. 
  3. ^ Shenstone, B.S.; K.G. Wilkinson (1958). The World's Sailplanes:Die Segelflugzeuge der Welt:Les Planeurs du Monde (in Primarily English with French and German) (1st ed.). Zurich: Organisation Scientifique et Technique Internationale du Vol a Voile (OSTIV) and Schweizer Aero-Revue. pp. 82–87. 

References[edit]

  • Simons, Martin (2006). Sailplanes 1945-1965 (2nd revised ed.). Königswinter: EQIP Werbung und Verlag. pp. 80–82. ISBN 978-3-9807977-4-0. 
  • Shenstone, B.S.; K.G. Wilkinson (1958). The World's Sailplanes:Die Segelflugzeuge der Welt:Les Planeurs du Monde (in Primarily English with French and German) (1st ed.). Zurich: Organisation Scientifique et Technique Internationale du Vol a Voile (OSTIV) and Schweizer Aero-Revue. pp. 82–87. 
  • Seliger, Peter F. (1 January 2003). Rhön-Adler. 75 Jahre Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau (in German). Frankfurt a.M.: R. G. Fischer Verlag. ISBN 3830104375. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Richard und Monique Ferrière: Les Planeurs et Motoplaneurs d' Alexander Schleicher 1951–1981. Motorbuch-Verlag, Stuttgart 1988, ISBN 3613011905.

External links[edit]