Gehrlein Precursor

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Role Glider
National origin United States
Designer Larry Gehrlein
First flight 1965
Introduction 1965
Number built One
Developed from Schweizer 1-26 and 1-23

The Gehrlein Precursor is an American, high-wing, single seat glider designed by Larry Gehrlein in 1965 and assembled from Schweizer Aircraft parts.[1][2]

Design and development[edit]

There was just one Schweizer 1-23C built and it was owned and modified by Gehrlein. The aircraft was crashed and rebuilt with new 1-23D wings. The 1-23C's damaged wings were rebuilt and formed the basis for the Precursor. The fuselage for the Precursor started life as a 1963 model Schweizer 1-26A. The two components were reworked by Gehrlein and his two sons, Rod and Jay, in 1965. They took the 1-26A fuselage and mounted the wings from the Schweizer 1-23C, modifying the fuselage, which had mounted the original 1-26 wings in the mid position to accept the 1-23C wings in the high position. The resulting aircraft is registered with the Federal Aviation Administration in the Experimental - Racing - Amateur Built - Exhibition category.[1][2]

The Precursor is of all-metal construction and features a fixed monowheel landing gear, with a small tail caster. Only one Precursor was built.[1]

Operational history[edit]

PIlot reports indicate that the Precursor climbs well in thermals and exhibits stable handling.[1]

Gehrlein eventually sold the one-of-a-kind design to Les Stoner of Houston, Texas and today it is owned by Gehrlein's son, Rod, and based in Erie, Pennsylvania.[1][2]

Specifications (Precursor)[edit]

Data from Soaring[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Wingspan: 53 ft 6 in (16.31 m)
  • Wing area: 165 sq ft (15.3 m2)
  • Aspect ratio: 17:1
  • Airfoil: NACA 43012A and 23009
  • Empty weight: 525 lb (238 kg)
  • Gross weight: 775 lb (352 kg)


  • Maximum glide ratio: 32:1 at 46 mph (74 km/h)
  • Rate of sink: 117 ft/min (0.59 m/s) at 40 mph (64 km/h)
  • Wing loading: 4.7 lb/sq ft (23 kg/m2)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


  1. ^ a b c d e f Said, Bob: 1983 Sailplane Directory, Soaring Magazine, page 28 and 43. Soaring Society of America November 1983. USPS 499-920
  2. ^ a b c Federal Aviation Administration (May 2011). "Make / Model Inquiry Results". Retrieved 12 May 2011.