Diana Sailplanes Diana

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SZD 56 Diana
Sebastian Kawa over the Andes.JPG
SZD 56-2 Diana 2, training before World Grand Prix, Andes
Role 15 Meter-class sailplane
National origin Poland
Manufacturer PZL-Bielsko, Design Office B Bogumił Bereś
Designer Bogumił Bereś, Krzysztof Kubrynski
First flight 29 November 1990 (Diana),[1]
12 January 2005 (Diana 2)

The SZD-56 Diana is a 15 metre class glider originally designed by Bogumił Bereś at PZL-Bielsko. However, PZL Bielsko went bankrupt before it could be put into serial production. The rights to the design were taken over by a new entity, Diana Sailplanes, which developed the design further and called it the Diana 2. By 2011 the aircraft was being produced by Design Office Bogumil Beres. The glider first flew on 12 January 2005.[2]

Design and development[edit]

The Diana is a single-seat high-performance 15-metre class sailplane. It is a mid-wing cantilever monoplane with a T-tail unit. It has an all composite carbon-aramid-epoxy structure. The spar-less wing[3] has plate airbrakes protruding from the upper surface only with full-span flaperons. The Diana has a retractable main landing gear with a fixed tail wheel.

The Diana 2 features a number of structural innovations. The wing had been designed by Krzysztof Kubrynski, Ph.D., using numerical flow simulation methods (computer programs of his design).[4] It uses a variable profile belonging to the KL-002 family.[5] For fuselage-wing interference minimization reasons, the wing is thinner at the root.[5] Also, the leading and trailing edges do not follow any straight lines, necessitating a production process that depends heavily on CNC technology. The new wing offers considerably better performance at high speeds and better immunity from surface contamination.[5] The glider also features an unusual side-stick control system to accommodate the pilot in its unusually narrow cockpit. As the maximum possible water ballast that can be carried in the wings is almost 60 kg (130 lb) heavier than the empty weight of the glider, the Diana 2 has a very large range of wing loadings, from 28 to 58 kg/m² (5.7 to 11.9 lb/ft²).[6]

Operational history[edit]

Sebastian Kawa won his first three (2005, 2007, 2010) FAI World Grand Prix Championships in a Diana 2. Three pilots (Janusz Centka, Stefano Ghiorzo and Sebastian Kawa) have also flown the Diana 2 to first place in the World Championships in the 15m class (in 2006, 2010 and 2012).


SZD-56-1 Diana 1
Certified in Poland in 1997 originally, two built by PZL-Bielsko up to 1998, three built by Bogumil Beres from 2001.
SZD-56-2 Diana 2
Production variant built by Bogumil Beres and had a restricted certification by EASA awarded in 2015.

Specifications (Diana 1)[edit]

Data from [6]

General characteristics

  • Crew: One
  • Capacity: 240 kg (63.4 US gal / 529 lb) of water ballast
  • Length: 6.88 m (22 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 15.00 m (49 ft 2 in)
  • Height: 1.35 m (4 ft 43 in)
  • Wing area: 8.16 m2 (88 ft2)
  • Aspect ratio: 27.57
  • Empty weight: 182 kg (401 lb)
  • Gross weight: 500 kg (1,100 lb)


  • Maximum speed: 270 km/h (146 knots/170 mph)
  • Stall speed: 60 km/h (32.4 knots/ 37.2 mph)
  • Maximum glide ratio: > 50
  • Rate of sink: 0.45 m/s (89 ft/min)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
Related lists


External links[edit]